Sushi Mushi is a multiplayer puzzle game where the object is to match sushi
rolls. Each round opens with a screen full of sushi rolls that come in a variety
of colors and shapes. You make matches by dragging your finger from along an
adjacent string of sushi rolls of the same color or the same shape. When you
make a match, the matching rolls are eliminated and the rolls above drop down to
occupy their spaces Bejeweled style, but unlike Bejeweled there aren't any
automatic cascading matches in Sushi Mushi. You play until the timer expires, at
which point your points for the round are tallied. A match consists of three
rounds, with the player who has amassed the highest point total at the end
declared the winner.
In addition to the basic matches, there are two special match types in the
game. The first is the 'feed roll', which is created by a match that of a single
color that encompasses all four of the shapes in the game. After the round, feed
rolls are eaten by your monster avatar for bonus points. The second special
match is the 'rob roll', which is created by matching four rolls of the same
shape but of different colors. At the end of the round, rob rolls cause your
monster avatar to eat your opponent's sushi rolls, effectively allowing you to
steal points from your opponent.
You can play the game against friends or random opponents, and the play is
completely asynchronous. From the game's lobby screen you can see a list of your
current games, and which are awaiting you to play a round and which are waiting
on your opponents. You have a limited time to play your active rounds before the
game decides to forfeit the match for you and add a loss to your record. I'm not
really sure what that timeout period is, but if I didn't check in on the game
several times a day I found myself forfeiting most of my random opponent
While Sushi Mushi itself is a free game, it does have in-app purchases.
Before each round you can spend coins for power-ups that will be active for that
round. Some are of a minor benefit, such as the one that will highlight feed
roll matches for you. One, however, is a huge boost to your potential score
because it extends the timer for the round. If one player has the timer power-up
active and the other doesn't, the player using the power-up is at a big
advantage. While you can earn coins through play, the game doles them out at
such a slow rate that they will only be occasionally available to you unless you
spend money to buy more. So in Sushi Mushi, players willing to spend money for
in-app purchases are at a decided advantage over those who don't.
Putting that imbalance aside, there's an even more fundamental issue with
Sushi Mushi, namely if the two players are alternating turns and playing
independently of each other then is the game really a multiplayer game? The game
is enjoyable enough that it would be recommendable as a single player puzzle
game, but instead it feels like you're forced into playing it against another
player more to motivate you to buy coins to get a leg-up on your opponent than
to make the game a truly competitive experience.
I like Sushi Mushi's playful art style and it's take on match-3 gameplay is
fun, but this is really a single player puzzle game forced into a multiplayer
mold. As a single player game I'd call it recommendable, but as a multiplayer
game not so much so.
Final Rating: 68%