Over the years, many board games have found their way to the iOS. The latest title to follow the trend is Tsuro, a tile-based board game designed by Tony McMurchie. And Tsuro the app is a beautiful port that you wouldn’t want to miss.
How to Play
Tsuro is playable by 2-8 people. Each turn you get three tiles, then lay one down in front of your token in order to make a path that begins from the edge of the board and travels around the interior. You stay in the game as long as your token doesn’t collide with another player’s token or reach the edge of the board. The goal of the game is to be the last player with a token on the board.
This becomes more difficult over time as more tiles are placed and fewer empty spaces are left. You also have to consider the possibility of another player’s tile extending your own path into a direction you might not want to go. Similarly, your own tile choices may affect other paths across the board.
Tsuro, the App
Tsuro the app brings the original game to life for tablets and smartphones. In designing the app, the developer has decided to recreate every component of the game in detail. This includes the box, which you slide open to start the game. The beautiful board will unfold before you with graceful animation, and you can choose your token from a colorful set of stones etched with tiny dragons.
In the original Tsuro, the winner is the last player with a token on the board. The app respects this rule, and adds two new winning conditions: Most Loops and Longest Path. You can select the rule you prefer when starting a new game.
Tsuro supports up to 8 players, around one device or online. Please note that Facebook is required for online multiplayer. If you’re not so keen to play online, alternatively you can battle against AI opponents with three types of personalities (Silly, Clever, or Tricky). You can also play Solo mode and focus on building the longest path possible.
For those who enjoy collecting achievements, there are over 50 of them to unlock. Some of these are quite entertaining, for example, you get an achievement if you are eliminated by a Silly AI.
Parents Need to Know
Tsuro is a game of strategy, but overall it is fairly simple. An average game takes around 15 minutes to complete. Tsuro is great for ages 6+ and can make an excellent introduction to more complex board games.
Tsuro the app has no third-party advertising and no in-app purchases. However, it contains links to social media and external sites. At the end of every game, players can share the results to Facebook and Twitter. Internet connection is required for Facebook multiplayer, but not for pass-and-play and versus AI modes.
Things I Like
Tsuro is a deceptively simple game. Learning the rules to play is easy, but mastering the game is a different task altogether. New players tend to focus on building safe paths that don’t take them off the board right away, but seasoned players think several steps ahead to plot more strategic routes. These hidden depths make Tsuro a classic that you would want to play over and over again.
Tsuro, the app, is an exquisite port. From the moment you slide open the virtual game box, the app manages to recreate the tactile experience of playing the cardboard version. You can tell that a lot of care went into the visuals, especially the animations. The little details in the sounds, like the shuffling of the cards or the pleasant grinding of the stone token as it slides along the path, also serve to enhance the gaming experience.
The game modes are great. I did not care for the Facebook multiplayer, but the pass-and-play and versus AI modes worked really well. For me personally, Tsuro is a game best played face-to-face.
My one problem with the app is that with the isometric view, it is sometimes difficult to tell which path my token will take. An option to switch to 2D view would be nice, or at least a zoom button. Another feature I would love to see is an option to turn off the social network features to make the game more family friendly.
Tsuro is an elegant board game that will appeal to all ages. The iOS port is excellent and successful in its attempt to preserve the tactile experience of playing the cardboard version. Support for online multiplayer and original challenges add to the game’s replay value. If you love strategic games that are pleasant to play, Tsuro is a must-have.
App was provided for our honest review.
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