4 visitors from Japan

… in this case 4 new games from Japan.  Apart from Go and Shogi, I have never played any Japanese games.  Thanks to a couple of fellow game affectionados I recently became aware of some hobby games being produced in Japan.  With the proceeds in my gaming account running high after my recent sale, I decided to bring a selection of these games in for a whirl.  Here the are:

Inotaizu – According to BGG:  “In 1800, Tadataka Ino was more than fifty years old when he began to study surveying and decided to construct a correct map of Japan by surveying on foot. His work took the next 20 years, resulting in an extremely precise map. The most interesting fact is that his map and today’s satellite maps show very little difference!  This technology was based on the opening of Japan to foreign countries, and the resultant maps and charts displayed Japanese surveying technology to the world.  This is a cooperative game, and each player collects the fame.
The game is a simulation of the Tadataka’s second to fourth surveys which covered the entire Japanese coastline.”  The artwork is nice.


Inotaizu was the game that inspired me to order.  But I got 3 others while I was importing:  Kassen, Deeku, and the rather oddly named, “The Master of the Merchant in the Sakai“.

I’ve started reading the rules, and well – we will just have to see.  I cannot yet tell if these games are really going to appeal to me.  The English in the rules leaves me wondering in a few places as to what is intended.  But nonetheless I am interested to try the games out.


One Response to “4 visitors from Japan”

  1. thegamebistro Says:

    Just played Ino Taizu tonight with 3 friends. I was really pleased with it! The central mechanism seems fresh. Players assign action cards to a grid. Eventually each player claims one row of the grid. So the actions you take may or may not be the ones you played to the grid. Once everyone has claimed a row, then the actions are resolved in columnar order. This means each player will take turns performing their actions. Pretty neat!

    I didn’t play especially cleverly, but I felt like I did learn *how* to play. Mission accomplished! Pretty quick game too. I didn’t time us, but I’d guess this is a 90 minute game, ideal for Bistro game nights.

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