Sushi Go has just hit the App Store, and it's one of the most compelling card games we've played on iOS since Card Crawl.
Not that you'd necessarily suspect as much by looking at the screenshots. It looks like a cutesy casual management game, right? We can understand the misapprehension.
In actual fact, Sushi Go is a faithful conversion of a real and much beloved physical card game from Phil Walker-Harding. The idea is to assemble hands from a deck of sushi-themed cards that gets passed between two to five AI or human-controlled players.
Counting the calories
Each tasty morsel of Japanese cuisine has its own unique value and scoring potential. For example, maki rolls aren't worth anything on their own, but the player who collects the most will score six points. Sashimi cards, meanwhile, are similarly valueless on their own. Collect three, however, and you'll get a whopping ten points.
Then there are the egg, salmon, or squid nigiri, which triple their low value if you combine them with a wasabi card.
At the end of three rounds, the points are totted up and the player with the most wins. Even then, though, there's a sting in the tail, as the player who has accumulated the most pudding cards (which don't score you anything throughout the meal) gets a bonus six points, while the player with the least loses six points.
It's the combination of these permutations, as well as the ability to see your opponents' cards (so you can opt to scupper their hands as well as building your own) that combine to make an ostensibly simple card game into a completely absorbing and deeply strategic experience.
This is complemented by those beautiful comic book visuals. Has food ever looked this adorable? Add in a pretty-but-unobtrusive ditty burbling away in the background, and time spent in Sushi Go's world almost feels therapeutic. It can really send you into a zen-like state, even on the most horrific of commutes or waiting room ordeals.
There are some other choice picks, but we're already tempted to name Sushi Go as our favourite game of the week. It's certainly the most pleasant to spend time.
Sushi Go is available to download from the App Store now for £3.99.