Tokyo Jutaku Review

13 July 2021
An excellently put together puzzler

Stacking games are their own little world in our hobby. Rarely the first on anyone’s mind when it comes to “what’s your favourite type of game?” But almost universally loved when you get into them.

Here we have another component-centric Jordan Draper release, and this time, rather than a box of cleverly sculpted plastic product, we have… wood. But not just any wood, maybe the most frustratingly shaped bits of wood in a game, ever.

The goal of Tokyo Jutaku is to assume the role of a famous or upcoming Japanese architect, and fulfil a number of building contracts in the city by taking the wooden building blocks from the centre of the board and adding them to your blueprint. Each of these plans gives you a height and a number of pieces required. Naturally you’ll need to stay within the footprint of the building’s blueprint, and you can have any overhanging element from floors above. This means making careful choices about the pieces you choose from the centre, as often you’ll pick something that from a glance should fit on your current building, or the second level blueprint defined by your lower floor, and it just… doesn’t.

Players take wooden pieces simultaneously, but in rounds. It’s not a free for all, and is, instead, a game of being very careful of your choices. Get the wrong piece, and you’ll have to spend a turn putting it back. Getting it right is harder than you think from first glance, and you’ll ending up having multiple goes of ‘I was sure that would fit’.

The buildings you create can end up being aesthetically pleasing, and the struggle of getting them there in a race against others is joyful. An excellently put together puzzler that can be broken out with nearly any group.

Christopher John Eggett


Designer: Jordan Draper & Various

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Publisher: Jordan Draper

Time: 10-45 minutes

Players: 1-8

Ages: 14+

Price: £35

This article originally appeared in issue 57 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.

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