It’s time for this month’s game review for the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club, whom we are currently working with. Asmodee UK is an established distributor of toys and games, and the Board Game Club works with bloggers by providing a free game for each month in return for an honest review. The game we are reviewing this month is Maki Stack, from Blue Orange.
Maki Stack is a dexterity game, where players race to be the first to stack wooden sushi pieces in a certain order. Inside the box, you will find two sets of wooden sushi pieces, two sushi mats, two masks, and 40 challenge cards showing different sushi configurations.
The game is played in two teams. Teams of two apparently work best, though the rules say you cam also play in teams of three. Since there are only four of us, we’ve not had a chance to compare which works better. To set up for the game, each team takes a sushi set, mat and mask. The challenge cards are shuffled and placed down in the middle of the table. There are two game modes – mask mode and chopstick mode – and the backs of the cards indicate which mode that challenge must be completed in.
Mask Mode: One player in each team wears a mask, and is the one who has to stack the sushi without being able to see the card or the pieces. The other player (or players, if playing in teams of three), without the mask, must give them directions.
Chopstick Mode: Both players can see the card and the pieces, and must work together to stack them correctly. However, they can only use one finger each! (for teams of three, the third player is the only one to see the card, and directs the other two players)
To play the game, flip over a card to reveal the stack. Both teams then race to complete the challenge, using the relevant mode. The first team to success wins the card, and the first team to collect six cards wins the game.
There are so many things we loved about this game. The boys loved it because it is super fun to play. We played it in various team combinations. One adult + one child per team seemed the most balance and fair, but the boys actually most loved being together on a team.
From a parent point of view, I loved how this game encourages different skills. There’s the dexterity, of course, but also other things such as spatial recognition, understanding and following directions, learning left from right, team work, and attention to detail. Some of the challenge cards look quite similar, so you have to play close attention not only to the order of the sushi, but also which which round they are, whether they are on a mat or not, etc.
I also love that you can adapt the game to fit your players. It’s actually recommended for age 7+ but, as mentioned, my 5 year old was able to play it too in an evenly matched team. You can vary the length by changing the number of cards to play for, or you can make it harder by combining blindfold and chopsticks modes. You can also dispense with the race altogether, and just have two players working together as a team building exercise. After a couple of initial races between family members, that’s what the boys ended up doing.
Last, but not least, I think the design of a game can make such a big difference to the enjoyment, and in Maki Stack you get nice chunky wooden gaming pieces that look and feel so much nicer than if they had made these out of plastic. As an added bonus, kids can use the wooden playing pieces outside of the game, which is exactly what my boys have done – when we are not playing Maki Stack, you can find the wooden sushi in their play kitchen. I do love a toy or game that gives twice! Maki Stack is available from Amazon.
If you enjoyed this review, check out all the other games we have tested and loved!
Disclosure: We are members of Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club and received a free sample game for the purposes of writing an honest review. However, all thoughts and opinions remain our own. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. If you shop via this link I will receive a small percentage of the revenue, without any extra cost to you, which helps to keep this blog running. Thank you.