Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Board Game Corner: Tsuro, The Game of the Path

This is a classic and very quick simple fun game I have owned for some time. It is a great appetiser game. You may not spend an entire evening playing it, but you'll bash through a few sessions while waiting for the final member of the party to show up for the evenings main event.

It's very simple. Everyone gets a counter, that they put on a spot on the board. They are then dealt three path cards from the deck, all of which are unique.

Gameplay is simplicity itself. Taking turns, you place a path card so that it moves your piece. You then move your piece along the path. Move anyone else's piece that got "accidentally" caught with your path card along their path. Turn over.

Rules are simple. If you have an option to survive, you must. So no deliberately kamikazing someone you don't like just so they don't win. That isn't to say it can't be done, you can certainly shadow someone and make it highly likely you will clash, but it has to be a last resort.

Last one alive, wins.

It feels very much like Tron light-cycles, although I imagine it pre-dates it quite a bit...

So, as an example game, I have Blue, Green, Brown, Red.

One turn in...

Three turns each... Green has now put themselves in a rather precarious position. Blue is next to play, and their tile will interact with greens piece.

Blue plays this, which will safely see him through, while sending Green on a merry trail...

Everyone plays on, green included, as he hasn't been eliminated yet...

Here we see Green has managed to loop back out of the corner he was sent to, and back into the game...

Until Red plays this card... now, no matter what card green plays, it will loop him back to his demise.

A fait accompli, one down.


The rest play on. In my example game, Brown trapped himself a corner to his doom, leaving Blue and Red playing chicken in ever decreasing space... until Blue was left to play the decisive card between them, playing the card above...

I moved Red first as he was clearly a goner, but would Blue pull off a miraculous escape?


He does! He finds a path through the chaos to emerge victorious!

Right, now bear in mind, this game can be played by 8. You will swiftly understand the carnage and hilarity that will ensue.

Of course, as I said, after half an hour to an hour of this, people will be looking for something else. It won't sustain you for an entire evening, but I don't think it's meant to. It's as I said, an appetiser game. And there's nothing wrong with an evening entirely of appetiser games, but if that's the plan, it's like a meal. If you don't have a steak or proper meal to serve up, then offer a variety of appetisers. I don't just want cocktail sausages, I want cheese on sticks, chicken pieces, mini pizzas. It's like catering for a gathering, whether you do the party buffet or the come dine with me experience, that will very much depend on your guests. The same applies to a Games Evening. 


  1. Looks like a fun and tasteful little game! I imagine it could get pretty intense too.

    1. Yes.

      And it's hilarious. I've also had games where some of us decide not to win... normally people naturally space themselves out to avoid early collisions. Scott put his marker down. So I put mine right next to him. He was flabbergasted... which got worse when Jake picked the one on the immediate other side. We didn't last long, we'd put ourselves in bad tactical positions, but for a couple turns Scott was frantically trying to escape our clutches, which was hilarious... :P