Game Overview: The game of Tsuro has a very simple theme where players lay path tiles onto the game board and then their token stones follow the path they have created. The goal of the game is to keep your path going where it does not send your token off the board. All the while, other players are also playing tiles that are filling up the board. As players paths come near each other, you may be able to send your opponent off the board while keeping your token going forward on its path to victory.
Box Contents: The box has a nice center compartment that holds the tile cards along with the token stones. The game board itself is well designed and has a wonderful graphic of a phoenix on it. The game board sits in the box on top of the tiles and stone tokens to keep them in their place.
Clarity of Rules: This is one of those games where you read the rules once and you never have to return to it. In addition to the main rules, a smaller instruction manual is included that explains the game in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, and French.
Game Play: Each player picks three tiles, which represent a path they can begin with anywhere along the edge of the game board. As you play your tile, your stone token follows the path that you have picked. There is strategy in choosing the best tile that is available to you. You want to stay away from the other players on the board as long as possible. Cade also found out quickly that you can end anyone's (Dad's) turn after the first play if the initial a path is a curve. The next player can play their starting tile next to that curved path and send the other player off of the board. Players continue placing a tile and moving their marker along their path and then drawing a new tile for their hand. As you get near other players, you can attempt to play a tile that moves you forward on your path while sending them down a different path than what they want and possibly sending them off of the board. It is especially satisfying when you connect up to other tiles played and move a long way across the board without falling off of it. If you can outlast all other players and be the last player on the board, you are declared the winner.
Replay Ability: Even though there are a limited number of tiles available, they are drawn randomly and get played differently every time, creating great replay ability.
Appropriate Audience: The game is suggested for 8+ years. I think a child much younger than this could easily comprehend the game mechanics.
What We Liked/Didn't Like: From the first time we played, this immediately became a family favorite. We sat down and played it a total of 20 times over the first two times we played it. When we first played it, we were amazed that every tile matches up. There really isn't anything we don't like about the game.
Add-ons/Other Releases: In 2012, Tsuro of Seas was released where players now have boats that follow the paths on the board. In addition, tiles representing sea monsters have been added to give Tsuro fans a new experience.