Game review: Touria, the magical land of the dancing towers
Posted April 11
The race is on to capture the affection of princess Tara or prince Talan. R&R Game's Touria board game sends two to four players on a quest in a fairy-tale kingdom to find gems, craft jewelry, fight dragons and compete in tournaments to win true love.
First off, a beautifully illustrated board is placed on the table depicting a fantasy kingdom filled with towering mountains, green valleys, fertile fields and lush forests, with a huge castle in the middle. At the center of the board is an enormous castle that is the final objective of the game.
The overall goal in Touria is to acquire seven or more hearts (for love), seven or more gold pieces (for the king) and no cursed gems (no one likes curses) and bring them to the castle. All players control the same game piece and move it on their turns to visit the locations they want to. However movement is controlled by an exciting new game mechanism, dancing towers.
Four three-dimensional towers are set up at the four corners of the board. Each player should position him or herself behind one of the towers. Each side of the tower shows an action that can be performed. Sitting behind a tower, a player can see his or her own tower as well as the three others. Players can select any one of the actions on the right side of any tower in view.
Once an action is taken, a player then rotates his or her own tower 90 degrees counter-clockwise, which changes the available actions for the next player's turn. This mechanism is so much fun to play. It's an ingenious way to determine actions and is something never seen in a board game before.
Keep in mind that throughout the kingdom are destinations that must be reached by taking tower actions. When a player reaches a destination he or she may perform the activity at that location. For example, if a player visits the wizard, he can change one sword into one heart or three gold coins. But swords can only be acquired from the swordmaster.
There is so much to do in the kingdom. There are a variety of people to visit. There are magic items, elixirs and cursed gems to acquire. These things give a lot of variety to the game and make sure the same game is never played twice.
After visiting different locations in the kingdom and gathering and exchanging the right resources, players will eventually have what they need to head for the castle. But it isn't over yet.
At the castle, there are nine doors to choose from but only one has the prince and princess behind it. Choose wisely! The other doors have members of the royal court who will demand a certain item. If that item is discarded by the current player, he or she may open another door. If the item is not discarded, the current player ends his or her turn. Additional doors can be opened on future turns, but that gives time for other players to approach the castle and possibly win.
Touria is an excellent family game. From the gorgeous artwork to the easy to understand game rules, there is enough going on here that younger players and older players will be delighted. Again, the tower movement mechanism is something special, and questing for the necessary items throughout the kingdom takes strategic planning. All in all this is a fantastic medium-weight game that will thrill families at the next game night together.