Updated: Dec 25, 2019
I love tabletop games. There, I said it. I've been playing tabletop games on and off for the past 22 years, but very seriously during the last 6 years... and I'm sad to say that I experienced Ticket to Ride for the first time yesterday. Sad only because I haven't been playing it all along!
Ticket To Ride is a 2-5 player cross-country route building game that is as fun to play as it is simple. On each players' turn, they may perform 1 of 3 actions. They may either draw up to 2 cards from the 5 available train car cards, they may claim a route between 2 cities or they may draw new tickets to add to their hand. Turns go very quickly because you can only perform 1 action per turn and this helps to keep the game moving along and keep people engaged.
Players step into the shoes of a group of friends that have a race to see how many cities they can visit in 7 days - though this backstory has little to do with the actual game play, which feels more like a tycoon theme. Essentially, players get tickets which show a route and then need to collect matching colored train cars and trade them in to complete the route. Each ticket (route) is different and provides the player a number of points for completing the route at the end of the game. Players get points based on how many train cards a route takes and for completing the routes on the tickets - but be careful, if you end up with an unfinished ticket in your hand, you lose the points instead of gain them.
Being an avid tabletop gamer, I picked up on this game up in a heartbeat. No surprise there... BUT... my mom and aunt, who generally have a hard time learning new games, also got the hang of it off the bat. After the first 2 turns (which take under 30 seconds each) they had it and we were all playing like seasoned pros. I would highly recommend this game as a "first game to play" for someone looking to get into tabletop gaming as it is very simple, and contains game mechanics that are used in other games.
If you're like me and get card sleeves for your cards, you will need 144 mini-euro
(45mm x 68mm) sized sleeves for this game. I like this size of card and I like the fact that sleeves are readily available from many manufacturers.
I really only have a couple minor gripes with this game. One of them is that the train cars you play on the routes are made of a very cheap feeling plastic and are a little difficult to place on the board. I would have liked the train cars to have been made of wood - think along the lines of Settlers of Catan - and slightly larger. The other gripe I have is that the space for the train car cards in the in-box organizer insert does not fit sleeved cards. It would be been nice to allow sleeved cards to fit properly in the in-box organizer.
Ticket To Ride get a solid 8 out of 10 from me and is one of my new favorite games to play. I can't wait to pick up the expansions and play through those as well! Let me know if the comment section what your favorite tabletop game is and if I haven't played it, I will add it to my list of games to buy and review.