Before I begin, I was provided a copy of the game in exchange for an honest review. This is not a paid review. If you would rather watch a video review of this game then you can check it out below.
Grilled meat on a stick. Now there is something that I can get behind! I have only played a few dexterity games before, so I certainly cannot claim to be an expert on the genre, but something about a game that is, essentially a race to make a customers order first sounded just ridiculous enough to be amazing…or to be incredibly stupid. I was right. It was one of those. Which one? We shall see.
The game is for 2-4 players. Each player is given 4 rubber cubes of different colors, with symbols. These represent beef, tomato, bell pepper, and shrimp. In addition there are two cloth ribbons which are cheese and bacon. Finally each player has a skewer. In the middle of the table is a platter and a stack of round recipe cards.
Each round a card is flipped and the players race to construct that specific skewer that is shown on the card. They can be as simple as just putting beef on the skewer, or as complex as wrapping the bacon around the shrimp and the cheese around the beef and tomato, with the pepper on the end. Whoever completes, places it on the plate and says “Bon Appetit” first, wins the round and claims the recipe card. (it is worth noting that there is also a card that when flipped players have to stand up and shout Kushi! in order to claim the prize). One of the bottom 6 cards will say closed and the game will end when it is drawn.
So what do I think?
Let’s start with the components. They are amazing. They are incredibly durable, but at the same time sized and made perfectly to make the game just a tiny bit more challenging. The ribbon pieces are sized perfectly so that it is just hard enough to get things wrapped, while the larger pieces are hollow so sticking the skewer through can be ever so difficult if you are going to fast.
This next one is hard to quantify…but it is just fun, really fun. That is all I got. I distinctly remember opening it up the first time with two buddies and thinking “well this is going to be…interesting.” Then within seconds of starting all of us were laughing as we struggled to make these skewers before the others, or jumping out of our chairs to say Kushi. It is just masterful. I think the best thing that I can say is that when we got to the closed card in the recipe stack all of us were bummed. In fact, before we had even set the game up for a second play (it takes less than 15 minutes) one of the group was already trying to order it.
Finally the game is LIGHTNING FAST. It takes two minutes to set up, and no more than 15 minutes to play, and you can learn the game in 45 seconds flat.
I think it is possible that eventually we will feel like there is not enough to the game. There will certainly come a time when we will be wishing for another ingredient, or another ribbon piece to mix it up. The good news is that expansions will be so simple. Add an extra long piece of bacon, or an onion, or chicken and suddenly the game is that much more challenging.
Who eats cheese wrapped shrimp?
Bringing it all together
Kushi is a masterful game. Everything about it is just fun, if you like dexterity games. It has plenty of challenge, amazing components, and is filled with laughs. It might eventually grow a bit stale, but expansions with new ingredients and recipes will be simple to create. It is amazingly fast to learn and play. This is one that will definitely stay on my shelf for a long time to come.
I could make own Kushi faster than read that tripe!
* Incredibally fast to set up, learn and play
* Tons of laughs
* Wonderful components
* Perhaps will need an expansion down the road to keep it fresh
* Without a doubt my favorite dexterity game