Sometimes, all you need is a nice, peaceful walk through a beautiful, zen garden. In The One Hundred Torii you’ll get just that! While on your journey, you’ll meet all different people and visit various landmarks which will all add to your experiences in victorious ways! Get ready to enjoy the journey!
What Is It?
A tile-laying game for 2 to 4 where players work to build long paths through a Japanese garden. They want to collect landmark tokens which they’ll ultimately turn in for points, and they’ll get more tokens the more gates they are able to cross through on their path. Players can also earn points by asking characters for help which allows them to use special actions during their turn in exchange for a few landmark tokens. After the tiles run out, the player with the most points wins!
Who Is It For?
This is great for fans of tile laying games, such as Carcassone, who want a little more of a challenge. I think that fans of relaxing, peaceful themes will also enjoy this one. I’d also recommend it to ages 10 and up, because there is a bit of strategy that might be out of the wheelhouse of younger players.
Contents + Quality
Tiles – Nice quality/thickness. Different colored back for the starting tile so it’s easy to pick out. Landmarks are printed clearly on the tiles, and they do point to which path they are on. Still, I had a hard time remembering that the landmark was only on certain paths rather than just being associated with the tile itself, so just be sure to look closely!
Landmark Tokens – All nice quality, big and small. They are all good sizes for what they are used for. The large ones have the points printed clearly on them. Also easy to tell what all of them all, no two are too similar.
Enclosure/Character Tiles – Again, nice quality, your average carboard tiles. All distinct from one another.
Achievement Pieces – Nice quality and distinct, again. They are a little unnecessarily huge though in my opinion. They could have just been a similar size to the other character tiles, but had different images and point values.
Information Board – Nice reference for pretty much everything in the game. I do wish the info had just been printed on cards instead though, just so that everyone could have a reference for themselves.
Meeples – Average quality wooden pieces, nice printing on them. Perfect size for what they’re used for.
Box – Everything fits pretty much perfectly once it’s all punched and bagged. Nice little one sheeter included to guide you on getting it all to fit!
Rules – Nice detail and examples throughout. Also included some fun facts and information about Japan and the characters, which was neat!
Variants + Expansions
Solo – In this variant, you play against Onatsu, an in game opponent, and you’re just trying to score more journey points than her. The solo board is nice quality, and everything on it is laid out nicely and clearly. The game plays similarly for the player, and now just requires you to give tiles to Onatsu, helping her earn points and possibly even extra tiles, but the player has a lot of control, so it’s a fun little puzzle. Definitely recommend this to solo gamers with or without haveing played the multi-player way.
Koi Mini Expansion – Players each start the game with a set of identical Koi cards which have once per game abilities they can use on their turns. Unused cards are worth 1 point each at the end, so either way, they’re great! The abilities are cool, and can definitely help you out, especially if you use them at just the right time, for a big turn. However, since the abilities are also simple, I can also see it being easy to forget about the, especially if you go into the game with a strategy. So this one can definitely be hit or miss.
Toku Mini Expansion – These bonus reward cards go on top of various token stacks and give the first player who uses a certain character or earns a certain tile an extra action or ability to use sometime in the game, or, again, 1 point each at the end if unused. The card abilities are variable and it’s neat that they start face down on the stacks, so players can’t aim for certain ones, but just get a fun surprise. The only hang up I have is that these cards further reward the first player who does things, which, to me, often leaves the non-start player playing more and more catch up just so they can try to hit these first to earn those cards. But, this will vary depending on everyone’s strategies too.
- Nice level of challenge in the solo mode
- A more complex tile-laying game, which is nice to see
- Character abilities are varied and give players opportunities to plan different strategies around them
- Also variety in tiles, since they come out randomly, and some are removed every game, so no two plays are the same!
- Smooth turns and game flow. There are definitely some more “thinky” turns to suss out your best path, but overall very smooth
- Super aesthetically appealing
- Theme really seems to fit well with the mechanics
- A bit of a table hog
- Can have unequal turns depending on actions in the game, and I’m just never a big fan of that. Turns at the end can be huge point scorers (I’ve seen people get 15 all at once), so if the earlier players end up with more turns, it just feels like they had more scoring opportunities which is frustrating for those who went later in turn order.
- I like most of the character abilities, but the Samurai (which blocks a spot so a tile can not be played there) seems weird to me. Using characters is always the first thing a player does in a turn, but this action just seems like it should be done after placing your own tile.
Overall, this is a really nice game that is pretty relaxing to play, actually. You have a lot of options turn to turn with which character to use, and where to place tiles. The game is also so different with every play, so that’s cool too. There’s a bunch of strategy, but I found that it is always worth it to use the chracter abilities that only cost 1 token, for some easy points. Once you’ve played it a few times, it’s super easy to pick up again and teach to others without much effort. I also found it pretty approachable, so it might be a nice game for newer players, maybe once they play and like something similar, like Carcassone.
My Final Ratings:
Overall Game – 7/10
Koi Expansion – 5/10
Toku Expansion 5/10
Difficulty – 4/10
Aesthetics – 7/10
Replayability – 7/10
*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*
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