Tokaido is a perfect and beautiful game for our family of 8!
The first thing you will notice is how stunning the look of Tokaido is. The colors are just brilliant. First, I don’t think I have ever seen another game with this much white space. To contrast that then with these points of bright, bright, almost neon bright, colors is just spectacular. It truly is a unique looking board. Once you put it on the table, people will immediately be interested.
The next thing our family loved about this game was the ease of rules. I watched a 5 minute video online about how to play it and we were off. I hope you heard that. 5 minutes is all it took to learn how to play it. When I played this game, we had several of our kids playing with us, and this is how I explained the game to them. “You want to score points. Now let’s just play.” Seriously, that is all I said, and the kids were able to learn to play as we played, just by placing their guys on certain places on the board and reading what the card associated with that spot told them to do. Man do I love easy to explain board games!
It should be noted that ease of directions does not necessarily mean a game that is too simple to be enjoyed. We were all surprised by the amount of depth that this game had. Really every turn gives you 3 or 4 decisions that all seem pretty darned good. Also, all of your decisions affect everyone in the game, thus making everyone want to pay close attention to what is happening on other’s turn. This creates a game with no downtime between turns. For my 8 year old that usually likes nothing unless it involves a ball and running, this was just what the doctor ordered in terms of keeping his attention.
The game was also not a very cut throat type of game. I don’t think there was one time when someone in our family chose to do a move that would intentionally hurt another player. In general they simply made moves to try and complete whatever strategy they were working on.
All in all, I was very impressed to find a game that all of us enjoyed from age 7 (even though the box says 8!) to 14, to 39! Plus the game only took about 40 minutes to play. Lovely.
Oh, and one last thing. We had an extra child (my 11 year old) that wanted to play as well, and so we thought we would just add an extra player (6 players now) in the mix to see if it would work. Surprise, it totally worked. Yeah! A new six player game for our family!
In summary, you will not want to miss this absolutely gorgeous game with simple rules, deep strategic decisions, and a relaxed atmosphere. Tokaido is a keeper.