After an exhausting return to work, I really wanted a lighter fare today. I broke out Tsuro, having seen it played with Wil Wheaton on Tabletop years ago. In Tsuro, players take turns placing tiles to move their dragons around the board. Each tile has four paths, so each edge of the tile has two paths touching it. If a dragon goes off the board, the player is out of the game. If it collides with another dragon, both players are out. Last one on the board wins. Tsuro is a short game, almost a micro game, so I expect this post to follow suit.

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The game is recommended for ages 8 and up. I sat my whole family down to play. My two year old, just enjoyed sitting with the family, drawing replacement tiles and fidgeting with the spare dragons from the box. Both of my other kids, ages four and six, were able to play successfully with minimal help. I think this could easily be ages 5 and up, as long as the player is okay with player elimination.This will depend on the kid, although I know 30 year old individuals that are not okay with this mechanism either.

The game started with all five players spread out. I was ‘helping’ Tesla, my youngest. She would pick one of her three tiles, and I would place it with the best move I could. Afraid of one another, we all stayed fairly spread out. Playing tiles, laughing and having fun. All at once we were paired up. Zeb and Tesla were on the same edge of a tile, and Ripley and I were situated so that one tile would activate both our dragons.

It was Zeb’s turn. He had two choices, make both him and Tesla (who couldn’t care less) fly off the board, or make them collide with each other. We had to talk him down from the brink of tantrum, explaining that when five people play a game like this, only one can win. It’s not about winning, it about having fun with each other. I explained that he was about to lose, and make his sister lose too. If he was upset, so would be too. I think its an odd thing, whether you’re 6 or 60, to need to take an action that the only outcome is your own defeat. He decided to force him and his sister to collide, with explosive car crash sound effects -odd for a dragon crash.

I went next, and my only move was to eliminate both Ripley and myself. I think that was easier for Ripley than Zeb, because it wasn’t her causing her own loss, and she was able to see her brother recover fairly well. With that, my wife won…her third unique game in a row.

After the kids went to bed we played two more games. The first game, I was tired of losing. I choose my placement to be as close to Cortnie’s dragon as possible. I chased her around, forcing her to crash into me -draw, still not breaking my losing streak.

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The final game of the night was much like the first. Cortnie easily controlled the board, and won again. I’d recommend Tsuro to anyone in need of a family game, or a quick filler.

 

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