Ticket to Ride (PC): Make tracks in a tabletop classic

June 7, 2012

I like Ticket to Ride. It’s one of the first European board games that I ever played, and it turned me on to the hobby to the point that I own several myself and regularly have friends over for dinner and board games. (Last night was Dominion and Pandemic).

Ticket to Ride is successful, I think, because it’s easy to learn, the pieces are neat, and it’s quick to play. In a nutshell, you’re collecting routes and trying to connect them before your opponents. Just like in real history, there are more railroad tycoons than there are ways to connect any two cities. If your plan rests on connecting Santa Fe to Kansas City, then you’d better do it quickly. Only one line can be built there, and once an opposing tycoon makes it, you could find yourself spending extra time and cards to route through Texas instead.

Ticket to Ride is no stranger to video games. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more, but I know it’s been represented digitally on the Xbox 360, the iPad and the iPhone before making its way to the PC via Steam. If you already own Ticket to Ride on an iOS device, then you’ll recognize the slick graphics and intuitive interface. What may surprise you, however, is that you can play against iOS players. So even though the game has been out less than a week for PC, there is already a substantial population to play with.

Ticket to Ride has everything that I want in a digital conversion. The boards look nice, it’s easy to see at a glance what routes I have and how far along I am at completing them, it’s easier here than on my dining room table to see how many car cards I have of a given color and there’s a chat window. When nobody else in my house wants to play a game, it opens quickly, and I’m laying down tracks sooner than if I’d gone to get the physical game from my basement and set it up. It really makes me wish that the Xbox 360 version saw an update so that two people in my house could play together at the same time when the physical game just isn’t feasible.

Pros: Play against already-existing iOS population, easy-to-use interface, graphics are faithful to the physical game
Cons: As with many games featuring cards, hotseat multiplayer is not included

Score: 5/5

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