Friday, July 24, 2015

Tokaido Review

   Tokaido is a game for two to eight players that lasts about an hour.

   Inside, there is a nice little insert with plenty of room for everything.

   The board is pretty long and has a basic art design.

    There are many travelers to choose from. Each one has a hole on the top left to place your colored disc. The upper right shows you how much gold you start with. Each traveler also has a special ability.

   There are too many travelers to go through and explain, but the rule book is excellent at explaining what everything does. There are a lot of symbols, but they are pretty easy to remember once you read them over.

   To set up, you are going to choose your traveler and a color. Take the corresponding disc, score marker and traveler piece. Place your disc into the hole on your traveler card. 

   Place the score markers on zero. Randomly place the traveler markers in the first Inn. Shuffle the different decks of cards and place them face down on their designated areas on the board.

   This game is done in line order. The person that starts the game will not always be the first one each round. You can move your piece to any open space you choose. Some places have a double space so two travelers can be there at the same time. This is only used for four and five player games. The traveler that is on the second space, moves before the player on the front space.

   The person that ends up in the back always goes first. This makes it so some people may get to go more than once during their turn.

   If you jump too far ahead, you may be waiting a bit before you get to move again. Sometimes, this is necessary if you need a certain space.

   As you stop along the trail, you will be collecting cards. Each space has a corresponding action. 

   When you stop on the Village, you get to draw three souvenir cards.You can choose any of the cards that you draw. Their cost is on the bottom left of the card and is between one and three gold per card. They also have a suit on the bottom right. You can only have one of each suit in each set. The first card in the set is worth one point. The second is worth three, the third is worth five and the fourth is worth seven. Therefore, each set is worth sixteen points. You can buy as many of the three cards as you have gold for and may have more than one set of cards at a time.

   If you land on the hot springs, simply take the top card. It will be worth either two or three points.

   If you land on the encounter space, draw the top card. These are friends that will help you along your journey. They will give you gold, points, money to donate to the temple or cards.

   As you go along, you will come along to an Inn. You must stop at these. The first person that stops, takes the first spot in the line up. They then draw cards equal to the number of players plus one. Food costs either one, two or three gold. If you purchase a food, it must be one that you do not already have in your pile. You must wait for each player to arrive at the Inn before continuing. Pass the cards to the players as they arrive. Once everyone has had a chance to purchase food, the last player that arrived then moves out and continues down the path. This makes it so that the first to arrive has the largest selection of food, but will be the last to leave.You do not have to purchase food cards. Discard the cards that were not purchased.

   If you stop on the temple space, you must donate one to three gold. Place them on your corresponding space on the board. You get one point for each gold you donate. At the end of the game you receive bonus points for donating.

   Along the way, you will also be painting panoramas. Once you finish a panorama, you can no longer stop on the corresponding space. The first piece is worth one point. The second is worth two and so on.

   There are three different types of panoramas. Paddy


   and Sea.

   There are some achievement cards you can earn. The top three are for the first person to complete each type of panorama. These are handed out as soon as they are earned.

   The bottom four are handed out at the end of the game. The first one is for the traveler that has the most hot springs cards. The second is for the traveler that has the most encounter cards. The third is for the traveler that has the most souvenir cards. The last is for the player that has the highest sum of coins on their food cards.

   Add up all of the ending points, whoever has the most points is the winner!

   I will be completely honest. The first time I played this game, I didn't like it, at all. I got a bit behind and wasn't able to catch up. I got blocked out by others and quickly ran out of gold due to not being careful. I had no idea what I was doing.

   I am also a firm believer that you should give a game a few tries before deciding if you like it or not.

   I gave the game a few more plays and liked it a little more each time. Now I love this game! It looks difficult. There's a lot to remember, but once you play, it all makes more sense and is easy to play. I've gotten many comments about how the turn order works. I think it makes it more engaging when you have to watch to see when it's your turn. Our ten year old really enjoys this game and asks to play it often. It is becoming one of our go to family games! The art is amazing and fun to look at. It's very detailed. The board doesn't have much art on it, but it still looks beautiful.

   If you like games that are a bit different, use a little more strategy (including blocking others out) give this game a try. You won't be sorry! 

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