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Tokyo Highway is a tense board game about building roads

An automative Jenga-like

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Clayton Ashley , senior video editor, has been producing and editing videos for Polygon since 2016. He is the lead producer of the tabletop gaming series Overboard.

If you could design your own highway system — well, it wouldn’t look anything like what you get from Tokyo Highway.

This tabletop game, loosely based on Japan’s actual privatized expressways, asks players to build their own roads from sticks and pylons. For a modern board game, Tokyo Highway looks gorgeously minimalist, even bordering on simple, but the gameplay is surprisingly tense.

Rather than prizing efficiency, the game awards you points for crossing an opponent’s highways. The result is a beautiful, tangled mess of precarious roads all trying to cross one another. And watch out: This game is component-limited, and if you knock over an opponent’s roads, you have to rebuild it and repay them with your own equivalent building materials. There’s even a pair of tweezers for particularly tricky constructions.

We played Tokyo Highway on the latest episode of Overboard, our monthly tabletop show. With shaking hands and hopeful hearts, our four-player mega-city came to life.

Watch it on YouTube, and don’t forget to subscribe to keep up with every episode of Overboard, and all the rest of our videos!

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