Chop Sushi!

Filed under: cheapo games — Will @ 10:00 am July 21, 2010

Game: Chop Sushi!
Purchased from: The iTunes Store
Price paid: $0.99
Platform: iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch

I like playing puzzle games, but any more, most of them seem to be some variant of ‘match three of the same thing to make them disappear’. Which is great (kinda) for a while, but I do crave different experiences occasionally.

Take Chop Sushi! for example. On the surface, you have a match 3 things and make them disappear thing going on, but there are enough little additions that this doesn’t quite seem like the cookie-cutter puzzler that it could be.

There’s a kind of a story, but it was so bizarre that I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to it. The gist of it is that people are sad because of their demons (“Nobody likes my hair!”, etc.), and you, as the Master Chef, use the power of sushi to defeat their demons… somehow.

You’re presented with a 7×7 grid of sushi and wasabi. You have the ability to pick up any piece you want and move it in either of the four cardinal directions to the edge of the board, with the goal of matching three of the same things. Match most things, and nothing much happens, but match the wasabi and you attack your opponent’s life bar, and with a little guile you try to prevent your opponent from doing the same. The first one to run out of HP loses. It’s pretty straightforward (if not a little boring) for a while… until you start adding traps, specials, and boosts. These are special ‘recipes’ that are triggered by clearing certain combinations of sushi for a benefit (or in the case of traps, a detriment). Now the strategy comes in of trying to get the bonuses while forcing your opponent to trigger the traps. It’s a little complicated.

But there’s not a whole lot more to the game than that. There’s a half-hearted puzzle mode that feels kind of bolted on, and an overly simplistic fishing activity you can do, but they don’t really add anything worthwhile to the experience. So, no big gains or losses there. The real meat and potatoes of this game, so to speak, is the adventure mode, where you go up against the computer in a series of battles that steadily ramp up in difficulty, culminating in a final battle against… Well, I better not say, don’t want to ruin the surprise.

I pretty easily blew through this game in about a week, playing about an hour a day, but after the adventure mode is done, there’s really not much else to do with the thing. You can go back and relive the battles in the game if you want, but since your guy levels up RPG-style, most of the fights from the guys at the beginning of the game are going to last for one move or so. So replay takes a pretty big hit, but the ride to get there is decently interesting.