9/10 A personal favorite, but others can expect caveats
Steam for PC – $9.99
Apple and Google Play – $1.99
This week, I’m reviewing several different board game apps. These reviews are primarily looking at the quality of the app and content. The first review featured Scythe (click here).
Tokaido was one of the earlier digital board game adaptations and is still among the best. The board has been enhanced with 3D animations that don’t clutter the screen. The clean, original track and icons are also on the bottom of the screen, and you can click locations there to jump to them on the board. The character models look excellent and have nice animations, and the board has plenty of detail (such as animated boats in the water) while maintaining the minimalist aesthetic of the original.
It doesn’t run particularly smoothly on devices (but perhaps better on newer ones), but runs perfectly on PC. There are a few downsides, however. For starters, while you can play against AI, they have no adjustable difficulty. It seems they operate semi-randomly and can do well or very poorly. To be fair, without the expansion, it has a rather low skill ceiling. It was also a bit of a challenge figuring out exactly how to connect with a friend and play multi-player (and many players report not being able to get it working at all). The panoramas, while they have a neat parallax effect to them, seem a bit low-res, perhaps a side effect of cutting them up for the parallax effect. Lastly, and most importantly, despite coming out years ago, it never received any further support—not a single expansion. This is a shame because the Crossroads expansion is excellent and adds a lot to the game.
Though replayability is low without the expansions (Crossroads, mainly), Tokaido’s digital implementation is a relaxing experience enhanced by the animations, rich colors, and great music. It’s also a quick game to play whenever you need to relax. Despite the lack of support, it’s one of my personal favorites thanks in part to the setting and immersion. But for most, it might only be worthwhile on sale (and you might have difficulty playing with friends).