Parents' Guide to

Tokaido

By Paul Semel, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Clever adaptation of board game can be confusing at first.

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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.

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