Good news for the less-adventurous eaters out there: you don’t have to like actual sushi to enjoy Chop Sushi, the puzzle game by THQ.
Chop Sushi has a few different modes, but the heart of the application is a simple switch-and-match game, similar to Bejeweled. Swap around pieces of sushi to makes rows of three (or more) of matching morsels, they disappear, and the remaining pieces slide together.
Unlike Bejeweled (and most other match-em-up games), Chop Sushi has a story of sorts. You’re a little sushi chef (who resembles a slab of tuna wearing a chef’s hat), and it’s your job to help solve the world’s problems by battling with the people you meet. (And by battling, I of course mean by playing the match-up sushi game. Chop Sushi is non-violent, no worries!) I’m not entirely sure how these problems get solved; my first opponent told me he didn’t feel as smart as his friends, and I can’t imagine losing a sushi battle to me was great for his self-esteem. Regardless, the idea is that you’re bringing happiness into the world through sushi, and hey, why not?
Chop Sushi also differs from typical match-em-up games in that instead of simply swapping adjoining items, you use your chopsticks to pick up pieces of sushi (it’s not difficult — no actual chopstick expertise is required) and then move those pieces to the end of their row, thus bumping all the pieces in the row over one position.
There are also various special moves; for example, lining up three bits of wasabi (those are the bright green blobs, for the uninitiated) takes away points from your opponent. All of the different possibilities are explained pretty clearly when you first start Chop Sushi. As you go, you learn more recipes, which allow for new moves to help you defeat your opponents.
I personally found it a little hard at first to get used to the way you play. I kept trying (accidentally) to make illegal moves, which was frustrating. However, with time, I got better and now I’m — pardon the food pun —really cooking!
The graphics for Chop Sushi are bright and fun, and the background music sounds like it’s straight out of an old Japanese movie. Overall, Chop Sushi is a cute game. Not a favorite, necessarily, but not a bad way to kill some time.