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Tsuro board
DesignersTom McMurchie
PublishersCalliope Games
Playing time15 minutes

Tsuro is a tile-based board game designed by Tom McMurchie, originally published by WizKids and now published by Calliope Games.

Tsuro is a board game for two to eight players. To play, players compete to have the last playing piece remaining on the board. Player turns consist of placing tiles on the board from the player's hand. Then they move their respective pieces along these paths. Players are eliminated by following a path that ends at the board edge.

There have also been a number of differently themed Tsuro editions and expansions released, beginning with Tsuro of the Seas. Although core gameplay remains the same, some versions feature expanded rules or larger boards.

The name of the game is taken from the Japanese word tsūro (wikt:通路) meaning "route". The word, written in kanji, appears in the art on the game board.


Tsuro playing pieces

The game is played on a square board that is divided into a six-by-six grid of squares. There are eight player markers, thirty-five standard path tiles, and one Dragon tile. Before the game begins, the Dragon tile is set aside.

To start, each player chooses a different colored playing piece and places their marker on any of the white notches that surround the edge of the board; each edge has twelve notches. The path tiles are shuffled and each player is dealt three path tiles; the remainder are left as a draw pile. Each turn includes a tile-laying phase and then a marker movement phase. The turn ends with the active player drawing another path tile.[1]

In each turn, the active player must place a tile in the square adjacent to their piece.[1] Once placed, the piece moves along the line in front of it.[1] If the placed tile connects to the path that another player's piece is on, the other (inactive) player must move their piece to the end of the line on the newly-placed tile. Sometimes this will cause the piece to go off the board, in which case that player is eliminated. The active player may not choose to connect their path to the edge of the board (eliminating themself), unless no other move is available.[1] If two pieces end up on the same path, both players are out.[1] The unused path tiles of the players that are eliminated are shuffled into the draw pile.[1] The winner is the player with the last remaining marker on the board.

The Dragon tile is only used when there are three or more players. When there are no more tiles to draw from, the player takes the Dragon tile. This is to indicate that they will draw from the pile after the eliminated players give up their unplayed tiles, regardless of whether they are the active player or not. The Dragon tile is set aside once the draw pile has been restocked.[1]


Numbering convention for entry points

There are thirty-five possible permutations for a four-sided tile with two entry points per side and four paths linking the eight points.[2][3] In the table below, tiles are named according to the connected points. Points are numbered sequentially anti-clockwise from the left point on the bottom edge, so the bottom edge contains points 1 (left) and 2 (right), the right edge contains points 3 (lower) and 4 (upper), the top edge contains points 5 (right) and 6 (left), and the left edge contains points 7 (upper) and 8 (lower). The nomenclature AB-CD-EF-GH indicates that points A and B are connected, C and D are connected, E and F are connected, and G and H are connected. A single 90° rotation anti-clockwise will increment each number by 2 (modulo 8) to determine path connections when rotated.

Planes of symmetry Possible rotational orientations Tiles
Quadruple (vertical, horizontal, and both diagonals) 1
Double (vertical and horizontal) 2
(both diagonals) 2
Single (vertical or horizontal, depending on orientation) 4
(one diagonal) 4
None (left & right-handed pairs) 4

Alternate Editions and Expansions[edit]

After Calliope Games began publishing Tsuro, different versions and spin-offs of the game were created. The game also has an App created by Thunderbox Entertainment. There were different languages made for the game including a German, a Greek and a multilingual version. The first Tsuro spin-off created was Tsuro of the Seas. The game was published by Calliope Games in 2012.[4] The game's creators included the original creator of Tsuro, Tom McMurchie, and Jordan Weisman.[4]

Tsuro of the Seas has a few changed gameplay aspects and visuals, including player pieces shaped like boats. The main addition is the daikaiju tiles, which remove any player that lands on them from the game. They are placed on the board randomly at the start of (and occasionally during) the game, and move randomly as the game progresses, consuming any tiles or players in their path. The board is also slightly larger, 7x7 instead of 6x6. [5]

Tsuro of the Seas later received an expansion called Veterans of the Seas, published in 2013 by Calliope Games.[6] This expansion includes four new types of tiles that all do different things. There is the mystical portal tile that moves ships and daikaiju tiles to new paths on the board. The tsunami tile moves steadily across the board, giving players a new obstacle they must overcome by rolling a die. If the player does not roll high enough they are eliminated from the game. The whirlpool tile destroys all ships and daikaiju tiles it comes in contact with. The cannon tiles are a defensive card players can use to defend themselves from daikaiju.[6]

The German version of Tsuro was published in 2007 by KOSMOS.[7] Besides the language translation, the game's individual player pieces were little tree figures instead of the dragon stones.

Tsuro also has a Star Wars-themed spin-off called Asteroid Escape. This version of Tsuro was published in 2011 by Abysse Corp.[8] Even though it was published before Tsuro of the Seas, it has all the same rules and has a spaceship and asteroid theme. In this game the daikaiju tiles are replaced with asteroid tiles and player's individual pieces are cardboard spaceships instead of boats.[8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Tsuro Game Rules". Ultra Board Games. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  2. ^ Garrity, Mike (January 7, 2012). "Path Tile Games". Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Number of distinct Tsuro tiles which are square and have n points per side". The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Tsuro of the Seas". Casual Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 2017-12-05. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  5. ^ "The Monsters at the Edge of the World: A Review of Tsuro of the Seas". Casual Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 2017-12-05. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  6. ^ a b "Tsuro of the Seas: Veterans of the Seas". BoardGameGeek. Archived from the original on 2017-12-04. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  7. ^ "Tsuro". BoardGameGeek. Archived from the original on 2017-12-04. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  8. ^ a b "Asteroid Escape". BoardGameGeek. Archived from the original on 2017-12-04. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  9. ^ "Pyramid: Pyramid Review: Tsuro: The Game of the Path".

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