I am a leaf on the wind…
I first came across Tsuro only recently, thanks to Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop show. This looked a lovely game, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it available in this country at anything like a reasonable price, so it just went onto the wish list. Then, whaddya know? Tsuro gets a reprint, I spot a copy in a game shop, and so we now have one. Yay!
Before talking about our experience of the game, I must comment about the presentation. This game is beautiful. The box art is lovely, and when we opened it up the first thing we saw was a sheet of tracing paper with oriental calligraphy on it (I don’t know if this is Chinese or Japanese: either way, it looks great). The board has a lovely illustration of a phoenix on it, and the player pieces and the tiles just have elegant beauty to them.
And as for the rules: well, they couldn’t be simpler. This may be the most intuitive game I have ever played. It just works. The only thing to worry about is what happens when you run out of tiles, and even that is straightforward. Miss B was happily making her first move before I had even finished explaining the rules (which doesn’t take long).
We’ve played a few games so far, including a couple with Mummy playing too. They have all gone quickly and been lots of fun, though the first game Miss B was a bit disappointed with being knocked out first. Still, she was very much up for playing again and she did far better from then on.
The game has quite a bit of luck in it, but also requires some thinking and planning. With just two or three players there is a lot of space on the board and it is several turns before you need to start thinking seriously about your choices, but when the paths start getting close to each other things can get crazy pretty quickly. This is a game I would really like to play with a heap more players: it can handle up to eight, which I imagine would be glorious carnage! Even without the extra players, this is now well on the way to becoming a firm family favourite. I’m delighted with this purchase.
The verdict from Miss B (aged 5¾): “It was really, really, really good. I like it because it’s a short game and if I want to play a game and there’s not much time I could ask for Tsuro. I like the dragons following the lines and there’s a board that you have to make a board on it because the board underneath doesn’t have lines on.”
The game: Tsuro (Calliope Games), 2 to 8 players, aged 8+.