Ticket to Ride: A trip worth taking?

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It’s not that I didn’t like Ticket to Ride, it’s just that there wasn’t enough “umph” for me compared to other games I’ve played this past year. I learned that it won Best Board Game of 2014, and I suppose in the context of classics vs. newcomers- I can see why this would stand out.  I see there are what, six different versions of the game you can buy… Clearly hugely popular and incredibly successful among the masses…For me, something was missing.

It’s simple fun- something I usually rave about with other games I’ve played… but maybe it’s too simple? Maybe a little annoying even? Perhaps I don’t care about the “concept” all that much. Build the longest route in America with trains to earn the most points and beat your opponents with really limiting rules for each turn.

Gameplay is thoroughly summarized in the trailer.

Was there strategy involved? Of course and that’s where I get torn on how much I want to say I didn’t like it- because a tiny piece of me does. I enjoyed the fact that I had to be clever in the way I selected the train cards right side up on the table. It added intrigue to watch my opponent build his single track out of three- as I started/worked on paths to each location on my three cards- alternating each turn as possible. But I can’t ignore the utter frustration when I couldn’t obtain the right color train card time after time after time. You could feel the same feeling amongst everyone else. There’s this unavoidable intolerance that builds as you sit and watch the open to everyone train cards never feature the one you need. The fact that you need up to 6 or 7 cards of the same color before you can build a path (most are 2-5) can be so frustrating.

When you (if you, I should say since you may not hah) reach the point in the game where you have completed your “required” locations you have the option to spend a turn on selecting another location card. The more locations your line hits, the more points you’ll collect at the end of the game (ultimately, thats your goal). However, this could ultimately be the nail in your coffin because for every destination you DO NOT complete, the points you could have earned will instead be subtracted from your total.

I played this game again since first writing this and intend to make some adjustments to my review. Stay tuned!

 

1-4 Too Much Awful
5-7.5- Not so Awesome
7.6-8.5 Almost awesome
8.6-9.4 – Awesome!
9.5-10- Totally Awesome!
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