Board Games, Video Games

App Review: Tokaido

Tokaido is a game I’ve been hearing about for some time, but I have to admit I just didn’t understand why it was getting so much praise. The art of the physical board game although pretty, just didn’t really speak to me. So instead of picking up the analog version I decided to spring for the digital app.

For around $3 on Google Play or iOS you can get this amazing digital version of the acclaimed board game. If you haven’t played Tokaido, you play a traveler making their way across the Japanese countryside, purchasing souvenirs, meeting new friends, painting various panoramas, working on farms, stopping at inns and eating their food.

Travelers move in a line, stopping at the various locations. Except for inns, where everyone stops, travelers cannot occupy the same location. The player moving can move as far ahead as they like, skipping locations, but this opens up extra spaces for players moving after them. Tokaido feels like a race that doesn’t reward players for moving too quickly.

Nearing every location gives you points in some way- whether that’s by collecting a set (panoramas), a majority (donations to the temple), eating food, or collecting gifts. Still, the game does have some interesting decisions and works very well as an app.

The best part about the app version of Tokaido is the presentation. Instead of just graphically recreating the board game, the game uses its own 3D models and effects. The result is a wonderful app that, although playing like a strategy board game, invokes feelings of playing something like to The Sims. Although for some people the style of strategy and gameplay of Tokaido may not be the most exciting, the presentation and personality of this app is completely top notch and will likely appeal to just about anything. I give it a huge recommendation: a 9 out of 10

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