Board games have found a nice home on iOS, and more and more are making the transition to digital. Tsuro is a new digital board game that revolves around making paths from given tiles for your stone to stay on the board for as long as possible. You’re given three tiles in your deck, and each tile has multiple paths to align with one another as they’re placed together on the board. Tsuro supports one to eight players to range from a solitaire challenge to a frenzy of players.
The first thing you’ll notice about Tsuro is the design that mimics the physical board game, and still accents it with digital flourishes. It looks as though you can touch the board, and yet each stone tile moves by itself with a colorful trail following the stone to highlight its path. Beyond the design, what really makes Tsuro stand out is that the developers have thought of everything to flesh out the experience in the best manner on iOS. It’s great that you can play at any time by yourself with online leaderboards for the longest distance your stone can travel. Then, you can play with up to seven different AI opponents with three difficulties to choose from that you can mix and match within one game. There’s also local pass and play multiplayer as well as turn based online multiplayer through Facebook. You can mix and match local players with AI components of three difficulties, and keep changing the number of players.
Tsuro might be a new board game to you with all new rules and mechanics, but it’s presented in a very friendly manner. The game provides an accessible style, and then there’s a lot of nuances to pick up on as you play in various ways. The digital version also gives you three game modes with a different objective for each one whether it’s being the last player remaining, creating the longest path, or forming the most loops. The objectives change your strategy completely as you will play different tiles based on whether you want a long path or to stay on the board. The game plays a bit slowly at first as it cycles through AI opponents turns, but there’s an optional turbo mode to activate that takes away another potential complaint.
The developers have truly thought of everything with the player in mind to create a wide, appealing and compelling game experience. The digital implementation is great, and part of that is from building on the core mechanics. Tsuro is an intriguing board game experience as each tile you place will have repercussions later on. Not only that, but you can place tiles that can hurt your opponents as the ultimate goal is to not slide off the edge of the board. You could place a tile that leads an opponent right to the edge, and they just have to watch it happen. It also feels great when you place a tile to create a long connecting path for your stone to slide all over the board, and still not slide off. The game feels new each time you play, especially as you change the objective, number of players, AI difficulties, and more.
Tsuro ($3.99, Universal) is a phenomenal digital board game experience that is s must have on iOS.