Everything You Need to Know About Tsuro Phoenix Rising!
First of all, we hope everyone’s holiday season is going splendidly! We’re gearing up for the New Year, and that got me thinking about our starry night sky game about rising from the ashes: Tsuro Phoenix Rising!
Tsuro Phoenix Rising follows the classic Tsuro style of “place a tile, follow the path, don’t go off the board or into another player,” but it features two very distinct additions: collecting stars, double-sided tiles! Unlike the other Tsuro games, you’ll start with most of the board already set up, and on your turn you’ll flip or rotate the tile in front of you however you need to travel the longest path and collect as many stars as you can. And since you’re playing as a Phoenix, you’ll get the chance to rise from the ashes if you ever find yourself eliminated. Tsuro Phoenix Rising takes the classic elegance of the original Tsuro, and elevates it to new heights.
How to Play
Quick Start Guide
First, assemble the game tray, have each player select their Phoenix token, and place it in front of one square on the edge of the board. Next, lay out the 16 Center tiles in the middle of the board, leaving the outer spaces empty. The Center tiles all have gold stars in the middle and a cloud outline on one side; make sure to place this side face up. Place a Lantern maker on each tile that has a glowing lantern icon. Give the First Player token to the youngest player, and you’re ready to go!
On your turn, you’ll flip over the tile in front of you (or place a tile from your hand if there is no tile in front of you), and rotate it however you want to continue your path. Then glide your phoenix along the path until it stops, either because there is no tile, or because the line breaks. If your phoenix glides through any tiles that have a lantern on them, place a star token on that tile. (If you end your turn on a tile with a lantern, do not place a star).
Now you’ll move any lanterns with stars next to them to other tiles that have the same color lantern. Finally, pick up the star tokens left behind. (It may sound pedantic to complete the star gathering in this order but trust us, it’s the easiest way to avoid getting confused)
Unlike Tsuro and Tsuro of the Seas, going off the board is not an immediate loss in Tsuro Phoenix Rising! If you go off the board or into another player, you can spend your Life token to rise from the ashes, and start your next turn anywhere on the edge of the board. Of course, if you go off the board or into another player again, this time you’re actually out.
This might be one of our easiest games to score: the first player to collect 7 stars wins! Alternatively, if every other player has been eliminated, the last player standing wins.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I fly through tiles and place Stars, but then wind up going off the board, do I still get to collect the Stars?
Yes! If you’ve created Stars on your turn, you get to keep them. And if you get to 7 Stars in that turn, you’ll win the game as long as you still have your Life token.
If I follow a path into a corner, can I take any tile to continue the path?
No, you’ll need to continue onto the tile diagonal from the one you’re on. You can’t bank left or right.
Does the game end as soon as someone collects their 7 stars?
No, you’ll finish whatever round you’re on! So some or all of the players will get a chance to try to tie for victory.
Is this game too hard for my kids to play?
With the understanding that every kid is different: No, we don’t think this game is too hard for kids. It is a touch more complicated than the original Tsuro, but it is still very straightforward. Place or flip a tile, follow the path until it ends, if you fly through a lantern place a star there, move the lanterns and collect the star. If you think your kid can follow that, give it a try!
Reviews and Playthroughs
Ryan and Bethany Board Game Reviews- Video overview and review
Tabletop Tonight- Ruel Gaviola and his wife Michelle play a full game
Purple Phoenix Games- Written review