TOURIA from RnR GAMES (and HUCH & Friends)
A colloboration design between Inka & Markus Brand & Michael Rieneck
TOURIA is for 2-4 players aged from 10 up. Games take about 60-75 minutes
Klemens Franz provides incredibly peachy illustrations throughout.
Available online from $25.00 US to £40.00 UK
To begin with you have to assemble the four towers, ensuring that you place the top sections so that they align (by type) with the sides. These tops are guides for players so they can know the order of the sides of the towers without having to pick them up; the box is also created deep enough so that once assembled there is no need to disassemble them after each game. Also it is advisable for your first few games that players sit on each side of the table rather than side by side, because on their turn they can take the Action associated with the one of the sides that are directly facing them. After the Action is taken the tower is turned 90 degrees anti-clockwise presenting you with a new possible Action next turn. At the beginning of your turn you may pay one sword to rotate a tower 90 degrees. After you have played a few times then you can make the game that little bit more tactical by having the players sit side by side (2 on each side of the table in a four player game) so that by rotating the towers you are either aiding or impeding the player next to you.
The object of the game is to collect a number of Hearts and an amount of Gold so that you can ask for the hand in marriage of the Princess or Prince of Touria, aka the Land of the Dancing Towers. You must have at least 7 Hearts and 7 Gold (5 and 5 to get acquainted with the rules and also if you want a shorter game) but amongst your possessions you may have zero, zip, nada, nought, none, no, Black Gems as they are cursed and will not bode well for the upcoming nuptials.
Our suggested Table setting. Please note that these illustrations are all our own work and nothing whatsoever to do with the game.
The board is constructed of roads, specific Locations of a circular design, hexagonal spaces including Mines and Bridges, and the central Castle through which the adventure party can travel and where they will eventually end the game by reaching the Altar and begin their search of the nine Doors to try to find the Children of the King.The Doors section of the game is pure luck and can be a bit harsh on players who have plotted their way to victory only to have it snatched away from them because they opened the wrong door, therefore there is a rule that allows the first player to collect the dowery and get the adventure party to the Chapel's Altar in the Castle wins immediately.
TOURIA is not a cooperative game so it's at first a surprise to learn that there is only one Adventure Party (represented by a Stand-Up token). On their turn the Players can move the Adventurers Zero to Three spaces along the roads for free and then can pay Gold to move further, one Gold piece per step after 3. They may never stop at an interim (hexagonal) space, even a Mine, though as they pass through they may collect one or more of the Gems available (if there are 2 different coloured Gems they can select one of them to take, but if one or both of the 2 Gems is Black they have to take both of them); Gems can be spent at the Trader's space for Gold. Purple Gems are rare and have a special ability - they allow you to take the same Action twice, one after the other, so for instance instead of collecting 2 Swords at the Swordmasters you would collect four.
One of the beauties of TOURIA is that everything you collect is valuable in its own way and can be used or traded to assist you in your Quest, except Black Gems which you need to be able to dispose of before you can win. Elixirs allow the other players to repeat the Action the in Turn player has just taken; you have to give the Elixir to the player in Turn. When we3 first started playing we were loathe to give away our Elixirs but we soon worked out that if you do use them they fly around between the players.
TOURIA isn't card based and although there is a die (with 6 different coloured faces) it isn't a Dice based game either. It is a game of decision-making with a little luck and a little planning. The Tower Actions are detailed on a separate sheet - there are 2 sheets with a different language translation on each side, English, Dutch, German and French. Each game obviously plays similar to the previous ones but the positioning of the Towers, the position around the table players sit, and the appropriation and the randomness of Magic Items from the Forest Fairy all go to keeping the gameplay fresh.
TOURIA looks good, plays good and is a neat variation on games of this genre.It also has a short story associated with the land of the Dancing Towers which is told along the bottom edge of the Rules Booklet by various characters from the Land. It makes for fun reading and is also mildly helpful to players in their decision making.