Age of String: a very brief review of String Railway

Played String Railway Wednesday lunchtime. It’s a new Japon Brand game (Okazu Brand) by Hisashi Hayashi fresh from Essen, where it sold out.

The playing area is made from a loop of string, as is a mountain range inside it.  A further piece of string (not looped) forms a river. Within this “field” players will place strings of their own colour, representing track, and square tiles, representing various types of station. You score points for linking up stations and the types of station can also add or subtract points from rivals. Crossing a string deducts a point.

The concept of the game is wonderfully simple. By the end of play you will have a complex cat’s cradle criss-crossing your playing area, but you’ll be able to admire each player’s network construction.  Lots of fun; recommended but may be difficult to find unless another publisher gets hold of it.

2-5 players, 8+, 30 minutes

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3 Responses to “Age of String: a very brief review of String Railway”


  1. 1 Brett October 29, 2010 at 16:23

    Of all the new games I spotted in reports from Essen, I thought String Railway was possibly the most genius idea. I checked out the rules last night and it’s great to know the game works and is fun; it looks excellent. Hope I get to try it out sometime…

  2. 2 Hazel Edmunds October 31, 2010 at 23:02

    I’d like to try this with the kids at youth club. Sounds like something they’d take to. “Sold out” presumably means that it’s not going to be available in the UK any time soon.

  3. 3 Pete Armstrong November 2, 2010 at 01:43

    I’ve played this 3 times now, and it’s a tricky, tricky game. Far too easy to branch out and get stuffed by all the other players entering your towns or just tacking another 2 points onto what was your excellent route by laying next to it and crossing at stations.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of my favourite purchases from Essen, but 3 losses in 3 games…Could do better, see me.

    It’s a ‘just one more’ game and I’ll definitely be getting this one out often.


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