I love Tokaido. Its probably one of my favorite games of all time. Which is weird for me because, generally speaking, I am a hate filled MF’er who has zero qualms about nuking your home-world and leaving your meeple lying dead in a ditch somewhere while I load your resources into my sketchy van. (all done while executing the Morris dance of victory)
But I’ve fallen in love with the zen like merriness of Tokaido…
The point of the game is to have a truly EPIC journey/holiday while you travel along the Tōkaidō road which (in a time before bullet trains) connected Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo). Much like our modern day equivalent the point of the game is to have a ‘better’ holiday than your peers (and then gloat about it on social media*)
*I think one-upmanship is one of the oldest human traits.
The premise is super simple, first you choose a period character…
They all have a slightly different tactical advantage. For example, the monk gains an extra point every time he donates money at a roadside temple. (charity after all equals dopamine and dopamine equals victory)
There are various ways to get ‘experience’ points on your journey. For example, painting landscapes and bathing with monkeys in hot springs. And…
Being a gourmand and eating lots of food…
If you discount the Robot Restaurant and my morbid fascination with Pachinko I’ve basically just described my own trip to Japan. (Temples. Hello Kitty Fridge magnets and lots of amazing food)
Beardy Joey taking selfies at the Imperial Palace.
I know, to say this is to espouse heresy on such a massive scale so as to risk stoning by polyhedrons. BUT… the IOS version of this game is also really, really good. In fact I’ll go so far to say its better than the board game original. Sure its not quite as social. But it makes up for it with nifty animations.
And you can play it by yourself. Something of which I am quite a fan.
In my opinion its a flawless port to an electronic medium and I really can’t fault it in any way.
Its fun, cheerful and unlikely to make you rage-quit and potentially Frisbee your iPad air across the room and into a wall. (LeHavre and Galaxy Trucker have both made me want to do this)
In fact other masturbation, Tokaido is (probably) the most fun you can have with yourself. I know, how many reviews pair meeples and beating the one eyed monster (or playing with the little man in the boat)? Probably not that many.
Unlike bashing the bishop, Tokaido is less likely to end in eternal damnation. And generally speaking it makes a lot less mess. Both solid wins imo.