N really gets into games now he’s a little older, and gets quite competitive. Thankfully he doesn’t always expect to win, because I’m the type of parent who won’t let him…although I will give on the rules where it’s things like questions and he’ll obviously struggle compared to playing with me. We’re one of the Asmodee board game club and were sent 3 games to play and review on the blog.
First up this month is a Days of Wonder Ticket to Ride board game, a good opportunity for family time at the weekend.
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Ticket to Ride is based on the story of Phileas Fogg who travelled the world in 80 days. The box and game has that aged feel that suits the era of Phileas Fogg and N really liked that idea. It’s lovely to have some of the background to read out – maybe one day N might want to read the book.
The idea is to travel various railway routes between cities in America, adding your carriages to the board, and gaining points as you go. The game does take a lot of setting up, so either set up before you get the kids playing the first time, or ask them to help sort out the coloured trains. The second time, N set everything up on his own, so it’s just the first time that needs a bit of reading (3 pages of it!).
The game is for 2-5 players, and each person has a selection of destination cards, each one different. Players need to collect the train cards to match to the correct coloured routes and claim the destination routes for themselves. You can gain points for putting down trains between cities on the route, and extra points at the end of the game for completing each destination. If one person completes a direct route you want, you end up taking a long detour which happened to me.
N really flew past me on the points, but when it came to bonus points we drew for the longest route with 28 train carriages. You can also be penalised points for not completing a destination card by the end of the game. It’s definitely a game of thinking for adults, although I’m not sure N was planning anything. Looking forward and thinking about what might happen in future isn’t his thing yet, but that’s something he’ll practice the more we play it.
Although Ticket to Ride suggests age 8 years up, N coped fine understanding and playing it. It took us just over an hour to play so great if you want a games afternoon or evening with several games.
What we liked about Ticket to Ride:
- Easy to pick up once you’ve read the rules
- Doesn’t take too long to complete the game
- If playing with children it’s a good way to get them thinking strategically, and practising addition and geography
- Good quality board, pieces and cards
- The variety of games – pick the game version that’s near you or your dream holiday location.
- On the first time playing it takes a while to work out the rules and set up. We missed giving each player a colour of trains, so got confused building the routes at first, and then had to backtrack when I re-read the rules and set up.
- There are more coloured train car cards than there are coloured routes. Even re-reading we had no idea why there were ‘white/grey’ train car cards, given the grey spaces on the board you could use any colour train cards.
Ticket to Ride* also comes in other location variations including Europe and UK. You can buy them from Amazon.