Tokyo Highway is a head to head game where you and your opponent are racing to get rid of all your cars – first one out wins.
In the box are many road pieces and pillars, six junctions (three for each player) and two sets of cars. The game is set up by placing a car of each colour on its own ramp – from the tabletop to the height of one pillar. Then players take turns adding further sections of road following some basic rules – roads may go up or down by one pillar level but no more. Roads can only stay flat if you’re building towards a junction, and after placing a junction you may now (or during a later turn) branch off from it.
Adding a car is slightly more tricky – you can only place a car on the road you’ve just placed IF one of the following criteria are met: it goes under a road with no roads under it, or it goes over a road with no roads over it. In both cases it must be your opponent’s road you build under or over, but if you manage to build under or over more than one road that meets this criteria, you may add more cars to your just-placed road.
If you knock over your opponent’s roads you must both rebuild them and give them as many sections of road from your supply as you sent to the table. So you need both a cunning brain, and a steady hand…
The appearance verges on wacky and dexterity games usually skew that way. But in Tokyo Highway the heart of the game is the mental challenge rather than the physical one. To be sure, you need a steady hand, but outside of that this is far more thinky and sober that it first appears. As such, my kids didn’t really get into it, but I rather like it. It looks beautiful out on the table too.
It's a battle of sorts, but not the kind where one can be offended.
There be a short lull whilst somebody considers their best move.
Once you understand the scoring - it's worth reading twice - the rules here are simple, but the devil is in the detail: randomly building all over the place won't get you a win: you need to be clever with your construction.
If you like this type of game, there's almost infinite variety in what you build.