Tsuro is one of the latest physical board games to make the jump to mobile. In it, players place tiles on the board to create a path for their piece to move along. Be careful though, as moving off of the board or crashing into another player will eliminate you from the game. While the board game might be a popular one, is it something you should also pick up for your phone?
This game makes the curious decision to go with form over function. It has beautiful graphics, as it portrays you playing the physical board resting on the sand. However, it does come at a cost. The frilly nature of the game’s looks make it a somewhat less than ideal way to play. For example, the annoyingly long intro to the game isn’t skippable. Similarly problematic is the game’s viewing angle. With the board at an isometric angle, the back area of the board is not as easy to see as the front. It’s not perfect, but some might be fine with this concession in exchange for its pretty looks.
This is a game that can be played with 1-8 players. You can play it alone, have AI fill in, or have friends play locally. Unfortunately, there is no online option. Each player will start with their token at the edge of the board and dealt three path tiles. On your turn, you’ll play one tile and follow the path. You want to stay on the path longer than your opponents, so you’ll want to avoid collisions or flying off the board.
The coolest part of the game occurs when you cleverly place a piece in a way that creates a path that spans across multiple tiles and weaves you out of harm’s way. It’s also great to create a path that drives someone else off of the board or into an accident. However, a fundamental flaw of this game’s design is that it features player elimination. If you get bumped, you’re done for the rest of the game. This is particularly disappointing if you’re playing an eight-player game. With friends, avoid large player counts. By yourself, you can at least forfeit early and start again.
Tsuro on iOS is a pretty, albeit bare-bones implementation of the board game. You get the same gameplay of the physical version in a form that could have been a bit more user friendly with no additional modes or online play. I like the simple elegance of the gameplay, though player elimination makes it problematic in large groups. If you’re already a fan of the physical board game and want to play the authentic version on your phone, here it is. Otherwise, I don’t think there’s enough in this package to keep you interested for long.