Tokaido Duo Receives CGI's Best Casual Game of 2023 Award | Casual Game Revolution

Tokaido Duo Receives CGI's Best Casual Game of 2023 Award

Tokaido Duo - Best Casual Game of 2023

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In the wild and wonderful world of casual board games, 2023 was a whirlwind of excitement and innovation! With game designers unleashing their wildest imaginations, the hunt for the ultimate game of the year was an absolute blast. With myriad themes and mechanics to choose from, the options were endless and the competition fierce! But fear not: after a rigorous debate among our editorial team, one game has emerged victorious, earning the coveted title of the best casual board game of 2023! So grab your dice, shuffle those cards, and get ready for a year of unforgettable tabletop fun!

To determine which of all the games would become the winner of our 7th annual Best Casual Game award, each member of our editorial team independently selected their top five games of the year. With so many fun games entering our radar, this was not an easy process! Once each of us finally decided on the list, we compared the results to see what we had in common. With no further ado, these were the final nominees (in alphabetical order):

The Nominees


Dragonkeepers (KOSMOS)Dragonkeepers invites you to become a cunning magician tasked with collecting adorable baby dragons. This fast-paced card game challenges you to draft these fantastical creatures, but beware — a mysterious "Magic Book" dictates which dragons you can collect. By strategically casting spells, you can manipulate the book to your advantage, score points by assembling valuable dragon sets, and ultimately prove yourself as the ultimate dragonkeeper.

What we love about this game: Dragonkeepers shines with its innovative "Magic Book" mechanic. It's a joy to manipulate the two card decks within the book, strategizing to set up the perfect combo for each turn. This unique system keeps the gameplay fresh, while the streamlined design ensures a smooth and fast-paced experience.  Despite its simplicity, the game offers surprising depth as point values climb throughout the match, demanding clever tactics and rewarding skilled play. Buy it on Amazon »

Sky Team

Sky Team (Scorpion Masqué) – Channel your inner Maverick and Goose in Sky Team, a tense, two-player co-op game. Strap yourselves in as pilot and co-pilot and work together (silently!) to land your plane at various airports around the world. Roll the dice, face the challenges of each location, and yell (silently) at your teammate to deploy the flaps, adjust the thrust, or chug some coffee for a critical re-roll. Will you land safely or nosedive into hilarity? There's only one way to find out!

What we love about this game: Sky Team takes the cake for capturing the frantic tension of landing a plane, even for us non-pilots! This clever cooperative gem stands out with its unique two-player format. Unlike most co-op games, Sky Team avoids the "quarterback problem" — both pilot and co-pilot share critical decision-making, making every choice truly collaborative. The well-balanced challenges ensure a thrilling experience for both players, making Sky Team a must-try for any cooperative board game enthusiast. Buy it on Amazon »

Tokaido Duo

Tokaido Duo (Funforge) – Hit the road in Tokaido Duo, a relaxing race across an enchanting countryside — for two! Think of it as a scenic stroll with your best bud, but instead of arguing over directions, you'll be collecting souvenirs, indulging in delicious meals, and enjoying breathtaking views — all while secretly trying to win. This light-hearted competition will have you strategizing like a sly fox, but don't worry, there's enough beauty and charm to share for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your favorite travel buddy, and get ready for a delightful dash through Tokaido Duo! (Note: the English edition of this game was published in 2023, making it eligible for this award.)

What we love about this game: Tokaido Duo is a breath of fresh air for fans of two-player games. Taking on the roles of three unique characters creates engaging decisions, and the mix of dice rolling and action selection creates a satisfying blend of luck and strategy. While the rules can seem a bit daunting at first, the gameplay clicks right into place as soon as you start playing. Even with repeated plays, the tight scoring keeps competition fierce, and games fly by thanks to the smooth gameplay. Whether you're a seasoned gamer or just starting out, Tokaido Duo is a delightful journey for two. Buy it on Amazon »

And the winner is...

Tokaido Duo, of course! (We already spoiled it for you.) All of these games are fantastic choices, but with so many games to play, it's rare to find a gem such as Tokaido Duo that we find ourselves wanting to play over and over again — and the reasons are clear:

  • It's accessible, yet strategically satisfyiing
  • It's quick, yet requires thought and planning
  • It keeps players engaged the entire time
  • It features a fun and relaxing theme

We would like to congratulate Funforge, designer Antoine Bauza, and artist Xavier Gueniffey Durin for a job well done!

To find out more about the game, check out our recent video below. You can also read our full review in the upcoming Spring 2024 issue of Casual Game Insider. If you like what you see, be sure to pick up this game! Check it out on Amazon or at your friendly local game store.

Disclosure: a complimentary copy of each of these games was provided by the publishers for review purposes.