- Designers: Inka Brand, Markus Brand, Michael Rieneck
- Players: 2-4
- Ages: 10+
- Time: ~45 minutes
- Times played: 2, with review copy provided by R&R Games
Touria is the land of the dancing towers, or so the rules tell me. In this kingdom, there are four towers, one in each corner of the board – I mean, kingdom… These towers are cleverly constructed so that they rotate around their base, and this is the magic behind Touria. The game itself is really a big boardgame version of the Bachelor/Bachelorette. As the story goes, the king’s son and daughter are both of marrying age, and they are looking for the first adventurer to come to the castle with enough gems and jewelry and whatnot to be their spouse.
The board shows a map of the kingdom. The castle is in the center, and there are 9 doors there, each with its own door tile placed facedown upon it (the prince and princess remain hidden behind one of these nine doors). Mines are seeded with gems, and the magical fairy has two magical items drawn from the deck next to it. The four towers are in the corners and each of the players sits along one of the four sides of the board. The heroes group standee starts in the castle in the center of the board. A starting player is chosen, and each other player gets a little bonus to start the game.
On a turn, the active player looks at the four towers – he should be able to see one side of each tower head on. There are actions printed on the towers, and you can do any action that you can see on a tower. You rotate the chosen tower 90 degrees to change the orientation of that particular tower for all players. Then you take the chosen action.
First, you have to move the heroes group token to the location of the chosen action. You can move up to three spaces for free, and then every space after that costs one coin. You may only use each road segment once a turn, and you are not obligated to choose the most efficient route to the destination. The reason for this is that if you pass through one of the six gem mines in the kingdom on your path, you can collect gems. If there are one or two colored gems at a mine, you choose one to place behind your screen. If there is one colored gem AND one black gem at a mine, you must take both. Any time a mine is empty, draw two new gems from the bag.
The possible actions include:
- Get 2 swords from the swordmaster
- Go to the trader and sell gems for gold according to the order tiles
- Get one of the 2 magical items next to the forest fairy
- Discard a black gem at the Fountain Fairy
- At the thieves den, draw 3 gems from the bag and keep 1
- Fight the dragon – roll the die and if you can give up a gem of matching color, you defeat the dragon and get a heart
- Go to the goldsmith and trade: 1 gem = 1 coin, 2 gems = 1 heart, 3 gems = 2 hearts.
- Pay 1 coin to have the wizard transport you anywhere and then do the action of that location. (This is the only way to get to the tournament grounds where you can trade one sword or 3 coins for a heart).
As you’re taking your turn, you can also choose to discard a purple gem into the bag to take your chosen action twice. Each player also started the game with an elixir token, and you can give this to the active player during his turn in order to take the same action as the active player. Finally, you can always discard a sword to turn any tower 90 degrees anti-clockwise before you have to choose your action for the turn – in this way, you might be able to get to a specific action that you want to take.
Now remember, you’re trying to “win” the heart of the prince or princess – and they’re back in the castle hiding behind one of the doors. In order to try to woo them, you have to return to the castle with enough treasure – namely 7 hearts and 7 coins AND no black gems (because they’re cursed!). You do not need to take a tower action to do this – you simply put your colored crest near the chapel to show that you’re now separated from the group and trying to win someone’s hand in marriage. You give up the 7 coins and the 7 hearts, and now you try to pick the right door.
You choose any of the facedown doors. If you reveal the prince and princess, you win. If you don’t, the palace occupant who you reveal will ask for a certain object (gem, sword, etc.). If you are able to discard the object, you can choose another door hoping to find your future spouse. If you cannot discard the requested thing, then your turn is over and you must wait for your next turn to hopefully choose the right random door. All incorrect doors are left face up so that no one has to be bothered with remembering which doors are bad.
My thoughts on the game
Touria is an family game with an interesting action selection mechanic. The rotating towers are something that I haven’t seen in a game before, and it’s a neat idea. On each turn, you will have at least two different actions to choose from, but it is usually three or four. From these options, you have to figure out how to best get to 7 hearts and 7 coins. In order to get each of these things, you’ll have to trade in gems, so you’ll either have spend actions getting gems or wander about the kingdom trying to get them from the mines that you pass along the way.
If you’re lucky, and you’re able to come across purple gems – you can use them to excellent effect as they can double any action. There are only 5 of them in the bag though (out of 65 total), so it’s usually a pretty fortuitous thing when it happens. One of our games got a little out of hand when one player managed to find the first three in the game and was able to get out ahead of the pack in the race to 7 hearts and 7 coins.
The ending is a bit weird and super random. It’s sort of a weird possibly-let-everyone-else catch up mechanic that I’m not sure the game needs. Near the end of the game, once you have the 7 coins and 7 hearts, you do need to take a minute to survey the board and see if you are able to easily collect any color gems that you don’t have or possibly a sword.
Thoughts from other Opinionated Gamers
Mario P: A pretty innovative action selection mechanic integrated in a (little bit more than) nice family game. I find the graphic design a little bit misleading since there’s more to think about on your turn than you might actually think. Nothing super spectacular and outstanding, but a very nice mix of mechanics. I don’t mind the (imho not so super) random ending, but if you do simply play with the variant mentioned in the rules that whoever gets the necessary stuff first wins.
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it!
- I like it. Mario P
- Neutral. Dale Y
- Not for me…