OBJECTIVE OF TSURO: Be the last person with a marker on the board.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 8 players
MATERIALS: 35 path tokens, 8 marker stones of assorted color, 1 game board, and 1 tile marked with a dragon
TYPE OF GAME: Strategic game
AUDIENCE: Kids and adults 6+
Tsuro is a strategic game that requires some planning and forethought. Tsuro is played by placing tiles on the board and creating paths that your marker will follow. Just be careful though, if the path you or another player makes sends you off the board you have lost.
There are 35 unique path tiles in Tsuro and each of them contains 4 paths and 8 exit points; Meaning on every tile there will be four white lines. Paths are made by connecting these lines by their endpoints. These tiles are used to fill the game board with paths that the character markers must follow. The paths may cross each other at some points put the path continues with no sharp turns.
HOW TO SETUP TSURO
Setting up Tsuro is relatively easy. You must get the game board out and set it on a flat and even surface that all players can reach easily. Then each player may pick a marker to use in the game.
Get all the tiles out of the box and remove the tile marked with a dragon, this is used later in the game and is not part of the 35 path tiles. Next, shuffle the path tiles and hand each player three, this will be their hands. The rest are set to the side in a draw pile available to all players.
HOW TO PLAY TSURO
The game begins with the oldest of the group going first. They begin by placing their marker on one of the ticks at the edge of the board that marks the ends of a path. Then continuing clockwise, each other player will do the same, but no two players can be on the same path edge.
Once everyone has placed their marker on the edge of the board the first player can take their first turn. The player taking their turn currently is always called the active player, this will be important later. The active player’s turn has three parts: play a path tile, move the markers, and draw tiles.
Play a Path Tile
The first part of every turn includes playing one of your path tiles in your hand. You take the tile and place it on the board in an open square, but it must be played next to your marker. Tiles can be played in an orientation.
Tiles have a few rules you must follow to place them. They may not be placed in such a way that it would send your marker off the board unless this is your only move, but near the end of the game, this will be a possibility. When a player plays a tile, the tile will not be moved for the rest of the game.
Move the Markers
After a tile is placed you must then move yours and every other marker affected. If any markers are sent off the board, the player that that marker belongs to loses the game. When this happens all the tiles in that player’s hand are shuffled into the draw pile.
At the beginning of a game (and always in a two-player game) tiles are only drawn by the active player. The active player draws a tile to end their turn. This tile becomes part of their hand for their next turn.
Once it gets farther in the game players will start to draw tiles outside of their turns when they do not have a full, three tile hand. Once this happens, starting with the active player and continuing clockwise players with less than three tiles will draw one tile and continue until all players have three tiles or the draw pile is empty. There is only one exception to this rule, the dragon tile.
The tile marked with a dragon comes into play later in the game. It is only given out when a player needs to draw a tile and cannot because the pile is empty. The first player to experience this is given the dragon tile.
When tiles become available later, instead of the active player drawing first, the player with the dragon token sets aside their dragon tile and draws the first tile and then it continues clockwise from them.
The game is won if you are the last one to remain on the board.