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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
Southpeak Interactive
Asylum Entertainment
GENRE: Puzzle
February 23, 2010

 Written by Nicole Kline  on April 30, 2010

Review: Sushi Sushi!'s Sushi Go Round just got portable. That's right ? if you're hooked on making sushi for your customers in the addictively fun Flash game on your PC, I've got great news for you ? Southpeak Games has recently released a shiny new version of the game for the Nintendo DS, developed by Asylum Entertainment. This is especially great news for people with the DSi, as you can use your camera functionality to customize your patrons into anyone ? or anything ? you want.

Sushi Go Round ? translated from the Japanese kuru kuru sushi ? is a game in which you are the proprietor of a conveyer belt sushi restaurant, who must make sushi for your customers before they get upset and storm out. A bell rings whenever a customer comes in, and you use your stylus to tap on the menu. After they browse the menu for a few moments, a speech bubble with a picture of the sushi they want pops over their heads. You must then use your recipe book to find the sushi and make it by dragging the ingredients to your bamboo mat and then tapping it when you are done, sending it off on the conveyor belt to your hungry and eager patrons.

The story mode has a simple plot: the male protagonist is trying to win over a girl, and decides he will open a sushi restaurant in order to impress her. As he is making this statement, a sushi master appears out of nowhere and offers his help. There are five restaurants and forty days total in the game, and each day has a yen amount the player must achieve. At first, the necessary profits are very low, and the customers are very easy to satisfy ? they have a bar beneath them that slowly turns red as they are more and more displeased, ending with them leaving the restaurant amid much angry hand-waving.

As the game gets more and more demanding, it is crucial to learn how to strike a balance with your serving methods. As the customers get upset more quickly, it becomes harder and harder to get sushi to them, especially when the furthest customer orders something and the closest customer snags it before it can get to them. In situations like this, sake becomes very important ? giving a bottle to an angry customer shaves off some of the red bars and satiates them temporarily, but you still need to hurry and get the sushi out there as quickly as possible. (I wish sushi restaurants really did give you free bottles of sake when your sushi was running late!) Lost customers means lost yen, unless someone else decides they want that roll - but you're not always that lucky.

At the end of every fourth day, a special boss pops up. This boss can be one of several different characters, including a sumo wrestler and a police officer. He asks for three items at first, but as the game's difficulty ramps up, the number he asks for gets larger and larger. I always found the boss to be a good bonus, especially when I was behind on profits. Several rolls at once usually brought in a good haul. As difficult as it is addicting, it took me several tries to get all the way to the end, but it was worth every grain of rice and piece of unagi.

There's ample room here for replayability in both the story mode and the additional game modes, of which there are five total. In Forbidden Mode, you serve your customers, but each round, two rolls are prohibited ? if a customer asks for one, you must ignore them, or the game is over. This can be tricky when the game switches rounds after you've already made a roll and sent it out to the customer ? if onigiri become forbidden, but you already tapped the mat, as soon as that customer starts chewing, the game is done. In Endless Day, it's the compulsive sushi maker's dream come true ? you just keep making sushi as long as you want. The profit bar is huge in this game, allowing for massive earnings. Time Attack challenges you to make as much as you can in one day. In Endurance, you serve your customers as quickly as you can to keep them satisfied ? it only ends when someone leaves. And in Puzzle Mode, the customers come in waves, popping up with immediate sushi requests ? no menus required. They pop up in groups, occasionally all demanding the same kind of sushi, so you must be sure to replenish your ingredients often.

Bottom Line
Miniclip's Sushi Go Round is everything a portable game should be ? fun, addictive, and easy to pick up, even if it's hard to put down. The game is challenging but doesn't let the difficulty siphon out any of the entertainment. Each day brings another feeling of satisfaction, especially the ones that end with boss challenges. And the varying game modes are all fun in the off chance that you ever tire of the storyline. The only improvement this game could have would be if it could make my sushi making experiences at home less messy ? or at least wash the dishes when I'm done.

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