In case you hadn't noticed, our family loves to play a variety of games. Sometimes we need something simple and elegant, other times we need something a bit more complex. Both categories of games keep us on our toes and I'm delighted to report that today we are recommending one of each type of game!
Tsuro: The Game of the Path is quite genius in its simplicity and its newest sibling, Tsuro: Rise of the Phoenix, takes that brilliancy to the next level by adding new complications that make the gears in your brain really move!
Note: Calliope Games graciously sent us the games to try out. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own, as always.
Calliope Games has several iterations of Tsuro, and Tsuro: The Game of the Path is the original. Players use tiles to create paths along which they move their tokens (colored stones marked with a dragon). The objective is to create paths in such a way that keep you moving but force your opponents off the board.
In Tsuro: Phoenix Rising, players still aim to create strategic paths, but the game introduces new elements. Tiles are double sided, and are rotated as players move across the board. In addition, small lanterns are scattered across the board, which players can convert into stars and collect. The tokens are in the shape of a phoenix and in a wonderful twist, players have a chance to rise from the ashes using their life token.
Note: a third game, Tsuro: Game of the Seas is also available.
Why Play Tsuro?
Calliope Games recommends both games for 2-8 players ages 8 and up. Possibly, Tsuro: The Game of the Path can be played with younger siblings, but the age recommendation is accurate for Tsuro: Phoenix Rising. Both games are easy to learn and take about 20 minutes to play with 2 people.
While Tsuro is a strategy game, it is "strategy light." My youngest son, who doesn't really like super-strategic multi-player games (e.g. chess!) really enjoyed Tsuro, not least because of the theme of dragons and phoenixes, which brings me to my next point.
Tsuro's fantasy element is very appealing! You will recall from my review of Mystic Market that my kids love, love, love fantastical elements. Dragons and phoenixes are just about my youngest son's favorite things in the entire world. Calliope Games has created a fun backstory for each game that allowed his imagination to soar.
Still not convinced? Watch the two videos below to see the games in action!
Watch Tsuro: Game of the Path played: