Every holiday season, I pick out two or three family board games. The clear favorite this year is Tsuro. I would have never found Tsuro on my own. While beautiful, it is not flashy and doesn’t scream out how great it is. I would not have even noticed it on the shelf. I only bought it because the guy at the game store said it was a good game. When I checked it out on Amazon, the nearly 5-star reviews confirmed his recommendation.
Tsuro can be played by two to eight people. We played with three. The game is simple to learn: Put down one of your three cards, follow the path, and don’t fall off the edge of the board. But the strategy is not so simple, and I am still a long ways from figuring it out. Here is what I like about this game:
- It is one of those rare and wonderful games that works for the whole family. An eight-year-old and an adult can play and both have fun.
- It is elegant in its simplicity, but it is not simple. Because each of the path cards are different, and because each card can be placed in four different ways (four sides), each game will be unique.
- It is easy to set up and put away. A game takes less than 20 minutes, so it is great if you don’t have all evening.
- I also like that it has a definite eastern theme. The makers of this game could have westernized it – putting the board and the pieces in bright colors and giving it an exciting name. Probably it would have sold better. But I am so glad they did not. The authentic design of this game makes it a joy to play. Before the rules there is this paragraph:
Since time began, the Dragon and the Phoenix have guarded over and guided the intertwining paths of life, maintaining the careful balance between the twin forces of choice and destiny. These two powerful beings share the noble task of overseeing the many roads that lead to divine wisdom. Through its masterful blend of strategy and chance, Tsuro represents the classic quest for enlightenment.
So, if you are looking for a terrific game to play with your family and friends, Tsuro could be it.
If you are looking for more game recommendations, then here are two other posts I have written: