November Game of the Month – Tsuro

The Game of the Month series highlights one of the many games in our libraries at Ravenwood Castle and the Malted Meeple. We will briefly describe the game, how to play it, and why we like it.

Game: Tsuro

November’s Game of the Month is a Malted Meeple favorite and a real trailblazer, Tsuro: The Game of the Path from our friends at Calliope Games! When guests who are new to the hobby ask us for a recommendation, Tsuro is one of our go-to games. Few games offer newer gamers such an elegant blend of simple gameplay, strategy, and luck.

The goal of Tsuro is to be the last player with their marker on the board. The board, a 36 space square grid, is placed within easy reach of the players. Next, players place their chosen marker on the outside edge of the board on one of the start markers. Players are dealt three tiles which they keep secret from the other players. Each tile depicts four unique paths which create eight points on the tile. When the tiles are laid end to end, they create a path. On a player’s turn, that player will choose one tile in their hand and place it on the board in front of their marker. Then, the player will move their marker to the open end of the path. They will also move any other marker adjacent to the placed tile to the end of their new path. If this moves a marker off the edge of the board, that player is eliminated from the game. If the placed tile causes two players’ markers to meet, they are both eliminated. An eliminated player’s tiles are shuffled into a new draw pile. A player cannot willingly eliminate themselves unless no other move is available. The game ends when all but one player has been eliminated. This lone player is immediately declared the victor and wins the game.

What I like most about Tsuro is that this game is easily accessible to new players.  In many ways, it is a perfect gateway game. It doesn’t take long to explain and it doesn’t take long for the players to understand the rules and most of the strategy. Gameplay moves quickly with very little downtime. It is a light game that plays very well with multiple players, up to eight in fact. It also offers a good marriage of luck and strategy. This helps to level the playing field for gamers of varying levels of experience.

After giving Tsuro a try, if you want to take your experience to the next level be sure give Tsuro of the Seas a try! Tsuro of the Seas plays much like Tsuro, but with the added threat of the dreaded daikaiju! Not only must you avoid the machinations of the other players, but these fearsome sea monsters will seek to drag your vessel down to the murky depths!

The next time you visit the Ravenwood Castle or the Malted Meeple be sure to ask your game master for Tsuro: The Game of the Path and Tsuro of the Seas!

Jim Reed

Jim Reed is a lifelong gamer who started with the original red box Dungeons & Dragons. After spending 20 years in the corporate world, he decided it was high time that work be fun and struck out on his own. Jim now owns and operates Ravenwood Castle, and spends his days ensuring his guests have as much fun as he does.