Tokyo Jidohanbaiki is just one of the exciting new titles in The Tokyo Series Games which are published by Jordan Draper Games. The series brings together multiple designers to create really unique and innovative game concepts based around Japanese life and culture. So far, just 3 titles have been released on Kickstarter, with 3 more new titles coming to Kickstarter early in 2019.
Tokyo Jidohanbaiki features a very common Japanese phenomenon – vending machines. Multiple quick games are able to be played using the few components, and components can also be used to integrate with both Tokyo Metro and Tokyo Jutaku.
1-6 Players | 5 – 20 Minutes
Designed by Jordon Draper, Stefan Brakman, Dylan Howard Cromwell,
Michael Fox (II), Jake Given, Zach Given, Nick Halper, Toryo Hojo, Kota Nakayama, Kenichi Tanabe, Travis D. Hill
The box for Tokyo Jidohanbaiki is relatively small, yet sturdy and beautiful. I like that no space is wasted, both physically and artistically, with the box tidily filled with images throughout Japan. The cardboard is really thick, and includes spot UV across the title which is a nice touch.
The back of the box is clean and simple, but really showcases exactly what you can expect from the game, with a brief description in both English and Japanese. The hero image shows a clear picture of the included components, which is one of my favourite things on game boxes. A large QR code links to the Jordan Draper website, where you can find more information and rules for the game which is a neat inclusion, however I wish it was maybe a bit smaller as it is quite distracting from the overall graphic design.
The interior of the box continues the cover artwork and colouring inside, with a large image of a vending machine in the box lid. This is an unnecessary inclusion, but beautiful nonetheless.
Upon opening the box, you pull out a very thick rulebook. And I mean THICK for such a tiny game. This scared me a bit, but half of it is in English, half in Japanese, and each game is only a few pages long, if that. The quality of the rulebook is amazing, with gloss pages and a thermally bound edge which is an uncommon choice for most boardgames.
The graphic design on each page is clear, concise and easy to follow. Each game features it’s own description, setup, and rules, and you can just jump right into learning any game you choose. Each game also includes a cool rating system (a drink gauge to be thematic) which lets you easily choose what game you want based on difficulty (how full the drink is!)
The few components that are in the box for Tokyo Jidohanbaiki are all extremely high quality, and the attention to detail is so good. The vending machine ‘dice tower’ is super sturdy, and includes different cardboard ‘ads’ which you can display on the top – a totally unnecessary yet fun inclusion to mix up each game.
There are only 12 cards included, and each one is printed on really nice, sturdy cardstock and finished with spot UV bottle outlines across all cards.
The cardstock money included serves its purpose, but it is very tiny. It is an unusual choice to feature real images of Japanese currency, rather than a made up currency as most other boardgames do, but it serves the theme well. I don’t love the white outline, and I noticed that some of them are printed a bit off centre which does detract from the overall beautiful components in the game.
And now to the best bit – the drinks. These are the cutest components I have seen for a while! There are multiple different shaped bottles, each with their own label which you can apply, or leave them blank as the come. I love the labels, and I didn’t find it too difficult to apply them as each bottle has a faint guideline of where it should go. They are quite small, so I wonder if they will become too fiddly in any of the games, but for now based on just looks, the are amazing!
There is no insert in the box, and I don’t think it requires one anyway. It is such a small box, and with only a few components, you only need a few baggies which are included with the game. It is a squeeze to get everything back into the box, but totally do-able and I am glad that it is not a big box of air, which is an increasingly common issue in games recently.
The version I have unboxed is from Kickstarter, however there is no difference in this version vs what you might pick up from a store. At the moment, it will be quite hard to get your hands on a copy from your FLGS, but all games are stocked on the Jordan Draper web store.
Overall, the production quality of Tokyo Jidohanbaiki is beautiful and I am so excited to try out some of the mini games. Each of the components seems minimalistic, yet colourful and the rulebook is well laid out and simple. The theme is so unique, and I am obsessed with Japan, so my 2 loves of boardgaming and Japan have aligned for the Tokyo Series games and I am so keen to get my hands on the whole series!