Real Talk By: Haggy
Tokaido, a board game published by Fun Forge, sets players in the time of old Japan, where each player is taking a trip down the eastern coast road between Kyoto and Edo, known as Tokaido. Along the way, each player will be collecting souvenirs, enjoying the many hotsprings, meeting strange and wonderful people, and of course eat the fantastic cuisine. All of this so that the players will have the most enriching experience on their journey to Edo, and whoever has been the most enriched, will be the winner. It is an outrageously relaxed game, with the only conflicts between players being who gets to what spot first and where as there are only so many places that can have a player, and the players may not move backwards.
The first thing the players will notice about Tokaido is it’s fantastic art style. The game is indeed quite colorful and impressively laid out. This even translates to the lovely cards, the character art, and especially the Panorama Cards. The Panorama Cards being parts of an artwork you complete in front of you for more Points.
The next thing to notice will be how simplistic the game rules are. When the turn begins, whichever player is the furthest back will have the next move, and they can move to any spot as long as there isn’t a player occupying it, or isn’t past the next inn. This keeps the gameplay quick, and with every space being an experience, there aren’t too many harsh feelings if someone was to move on that temple you wanted to go to!
Speaking of Pace, it does take a bit to learn about Tokaido. The rules are simple, but since there are 9 unique spaces to land on, explaining the game does take a few minutes. However, once pieces are on the board, and the spaces explained, the game itself takes about 15 minutes, if that, per play through. It may take 5 minutes more if you’re at 4 or 5 players, but it’s still quite quick, especially considering it’s a board game.
Finally, this may be a very casual and laid back game, but for those looking for skill, there is still plenty to be had here. As planning your moves, and introducing some advanced rules (Like using special characters, each having their own ability that tweaks an aspect of the game) this game is definitely a practical thing for people looking for a challenge, however please know that Tokaido is a game meant to be enjoyed, not won. This does mean it doesn’t have as much depth as other games.
In Summary, Tokaido is a quick, relaxing, and fun experience. Definitely something you’d bring your friends too, and definitely a board game that can help people get into the hobby. With good looks, and a casual, fun time to be had by winners and losers, I thoroughly recommend Tokaido.
3.5 out of 5
(4 if used as a small game between two larger games on Game Night)
+Tokaido is Very Easy to Learn.
-The Game is Sometimes Won Early.
-Isn’t as In-Depth as Many Other Games.
-Is a Bit Steep at $32, Purchase at Local Hobby Store for Better Price.