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Tsuro: The Game of the Path Board Game Review

By Andrew Burgon / phoenix@projectfellowship.com
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April 24, 2014

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Tsuro: The Game of the Path. Do You Have What it Takes to Succeed?

Tsuro: The Game of the Path is one of destiny and fate. Many paths run through our lives which are guarded over and influenced by the mighty dragon and phoenix! Choose your path wisely and control it’s course as best you can under their auspicious gaze. Will chance cause you to falter to the edge or will strategy prevail as you guide yourself down the path of enlightenment?

Tsuro: The Game of the Path is a two to eight player game. It’s an attractive and enjoyable short game that lasts for 15-20 minutes.. The goal is simple enough. Use your tiles to create a path from the edge of the board to the interior and stay there as best you can while moving every turn. Venturing to the edge of the board will lead to your demise. The player who outlasts all other players basks in glory!

As you can see in the picture above the board has a beautiful picture of a phoenix on it. There are 8 markers that have a small dragon embossed on them. There are 35 path tiles, one dragon tile and instructions on how to play the game.

How to Play Tsuro

Each player receives a token and three tiles that are placed face down in front of them. These tiles can be looked at anytime by the player. The remaining tiles are stacked face down and become the draw pile. The dragon tile is only used in a three to eight player game and since it won’t be used till much later in the game it’s set aside.

There are four paths on each tile only one of which you can travel on. When it’s your turn take a good look at the three tiles you have and ideally choose one that will help you remain around the center of the board.  When the tile is placed your marker travels down the path that continues the path your currently on and sits on the end of it. Each tile much be placed in such a way so it continues your journey every time you have a turn.

Before the game commences all players place their marker between the two short beige lines on any square on the edge of the board. The first player will do his first and then all the other players in a clockwise direction will place there markers one-by-one.

The oldest player begins the game. He places a tile in front of his or her marker then moves the marker to the path’s end. When a tile is placed on the board the player may pick up another tile from the deck to replace it. That is considered a turn after which the other players in a clockwise direction will take their turns one at a time.

If a player adjacent to you places a tile so that it allows you to continue your journey move your marker to the end of that path even though it’s not your turn. This means that a cleverly placed tile by an opponent could doom you to the board’s edge. If a player is eliminated his hand of tiles are shuffled into the draw pile.

The first turn. The player on the right chooses to go up the right path while the player on the left chooses the left path. They then move their marker to the end of the path.

The first turn. The player on the right chooses to go up the  left path while the player on the left chooses the right path. They then move their marker to the end of the path and pick up a tile from the draw pile.

The player on the left puts a tile next to his and continues up the path. The player on the right continues the path by placing a tile in front of him.

The player on the right continues the path by placing a tile in front of him while the player on the left puts a tile next to his. They move their markers to the end of the path and take another tile from the draw pile.

The player on the right places another card. Since this move continues the path of the other player he also gets to move his marker at the same time even though it's not his turn.

The player on the right places another card. Since this move continues the path of the other player he also gets to move his marker at the same time even though it’s not his turn.

The Dragon Tile

In a game with a lot of players the draw pile will eventually get used up and players will end up having less than the three tiles they are entitled to. If a player can’t pick up from the draw pile he or she takes the dragon tile instead. When a player is eliminated from the game and his or her tiles are placed to form a new draw pile the player with the dragon card gets to pick the top one first. The dragon tile is then set aside awaiting to be picked up again by another player who isn’t able to pick up a tile.

A Few Rules to Observe

Player Paths Must Not Connect

For example, you place a tile that suddenly causes your marker to collide with another players because you’re on the same path. The two players on the same path are eliminated from the game.

Always Avoid the Edge is Possible

You cannot deliberately play a card that sends your marker to the edge of the board if you have one that allows you to avoid it.

Player With Dragon Tile Eliminated

If the player with the dragon tile is eliminated it gets passed clockwise to the next player who has fewer than three tiles.

All Tiles Played

If two players remain on the board and all the tiles are used up a tie is declared.

All Remaining Players Eliminated in the Same Turn

These players are declared the winners.

Tsuro: The Game of the Path Conclusion

Tsuro: The Game of the Path is a lot of fun to play and sweetens the deal with some eye candy. As any hardcore gamer will tell you it’s a great idea to have some short games in your collection. Friends sometimes arrive late to a game or you’re waiting for them to finish another game. Tsuro fits the bill as a great filler game while you’re waiting to start the main game.
 
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