TableTop Is Back with Tokaido, but Will Wil Win?

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For those who have watched TableTop since the beginning, you’ll remember a noticeable improvement in the production between seasons one and two. Everything was a bit slicker and it felt like they had really found their feet when season two ran. So if you apply that history to season three, you probably have pretty high expectations for some improvements. I’m happy to say that you will not be disappointed.

As episode one of Geek & Sundry’s most watched show debuts today, TableTop will blow you away. Maybe it’s just the incredibly detailed HD video, but everything seems a little more polished. The interviews, the new set, the props, the fantastic animations … it’s all pretty wonderful. That doesn’t even consider the real star of the show — the games. (Just kidding, Wil is back and once again doing an impeccable job of being a funny and charming host.) But the games for this third run, which have already been announced, seem like a step up, too.

The first one played is Tokaido, the set-collecting travel game from designer Antoine Bauza. Tokaido just missed the cut for season two last year, serving as the first alternate game for the season, but never getting called in. Initially, it was thought that all of the tension of the game was in the individual’s head, but Wil and his guests remedy this problem by talking about their moves, strategies, and what they anticipate the other players doing during the game. Hinting at the episode’s gameplay, Associate Producer Boyan Radakovich calls Tokaido “the most zen-like cutthroat game you’ll ever play … but it’s a gamer’s game through and through.”

Sitting around the table with Wil this week are guests Chris Kluwe, former Minnesota Vikings punter, top World of Warcraft player, and tournament Magic player; J. August Richards from television’s Angel and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; and Jason Wishnov, who is a voiceover actor and also lead designer at Iridium Studios, a videogame developer.

The real question is, as the TableTop season preview asked, will Wil win? He gets his first crack today, in an episode that may set the stage for the rest of the season. Will he win? You’ll have to watch to find out.

Like last season, next week will be the gag reel episode for the Tokaido, followed by a new episode that drops on Thanksgiving. It’s great to have TableTop back, to be able to watch some of our favorite games played on screen by funny and engaging guests. Or to learn about games new to us while being entertained, as well. Each season TableTop has raised the bar for themselves and if episode one is any indication, when it is done, season three will have redefined the word awesome.

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