Tokyo Highway by Itten Review


Publisher: Itten

Game Type: Board Games as art, dexterity, worker placement (light)

Designer: Naotaka Shimamoto

Initial Year of Release: 2016

Designer: Yoshiaki Tomioka

Artist: Yoshiaki Tomioka

Theme and What is it?

Tokyo is a burgeoning metropolis, on the edge of a highway nightmare. Therefore, Naotaka and Yoshiaki have designed a game that is dexterity in nature, but made to test your highway design skills and your ability to drive and navigate the poorly made infrastructure.

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Gameplay Mechanics

  1. Place a pillar.
  2. Place a bridge.
  3. Place a car if it crosses opponents road, their pillars do not count. It must also be the highest bridge, or lowest bridge to count.
  4. Place more than one car, if it crosses more than one road of opponent. (1 for 1, 2 for 2, etc.)

This is Tokyo Highway. This is all there is. Yet, it just seems to work.

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Initial Impressions

I wanted to get my hands on this, ever since I saw the first images of it. It is just graphically suited to pictures.

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Game Build Quality

The entire game is wood. In my opinion, I love wood parts. If feels better than most plastics. It just has more character.

The rest of the game is pretty simple. The rules are a single sheet of paper. They are in multiple languages. More games are focusing on build quality, or theme and art, and this is no exception.

UPDATE: The game is now under the umbrella of Asmodee, and has been upgraded to a big box, and a few extra things. Asmodee has made the game a must-have.

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Artistic Direction

This is where the art snob in me comes out. This game is SUPER simple.

The text is visually striking, but there is no “art” in the way I generally think of it.

With that being said, there is NOTHING wrong with that. The game is fun, not all games have to focus on art, as they have a game interesting enough that the art is irrelevant.

Moreover, the game I would consider a “designer art” title, where the art is made by playing the game.

Fun Factor

Tokyo Highway by Itten Review 5I very much liked my time with Tokyo Highway. It is not dexterity in the classic sense of just being dexterity. It also takes careful planning to prevent the opponent from having moves that will negatively affect you.

The game can be played by almost anyone, and they can have fun.

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Age Range & Weight

The official age range is 8+.

I think that is probably appropriate on the basis that it takes someone with more adult dexterity to not continuously destroy the highway system.

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When Itten gets us a permanent copy of Tokyo Highway, it will likely be either a Top Shelf game, or at least a higher shelf. I can see this game getting a lot of playtime. It takes little time, but feels like a complete gaming experience.

I would highly suggest this game as a gateway game for ANYONE not into gaming. It is approachable, and allows a more serious gamer to plan out their moves in a satisfying way, and at the same time, allows a non-gamer to enjoy the feeling and aesthetic of the highway.Tokyo Highway by Itten Review 8


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