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Subject: Tsuro: The Game of the Path Review rss

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Kristen McCarty
United States
Pennsylvania
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Two paths diverged in the yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both...

I always loved this Robert Frost poem, and every time I think of Tsuro it reminds me of “The Road Not Taken.” Tsuro is a light, abstract strategy game, enjoyable gamer and non-gamer alike. It even plays well with up to 8 players. Simple, elegant, and a thing of beauty; Tsuro is a game I will play at any time.

Theme

Like most abstract games there isn't a real "theme" to Tsuro. Yes the box and pieces are very Japanese, with the dragon, writing, and colors but this theme is not what the game is all about.

Components


Tsuro is a great example of the simplistic beauty of abstract games. There are very few components that come with this game: path tiles, eight stones (player pieces), game board, and rule book. But these pieces are beautiful and well made. The stone are a heavy plastic and a great shape for easy movement. The path cards are made of heavy cardstock and just pretty.



Game Play

Game play is quick and easy to learn and very deep. Players start with their player piece on one of the white lines on the board edge. They can choose where to start. Each players also get three path tiles. The rest form the draw pile.

On you turn you play a tile, move the stones, and then draw a tile (see simple!)



The hard part comes in the decisions, players want to be the last one standing on the board. Players create a path for their markers that they hope doesn't connect with the edge of the board. But, you also want to send your opponents off the board.

Players have three hand tiles that they can place. They need to be careful because the wrong choice can send them off the board.

Once a tile is placed, the player moves their marker and then draws a tile to fill their hand. When a player eliminates another they can choose to take their tiles. Play continues until all but one player is eliminated.



My Thoughts

Simple, elegant, fast and fun; all great reasons to play and own Tsuro. I know many may say this isn't a true abstract strategy game because of the random card draws involved. Yet, this adds an element of ease and excitement to the game. These qualities also draw in those who would not normally sit and play a board game. Anyone who can follow the line can play; getting the strategy may take a little bit longer.

All the components are simply stunning. The stones, the tiles, the board, and even the rulebook are works of art. The game builds tension as tiles start to appear on the board, moving players quickly towards each other and closer to doom, or victory. You watch, helpless as your opponent ends your path at the board edge or triumphal as you remain safe another round. When one game ends, a second usually begins soon after.

It isn’t a game I envision hard core gamers playing late into the night, the randomness can definitely sour those seeking pure strategy, and deep thought really isn’t involved. Tsuro, is light a filler, and a great family game. It will not appeal to everyone but can be an enjoyable experience for everyone.



Quick Stats:

Designer: Tom McMurchie
Artists: Cathy Brigg, Shane Small, Franz Vohwinkel, Imeda Vohwinkel
Publisher: Calliope Games
Number of Players: 2- 8 (Best with 6)

Photo Credits: Luke Holland (lukeholland), Alex Η (nerotora), David Namaksy(Geosmores), Travis Cooper(monkeyboy157), Alex Η (nerotora)

Thanks for sharing your beautiful photographs with us!
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Andy Andersen
United States
Michigan
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Nice review. I really enjoy this game but my wife says "no" so I sold it. Replacing it with Indigo

Thank you.

Kristen, can you provide the link to your new geeklist at the bottom of all of your reviews so new viewers can see all of your reviews.
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Mavis
England
A Fine City
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Good review of a game we often play as a filler before all the players arrive for our boardgaming nights.
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Kristen McCarty
United States
Pennsylvania
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Orangemoose wrote:
Nice review. I really enjoy this game but my wife says "no" so I sold it. Replacing it with Indigo

Thank you.

Kristen, can you provide the link to your new geeklist at the bottom of all of your reviews so new viewers can see all of your reviews.


Good idea yet again, I'll do that from now on as well. Here it is: A Game Built for Two (and sometimes more) Game Reviews, the Geeklist of my reviews.
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T.W. McLain 3
United States
Tulsa
Oklahoma
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Very nice review and photos that pushed me over the edge to buy. Picked up Oshi today and it seems like this is the better rated game. Reading the rules and mythos on both these titles makes me wonder if R.A. Fredrickson (Qyshinsu)was influenced by these games, or the other way around!
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