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Subject: Tokaido - extremely quick pros and cons review rss

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Bruno Gaia
France
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Being a Geek is a sure sign of a sound mind, cause it means you think that life as it is is dull and should be more interesting. Which it is.
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Tokaido is a game where you play travelers on the eastern coast of Honshu, the main Island of Japan.
Those travelers must make the best of their journey by looking at nice landscapes, buying great souvenirs, getting hot bath, meeting people etc.
And since a great traveler is one that knows how to take time (Tokaido is also the Japanese word for the art of traveling) , you'll play more if you're the slowest!
It's a race of slow pokes and that feels definitely thematic.

So what's to love:

1) Tokaido is an absolute eye-candy
2) The theme is really original for once and is beautifully rendered by the main mechanic
3) the game's easy enough to learn.

what's NOT to love:

1) A terrible feeling of auto-play created by the main mechanic: most turns you'll HAVE TO choose the location that is closest to you so as to play more...
2) Characters are not very balanced. Once the game starts you'll have to choose between two characters that will give you small benefits and clearly some are more powerful than others (get the guy who gives and extra landscape each meal? Now you're having a hell of a head start...).
3) A lot of luck. Luck will happen when you make encounters, choose your character, buy souvenirs, meals, even when you're taking a hot bath... That's a lot of luck and at the end of the game you might have the feeling that the luckiest won.
4) Auto-play + luck... Yep, it sometimes feel like there's very little strategy in a game of Tokaido...


Who is it for: casual gamers in search for a contemplative game, hard core in search of originality of theme and an eye-candy but only if some luck and auto-play don't put them off

Who is it NOT for: people who like to really feel they're behind the wheel.
Since it's a race of sorts, I wouldn't advise it for 2, and three tends to lead to s strong feeling of king-making (sometimes involuntarily mind you...)

Tokaido is a contemplative journey not a game for hardcore optimizers, IMO at least.

I give it a seven (5 for the game itself plus 2 for the amazing art)
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Kevin B. Smith
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I'm curious how many times you have played. I haven't noticed the wild variations in character powers that you mention. And there are many turns where I jump ahead by at least one space, to avoid missing out on what I really need.

There is a hefty dose of randomness, as you say. But I think you are under-estimating the amount of strategy. On the other hand, I haven't played many times yet myself, so I'm no expert.

With 2p, it feels the most cutthroat (just slightly more than with 3p), and you probably have the most control over your own destiny. For serious gamers, 2p is probably the best count.
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rafael saiz perez
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I suggest you to play the game on BGA (Boardgame Arena) and if possible against experienced players. If you play it in a contemplative and authomatic way you´ll be beaten by 20-30 points at least.

The key in this game is precisely to jump ahead (2,3 or even 4 spots) to optimize your play, to maximize the ability of your chosen character and to hinder your opponents (i.e. money) when possible.

Tokaido is far from being an easy journey as many people think. Obviously it is not Caylus but played this way it can be very tense (and more with the gastronomy variant).

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Ben O'Steen
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Agreed, it plays enjoyably with 2p and I'd like to try it with 3 as I think that would work well too.

I attempted to play a 5 player game a few weeks ago and it was extremely cramped. The crowd of 5 meeples made it hard to spot any vacant spot that people had leapt over, and consequently, others hopped spots that they may otherwise had taken.
 
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Bruno Gaia
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Being a Geek is a sure sign of a sound mind, cause it means you think that life as it is is dull and should be more interesting. Which it is.
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peakhope wrote:
I'm curious how many times you have played. I haven't noticed the wild variations in character powers that you mention. And there are many turns where I jump ahead by at least one space, to avoid missing out on what I really need.

There is a hefty dose of randomness, as you say. But I think you are under-estimating the amount of strategy. On the other hand, I haven't played many times yet myself, so I'm no expert.

With 2p, it feels the most cutthroat (just slightly more than with 3p), and you probably have the most control over your own destiny. For serious gamers, 2p is probably the best count.


Never played 2p, might suit my tastes a bit more.

Note to all: I didn't say I didn't like the game or that it didn't have some amount of needed skills (though I tend to think that you can't talk about "strategy", more opportunistic tactics) .
And of course, while playing, I've often jumped to get what was most profitable.
Still, there's a feeling that had you had the luck, not jumping that much is always best (more actions, more points)...
Soo, some autoplay IMO.
But that's just IMO :)
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I understand, Bruno. My group had played this game 10 times or so and I was often feeling it was autoplay, but one game some finer points started to click. And I realized how insanely cutthroat this game is.
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Wynand Louw
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brunogaia wrote:


1) A terrible feeling of auto-play created by the main mechanic: most turns you'll HAVE TO choose the location that is closest to you so as to play more...


My feeling exactly.
♦ You get VP's for places visited. The more places you visit out of the total the more VP's you get.
♦ This means that you have to, by default, choose the available spot closest to you, or skip no more than one spot.
♦ We played 5 players: Which meant that you had very little choices to make about where to land. Many turns one had only one choice, sometimes two.

So I felt I had little choice in what I could or could not do. This makes for a game that is not really a game.
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