FTW Staff Picks - Maki Stack

For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new. 

Maki Stack

Genre: Dexterity

Designer: Jeff Lai

Player Size: 2 to 6 Players

Game Length: 15 minutes

For fans of: Jenga, Oh! Sushi Game, Lift It! Deluxe

If you know us, you know we’re no strangers to sushi stacking. So as veterans of the hobby we feel qualified to judge games of the sort. Blue Orange’s Maki Stack brings sushi stacking to a whole new level with masks on. Yeah that’s right, Masks On.

In Maki Stack, players race to stack different sushi-related items in order to match the stack illustrated on the Challenge Card. Maki Stack can either be played in teams of 2-3 or head-to-head. In Team mode, there are two different types of Challenges. Mask Challenges require one member of the team to wear a mask as a blindfold, and the rest of the teammates attempt to communicate the illustration. Chopstick Challenges require 2 members of the team to cooperate by using 1 finger each. If there is a 3rd member on each team then only they look at the card and describe the illustration to their teammates. Challenges must be completed exactly as they appear on the card, and play continues until one team/player succeeds. The first team/player to collect and complete 6 Challenge Cards is declared the winner!

Overall, the difficulty level is low enough to make the game a really great choice for families looking to game with their little ones. All of the pieces are big and distinguishable. It’s great for practicing coordination and object-identification. And on the other side of the spectrum, the game gives you enough tools to make it more challenging for those seeking it. The Mask Challenges are tough and hilarious. It reminds me of using your head in Lift It! Deluxe. And there are a few advanced variations to test players’ multitasking abilities.

Not all balancing games are created equal. And while it may seem like an easy task to make a game that revolves around balancing basic objects, it’s never that simple. Maki Stack manages to keep to its theme while providing enough room for it to be enjoyable by a wide range of ages. Oh and if you’re familiar with the tabletop world at all, you know that making a sushi-themed game will almost always draw in gamers (see: Sushi Go, Oh! Sushi Game, Wasabi Dice, Sushi Draft, Sushi Dice etc.)

Earl OliverosComment