Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Tokaido Crossroads: The First Expansion

Game– Tokaido Crossroads: The First Expansion

Producer– Passport Games

Price– ~$20

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 45 minutes

TL; DR– Additional choice for a great game 95%

 

Basics– Greetings traveler, what can I get you?  The Crossroads expansion for Tokaido adds more characters and location options to the Tokaido base game.  Now, each space has two options instead of the standard one.  Players can take the option from the original game or take new options such as gambling instead of working at the farm, getting blessed items at the temple instead of donations, and buying legendary items at the shops.  The game still has the same goals, and the person with the most points wins at the end of the game as usual.

 

Mechanics– This expansion adds an interesting mix to the game.  It’s fun, but some of the new mechanics are almost too different than the previous game.  The gambling mechanic doesn’t have the same euro feel as the base game as it’s a straight dice roll.  I do like what I see with this game though.  The new options add some much needed choices.  You still get a random draw for most of the locations, but now you have two decks to draw from.  Adding those new decks brings some new life to this game.  I liked it before, and I still like it now.  4.5/5

 

Theme– For theme, this is better than the original.  You’re on a journey, and this expansion really adds some new options to your adventure.  The option like buying a blessing instead of a donation does add to the feeling of being on the open road.  I don’t feel a railroaded as I did before.  I feel more like a tourist in feudal Japan now more than ever. 5/5

 

Instructions– Well done.  The new rules are explained well, and some points are really well clarified BEFORE I have to run to BGG to find some answers.  This expansion isn’t a brain buster, but the rules do tell you how to play well. 5/5

 

Execution– This expansion has the same minimalistic style of the original game.  Its sleek, white packaging is well done.  The cards are the same small, good cardstock as before.  The characters are the same hard cardboard as before.  It also adds a nice new board for the new cards which is a nice touch.  I liked what I saw before, and I like what I see now.  It is a little expensive for the amount you get in the expansion though. 4.5/5

 

Summary– I liked this one a lot.  Tokaido needed a bit of fresh life as the game can get a little stale if you play with the same players.  The base game is a good, light euro game, but this game adds a bit more randomness and some more choice.  That choice really adds a lot to the replay of this game.  The expansion isn’t more of the same, and that my affect some player’s views.  But, I liked it.  Well done instructions and components compliment the great theme and additional mechanics of the game.  A great expansion for when you want a bit more choice in a lighter game. 95%

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