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If there ever was a board game that you could play with your kids and teach them a lot about the US geography, then it would have to be Ticket to Ride. The board game is based on the US travel routes, and the objective here is to claim routes within cities as directed by the destination cards that players pick. The game can be played by two to four players, and each session lasts anything between 30 minutes to an hour. There have been other iterations of this game that have been released where the territory includes Europe, but in this particular review, we’re going to focus on the original version, and see whether or not it deserves a position in our list of the best board games to play.
The Ticket to Ride board game is quite simple to master, making it a great family treat for anyone that’s willing to learn how to play. A session lasts about an hour max, and with very few rules to adhere to, it’s going to be more fun than it is mentally challenging.
At the start of the game, each player is asked to choose two out of three destination cards, and each card specifies two cities on the map that need to be connected. It also specifies the number of points that will be awarded once the connection is done. Once play begins, each player has the option to do one of three things during his/her turn: They can choose to take a train car card, claim a route on the board, or draw a set of three destination cards to keep at least one. Gameplay continues up until a player picks a route that leaves them with two or fewer trains, at which point one more last round is played and the game ends. Similar to the catan board game, Ticket also requires between 2-4 players, and can go for as long as 60 minutes per round.
The Ticket Ride board game consists of what is essentially a map of the US, with links to different major cities all well highlighted. As game play goes on and each player establishes which cities he/she needs to connect, differently colored train cars are used to represent each player, so that each player knows how to advance. Compared to the plan games azul board game, Ticket to ride has a slightly slower pace, though this does not in any way discredit the amount of fun that is to be had from it.
Playing Ticket to Ride doesn’t have that many complexities to it, and this makes it an amazing board game that can be played with family. All that’s needed is the ability to make predictions, and be able to make the right decisions faster than anybody else. The winner of the Ticket Ride board game is selected based on whoever’s trains connect the most cities, whoever claimed the most routes, and also, whoever’s routes form the longest chain. If playing a game where the focus is to ensure a team win instead of individual victory sounds more like your cup of tea, then perhaps the pandemic board game might be worth considering.
The Ticket Ride board game can very easily become a favourite pastime because of how easy it is to play, and at the same time, a fantastic learning resource especially for young children as they get to know about the US geography.