The Jakarta Post
Sushi time: Strong characters and addictive gameplay make Sushi Striker easy to get wrapped up in. (Nintendo/File)
Essentially a strategic puzzle with Japanese culinary magic, Sushi Striker’s legend revolves around a war between the Empire and Republic, in which the former aims to keep the secrets of sushi all to themselves.
Musashi, the game’s main character (players can pick Musashi’s gender; I picked a girl), grew up in an orphanage and as such has never gained the privilege of tasting sushi; something which changes when she is grown up and offered a chance to taste it by a mysterious man with the very un-Japanese name of Franklin, who only wants a little of Musashi’s time.
Franklin, who was nice enough to feed Musashi and the other orphans she was with, is soon captured by the Empire under the claims of being a Sushi Striker. This results in Musashi trying to rescue him and coming across a Sushi Sprite named Jinrai who tells her that she is also a Sushi Striker who has the capability to engage in sushi battles. Together, they go on a journey to rescue Franklin.
That background provides a good thread for the puzzle fun that Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido offers, and it’s not for nothing.
Game on: Sushi Striker’s lively graphics make it a visual treat on top of playful one. (Nintendo/File)
The story actually does add to the sense of adventure, and the game continually conjures up surprising depth as it goes along. While it starts in a simple manner, like the usual puzzle games, its action gets more complex as it goes along.
The game starts off with the expected color-matching scheme (of the sushi plates, naturally) as they move on conveyor belts.
As the hero, Musashi must combine all the touching plates and the ones that are not separated by any differently colored plates. All of Musashi’s collected plates then get, naturally, eaten and then collected in the form of a stack in front of her — eventually being used as weapons to be thrown at the enemy.
The goal is to rid the enemy of all of their energy before they do the same to you. Gamers accustomed to playing popular puzzlers such as Candy Crush will find the mechanics and controls relatively easy to master.
Pick me: Sushi Striker is an addictive puzzle game with a unique culinary gimmick. (Nintendo/File)
As mentioned, the gameplay becomes increasingly complex as it progresses. Like fighting games, Musashi and the enemy characters are all equipped with their own unique sprites.
Some have the ability to provide a temporary shield, while others offer special damage attacks. Jinrai even has an ability called Sushi Bonanza, which makes all the plates turn into the same color.
The game’s only issue comes with the controls. Gamers can pick to utilize either the touch screen, the analog stick or the Joy-Con. The analog stick made the cursor go everywhere except where I wanted it to, and as such I would highly recommend playing the game with the touch screen. This of course means the game will be more challenging to play on a TV screen.
The game’s presentation is as colorful and lively as you would expect a game titled Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido to be.
The facial expressions of the character are supremely silly as anime are wont to be and the fights are explosive visually, with a host of colors flying all over the place. The cutesy animation will not delight gamers wanting a more “serious” puzzler, but those wanting a lot of joy in their gaming will love it.
There are some other options to the gaming methods other than the main sushi battles. The puzzle hut challenge is about trying to eat all the sushi in a limited area in order to beat the enemy robots.
While it doesn’t revolutionize puzzle gaming by any means, Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is able to offer a good dose of new approach to the genre, along with a memorable storyline and some lively visuals. If you are able to try before you buy, do so, but in any case it will serve up more than a few hours of puzzler delight.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido
Artists: Ayako Okubo
Developers: Nintendo, indieszero, Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS Reviewed on the Switch