The One Hundred Torii Review

The One Hundred Torii - Pencil First Games - $39.94
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Game title: The One Hundred Torii

Game description: Life’s a journey, not a destination. Find your path in a beautiful Japanese garden. In the Japanese tradition, the torii gate marks the transition into the sacred. Travel from fountains to flowers to shrines passing through as many torii gates as possible, while meeting vendors, poets, and even Samurai along the way.

Overall
4.3
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

From Wikipedia:

A torii (鳥居, literally bird abode, Japanese pronunciation: [to.ɾi.i]) is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the mundane to the sacred.[1]

A perfect symbol for a game as well made as Pencil First Game’s The One Hundred Torii.

Pros

  • Very well written rules
  • Tight and satisfying gameplay
  • Beautifully colorful artwork
  • Packing instructions included

Cons

  • LOTS of cardboard pieces to punch/store

Full The One Hundred Torii Review

From Wikipedia:

A torii (鳥居, literally bird abode, Japanese pronunciation: [to.ɾi.i]) is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the mundane to the sacred.[1]

A perfect symbol for a game as well made as Pencil First Game’s The One Hundred Torii.

The One Hundred Torii is a tile-laying and set collection game about strolling through a Japanese garden, taking in sights, talking with other people, and passing through torii. Each turn players may pay resources to ask for help from one of 5 characters, place one of their two tiles to connect paths, gather a landmark token, and earn achievements before drawing back up to 2 tiles. The trick to laying your tiles is that you want one of the landmarks on your tile connecting to another of the same landmark via paths. Crossing under torii on that path will earn you more tokens, but you always must take the shortest path to the nearest landmark of the same type.

toriitiles
Tiles can be placed adjacent to any other tile in any rotation

Characters, the Vendor, Samurai, Geisha, Poet, and Gardener, can help you draw new tiles, block new tiles from being placed, block a landmark so it may be passed for a further one, play two tiles, or even play a tile on top of another tile. Each time one is used more points can be earned. There’s also achievements to be earned for being the first player to collect 5 of each resource, 10 of 3 resources, or several enclosed paths.

torricharacters
The first player to use a character 3 times gets a 3 point bonus

The One Hundred Torii comes with an extremely well written set of rules explaining the game in such a way that you can learn in only 5 minutes, yet reference for play examples, character descriptions, and even facts about the inspirations behind each piece in the game. There’s even rules for solo play and an added sheet on how to pack the game’s various components back in the box.

That brings us to the one minor quibble about the game. There’s a ton of cardboard tokens that need to be punched, stored, and placed somewhere on the table during play. It’s highly recommended you have little bowls or such to easily organize all of them during play. Thankfully there’s little bags supplied to pack everything up in when you’re done.

What really makes The One Hundred Torii shine is how many meaningful choices a player can make with the simple action of placing a tile. The core mechanics of the game are so easy to grasp, yet there’s a depth of play that far exceeds that simplicity. Not only that, but every choice you make, from the first to the last, is meaningful. That’s important, because the game plays in around 45 minutes, and each of those minutes is packed full of action.

The One Hundred Torii is just like a stroll through a Japanese garden. You’ll want to return again and again to experience the joy of the activity. Just like walking through a traditional torii, you’ll be transported from the mundane to an experience that’s truly special.

A copy of The One Hundred Torii was provided free for review by Pencil First Games

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