Tokaido

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Tokaido App Poster Image
Clever adaptation of board game can be confusing at first.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Simple touch controls, but game itself isn't explained well.

Violence
Sex
Language

No moderation when it comes to usernames, which are displayed when playing other people online. But no communication with other players possible.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tokaido is a video game version of the board game of the same name. As such, it doesn't have any inappropriate content in the game itself. There's also no communication between participants when you're playing online, though there's also nothing stopping someone from picking a username that includes curse words or other naughty language. Read the app's privacy policy on the game's website to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

In TOKAIDO, a video game version of a board game, you have to earn the most number of victory points before getting to the third restaurant. This is done by moving your game piece along a linear board and picking where to stop. Each stop does something different, such as give you a piece of a painting or ask you to donate to the temple, though they all basically give you victory points or money you can use at other stops to buy victory points (or food -- there's a lot of food in this game).

Is it any good?

While this brings the inventive board game to tablets, its awkwardly placed tutorial initially makes it needlessly difficult for those unfamiliar with the original game. In Tokaido, you move your character along a linear game board that has multiple points you can stop at. Some have people who help you out, some will give you things you need, while some give you pieces of a panorama. Except that unlike in many board games, you don't roll dice or spin a wheel to determine which point you stop at. Instead, you chose where to go, provided someone isn't there already, and it's not behind you. Well, except for the restaurant; everyone's welcome there at the same time. The idea being that you're trying to earn the most number of "Victory Points" before everyone reaches the third and final restaurant. The thing is, while there's a tutorial, it's not readily apparent when you first start the game. Instead, you have to click on the "Settings" icon and uncheck the box next to where it says "Tutorial Mode." Which is not only odd, but also problematic, since this game can be a little confusing if you've never played before. Granted, there are "?" icons above each stop that tell you what happens if you go there, and it's not hard to figure this out if you play a couple games on your own before trying to play other people, which you can do online or by passing your tablet around like it's a plate of sushi. Either way, Tokaido is an intriguing adaptation of the board game...once you figure it out, that is.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about profanity. This game doesn't stop someone from using a name that's profane, but given that it's meant for kids and adults, do you think it's inappropriate to label a profile with profanity?

  • Talk about marketing to kids. Does playing this game make you want to buy the physical version?

App details

For kids who love board games

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