Updated: Dec 4, 2019
In this game from Calliope, players take turns to lay tiles on a grid and sail their ship along the shipping lane indicated on the tile. The rules refer to the lanes as a wake, but it seems odd for the wake to be preceding the ship rather than following it.
In Tsuro of the Seas, players simply need to keep their ships on the board - avoiding a wake that sweeps them off the board and also avoiding the Daikaiju sea dragons that rotate and move according to the roll of two die and which swallow up any tiles or ships in a square they move into. The Daikaiju introduce tension into what would otherwise be a fairly staid tile-laying game but they also mean that there can be early and rather sudden player elimination.
If you don’t like games where players can be ejected and have to sit on the sidelines while others continue, then Tsuro of the Seas may not be the game for you. Of course, you could play it omitting the Daikaiju (which makes the game the same as the original version, Tsuro). However, Tsuro of the Seas does come with eight ships (for play with up to eight players), so it would not require much ingenuity to devise a house rule for a 2–4 player game whereby each controls two ships, reducing the likelihood of a player being knocked out early.
Tsuro of the Seas is a light family game. It is easy to teach and play, and it is attractively produced. There are other similar games out there, however, and some others involve a higher modicum of strategy. Tsuro is often compared, for example, with the abstract Ravensburger game Indigo, which we plan to feature in a future post.