Next Station: Tokyo
review by Alapai
Next Station: Tokyo is a network building roll and write (or more accurately "draw and draw") game for 1-4 people from Blue Orange Games. In it, you will be designing a train system for Tokyo consisting of 4 different routes in different colors, trying to make the system that earns the most points.
Everybody starts the game with a sheet and a differently colored pencil. Each turn, you flip over the top card of the station deck and connect a station of that symbol to your route. Once enough cards have been drawn, you pass the pencils in a circle around the table and start a route of your new color. Routes cannot intersect with each other except at a station. Once you've created routes for all 4 colors, you see who has the most points. Points are earned for each section of the city each of your routes go through, as well as for interchanges where multiple routes pass through, for tourist stamps created from interchanges. You lose points for each of the stations your routes do not connect to on the central loop. Whoever has the most points after counting up the different values is the winner!
Next Station: Tokyo is a sequel to Next Station: London and plays almost identically to its predecessor. In fact, the only real difference in actual gameplay is the Double Rail on the Joker card. The differences come from the actual map and how you score points. With London, there is no central loop and instead you get a bonus for each of your routes that go under the Thames. The tourist points also are just from having your route go past certain locations on the map. Having visisted Tokyo, I love that the central loop is there as an important part of the game given that I used that loop constantly to travel around the city.
I really like Next Station: Tokyo. It's a solid roll and write game that is relatively simple to learn, but still has a good amount of strategy involved. One thing that's neat about Next Station: Tokyois that is differs from other roll and writes where everybody uses the same resources each turn. While you do all draw a line to the station on the drawn card, each color starts at a different place on the map and so each map will look very different. While I also love Next Station: London, Next Station: Tokyo's map does a good job of actually reminding me of my time in Tokyo and I really appreciate that the map in both is specific to the city it represents.
Click image to enlarge
If you want an easy to pick up, fun to play roll and write game that has good amounts of both strategy and luck, Next Station: Tokyo is a great choice!
Next Station: Tokyo is available now from our webstore.