Continuing Yes-No rubric lets talk about various aspects of recently acquired Tokaido game. As i mentioned already, i have played it a lot “online”. And a few days ago i have played it live for the first time with colleagues. As this game is amongst my most favourite games, it won’t have especially big negatives. Particularly about the game flow. So i would be nitpicking about components quality and other small details 🙂
- As mentioned already turn order mechanism which designer Antoine Bauza uses often. One who is last on a road, goes first. If other players went far ahead, you may do 2-3 turns in a row, collect additional points, and later jump over them and take some good spot ahead. I like this balancing act between slow movement forward and an attempt to take best spots faster than the others.
- Many paths to victory. There are a lot of opportunities to collect points and all of them are equal. And the winner is often one, who doesn’t follow one path, but gathers points bit by bit everywhere. Many additional roles, one of which you select in the beginning, add to versatility. They add additional traits, which allow to select a particular strategy. And finally, achievements cards allows acquiring additional points for completing various things during the game.
- Two players variant. The art of the game could be in this place, because it is beautiful. Nethertheless i choose the 2 players variant. For a long time i have played Tokaido with 3-5 players only, thinking that 2 players variant won’t offer anything interesting and there will be less space for competition. But, as you have to move a neutral player’s figure time to time when playing with two, it opens other player’s blocking possibilities unseen in a regular game 🙂 Playing with three or more if you want to block another player, you have to do this with your own figure and maybe lose points from another spot. Here you can use unneeded little fellow for blocking, and do something useful for yourself. However, you need to remember that this variant can harm your relationship with another player, if you are both reckless players 🙂
- Points track and markers. Points are placed in a diagonal way, therefore it is hard to move your marker, because you can’t just move it forward. The markers themselves are so tiny, that it is easy to lose them. Designer should have thought about something smarter for the points track. Maybe make it straight, placed as two lines, make numbers bigger so they won’t be covered by markers. Of course, this is not harming the game. Just a tiny annoyance.
- The box is too big. This angers me always. When game boxes are unreasonably big. Obviously, there are particular box size standards in the game industry and developers try to stick with them, so the game would fit nicely on the shelves. But in case of Tokaido the box is a bit bigger than regular big boxes (Ticket to Ride and other). Because of that it is harder to fit it besides similar size boxes. And when you look at the number of components in it you understand, that the box could be twice as small. Of course, probably no game will catch up to Dixit game’s package. To use a regular big box for a simple card game is just impudent.
- Big price. I don’t have any rebukes about mechanisms of the game. So, as i’ve mentioned, i have to nitpick about other things. Tokaido was on my whishlist to have games for a long time, but i haven’t bought it then, because i couldn’t justify such price. Especially when there are not a lot of components. And you can’t make yourself to pay so much just for the cute looks. In a regular FLGS shop (“friendly local gaming store”) here it’s priced for 43 Euros. A discounted price of 25 Euros seems more suitable for a game of such caliber.