When I unexpectedly received a copy of Sushi Striker from Nintendo in the mail, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Having not closely followed the game I didn’t even know what kind of game it was.
Sometimes that’s the best way to play though isn’t it? With zero expectations?
Thankfully, Sushi Striker is an addictive, fun and weird action-puzzle game and one that I’m glad rocked up in my mailbox.
Sushi Striker Review
So what exactly is Sushi Striker? It’s a hybrid of a match-three puzzle game and a fighting game with just a whiff of classics like Tetris. Players will be faced with several sushi trains with an opponent opposite them having their own as well.
There are three sushi trains for each player in addition to a fourth, central sushi train. As the sushi moves along the conveyor belts, players need to connect multiple dishes of the same type in order to attack. By connecting three, or more, your character will eat the sushi and can then fling the stack of plates at his or her opponent.
In the beginning, there is a limited number of types of sushi and your opponents are easily defeated. As Sushi Striker’s campaign progress though, you’ll be bombarded with a huge array of sushi and enemies who mop the floor with you.
I found some levels especially difficult as matching the sushi relies not just on shape, but also colour. Being colourblind I struggled to differentiate some plates of sushi as quickly as I needed to. Sushi Striker does highlight sushi of the same type while you’re linking them, but I still occasionally struggled.
Smash the Spicy Tuna Handroll
In addition to linking multiple plates of sushi, your character can acquire a wide range of special abilities thanks to Sushi Sprites. These Pokémon-type characters are the creators of all sushi in the world and grant special powers to those who prove themselves worthy.
These abilities create a huge number of special conditions during matches that can help you or hinder your opponent. One ability transforms all sushi on your side into desserts which can be gobbled up to restore health. Others allow you to link multiple types of sushi or create barriers for your opponent.
The Sushi Sprites add a layer of strategy and technical thinking to the piece which helps elevate it above a simple puzzle game.
Each Sushi Sprite you collect can be powered up as you win matches, granting more powerful abilities. You’ll definitely need them, as the opponents grow much tougher very quickly.
Touch is Good
While Sushi Striker is playable both in TV and handheld modes, the latter is by far the most preferable. In handheld mode, you simply touch and drag to select and link pieces of sushi. It’s easy, intuitive and quick.
If you opt to play in TV mode, however, you’ll need to use a combination of the control stick and A button. It still works, but it’s clunky and slow. Definitely not the way this game should be played. Another case for playing in handheld mode is that Sushi Striker’s levels are all short and punchy. They’re perfect for a quick game during your commute.
Of course, Sushi Striker is totally playable in TV mode, it’s just not the optimum way to play.
Alongside the campaign mode, Sushi Striker features a competitive online mode for you to challenge your friends. The mode works well and is just like the battles in the single-player mode, except your facing off against another human player.
Things can get pretty hectic and fast-paced when you’re playing online, so you’ll definitely want to have practised against the AI before you dive in.
Sushi Striker is a decent puzzle game with an odd and somewhat charming theme. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re looking for something quick and easy to play on the move, this will definitely fit the bill.
Sushi Striker was reviewed on Nintendo Switch using a retail cartridge provided by Nintendo.
Game Title: Sushi Striker
Weird and wonderful puzzle game - 7/10
Tough for colourblind players - 4/10
No Good in TV mode - 5/10
Awesome for playing on the go - 8/10