The Gameosity team often goes to a monthly board game meet-up in NYC, an event which has become like a second home for us. And the very first game we ever played at our first ever time there was Tsuro. We entered a cafe packed with gamers and didn’t quite know what to do at first. Our friend Ryan, who runs the event, was still pretty new to us, but he cleared a table, sat us down, and taught us all about this gorgeous little game, forever altering the path of our board game destinies!
Designed by Tom McMurchie and currently published by Calliope Games (Roll For It!, Thieves, and the upcoming Titan series), Tsuro is a gorgeous, sublimely simple game for 2-8 players, and works well at absolutely any player count. The art from Cathy Brigg, Shane Small, Franz Vohwinkel, and Imelda Vohwinkel really brings an elegance to this abstract game, and everything about it is aesthetically lovely.
The object of Tsuro is to be the last person still on the board. 2-8 players start at the edge of the board. They will take turns laying tiles in front of their token and then their token must follow the path laid before them. That’s it!
Andrew: This sounds pretty easy, but in reality it is a very strategic game.
Jess: Yeah, I love that it’s a game you can teach in under 5 minutes and anyone can play; simple enough for kids, but engaging enough for adults.
While the game does not seem very aggressive, you can really go after your playmates with some tactical tile placement. By guiding your token towards another players, you can end up laying a tile that crosses their path. If a tile is placed in front of any piece, it must follow the trail, so you can lead your opponent right off the board. Just be careful not to create a path that kicks you off as well.
Jess: Because it is an abstract game, Tsuro is timeless and a super distilled experience. I fell in love with the game the very first time I played. it has been a staple of the Gameosity collection for years and I am super excited that Calliope games is going to be putting out a deluxe version. We got to see some of the components and, although we cannot share images of them, I can say they amazing. Each token is a different sculpted dragon and the board will crafted from wood. I can’t wait to upgrade when the deluxe game is released.
If you can’t get enough Tsuro, there is also a Tsuro of the Seas standalone game, which lets you play Tsuro with sea monsters! Of all the versions of Tsuro we have ever played, this one is not our favorite, but it is still a pretty darned good game. It just feels like the sea monsters add too much complication to what is a brilliant game all by itself.
Andrew: You can also check out the Tsuro app. It is a great port of the original game. It was created by Thunderbox Entertainment and they had done an awesome job bringing the game to life. It also offers a solo mode or cross-platform, turn-based, online multiplayer mode so you can enjoy the game even if your friends are not nearby. You can download the app on iTunes or Google Play.
There are a ton of ways to explore the beauty and fun of Tsuro and we recommend them all!