Tsuro is a game that is both simple and challenging. You have a token that represents you and it is travelling along a white line path. Each turn you are laying a tile down that will extend that path in some way, your token will then move along it. The aim of the game is to stay on the board, as soon as your token reaches the board’s edge that’s it you are out. The fun comes from the fact your placement doesn’t just affect you it affects all the tokens, so how you place your tile isn’t the only thing you need worry about. A game lasts about 15 minutes and can be played with 2-8 players.

There is also an updated version called Tsuro of the Seas which introduces sea monsters which can mess up your carefully laid tiles as well. Both are very fun.

Questions to explore character:

1) How did it feel when someone else made your token move a way you didn’t want it to?

2) Have there been any times in your life where you’ve felt you’ve been put on a path by other people? How did that feel?

3) Do you think we always know where our paths will take us in life?

4) In the game what do you think happens to the player tokens when they fall off the board? Why do you think this?

Links to Faith

There’s a few good links that can be made with this one. The first is to Matthew 7:13-14 (This is The Voice translation to make the link more obvious)

13 There are two paths before you; you may take only one path. One doorway is narrow. And one door is wide. Go through the narrow door. For the wide door leads to a wide path, and the wide path is broad; the wide, broad path is easy, and the wide, broad, easy path has many, many people on it; but the wide, broad, easy, crowded path leads to death. 14 Now then that narrow door leads to a narrow road that in turn leads to life. It is hard to find that road. Not many people manage it.

In Tsuro you are travelling along a path, it could be used to represent the oath through life. Those who take the easy quick routes will undoubtedly find themselves falling off the board and losing. The winner will be the person who has taken the most convoluted route. Taking the easy path isn’t what God and Jesus calls us to do, we walk the hard, narrow path that means accepting that we are sinners and that it’s only through Jesus that we can be saved.

The second link is very similar to the first, given that it’s based in it. The idea of travelling along convoluted paths where one misstep can see you failing is explored in great depth through The Pilgrims Progress. Tsuro can be punishing of those who don’t think and plan ahead for what may be next. The same happens in our lives, if we don’t think and plan ahead we can easily fall foul of sin and find ourselves on the wrong path.

Finally it can be linked to Romans 14. In the game your actions will have negative impacts on others. That’s the aim of the game, even if you don’t intend for your move to affect someone it will, if not now then later. You can talk about how our actions can affect other people in life and that we need to respect their viewpoints. We may see something as Good and harmless, but we shouldn’t force our view onto someone who finds it Bad.

Links to buy the games

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