Game Review: Tsuro

Title: Tsuro
Players: 2-8
Play Time: 15′
Designer: Tom McMurchie
Publisher: Calliope Games

This is one of many games I purchased after watching it being played on the TableTop channel on YouTube. It supports from 2-8 players, the rules can be explained in less than five minutes, and it plays in less than 15.

The components are fantastic. The dragon tokens have a nice feel to them, and the board and tiles are also top-notch. The manual (short as it is) is absolutely beautiful. I give the components of this game a top rating.

  • Tsuro Game Board
    Tsuro Game Board

Game Play / Rules
Game play is quite simple. You start by placing your dragon token at one of the many starting points along the edge of the board, and then select (or deal) three random tiles to each player. On each turn, a player places one of the three tiles on the board in front of their dragon and then follows the path generated. If the tile touches another dragon, they will also follow the path.

The goal of the game is also simple: stay on your path longer than anyone else! If your path takes you off the edge of the board you’re done. If you run into another dragon you are both removed as well. (This is easily explained by the fact that the other dragon started their path on the edge of the board, and if your path has joined up with theirs, both of you will exit the board on the starting point of the other dragon token.) There isn’t a lot of deep strategy here. You have three cards in hand (until towards the end of the game as the cards get played) so that’s about how far ahead you can plan. More games seem to be won by other people making mistakes (or simply drawing bad tiles) than by some incredibly devious and strategic move that I made myself…

When this post was written Board Game Geek had a 1.25 complexity rating for the game (on a scale of 1-5). I think I agree with that assessment.

The game is very zen. 🙂 It’s quite easy to play, and there isn’t a lot of “analysis paralysis” because you have no idea what the board is going to look like when it comes to your turn, plus you only ever have at most three options as far as tiles to play. Some games can be intense and require a lot of concentration. This is not one of those games.

Since it takes only 10-15 minutes to play at most, it’s a quick game that can easily entertain your gaming crowd while you wait for the rest of the crew to arrive, or something you can play after you’ve been eliminated from another game while you wait for the rest of the players to finish. Another game that fits a similar niche for me is “King of Tokyo.”

Overall Score
The game is beautiful to look at and fun to play, but it’s not very deep. I enjoy playing it, but it’s not a desert island game for me. I rated it 7/10 on Board Game Geek.

Related Links

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.