Ticket to Ride is a game that has managed to break through from the hobbyists onto the high street and is easy to track down – try Waterstones, WH Smiths or your local toy shop.
Each player is assigned a route to build railways across a map of Europe (other boards are also available, including Britain, India, and Scandinavia) and the way they do this is by collecting and playing sets of cards. The routes on the board are particular colours, so to build a section of track that is 4 segments long, say, you simply need to collect 4 cards of the matching colour and play them (there are also jokers (Engines) that can represent any colour).
But wait – there’s only a limited amount of space for anybody to build in, so if you leave it too late you might find somebody has beaten you to it; and to complete your route (let’s say Lisbon to Berlin) you now have to build track the long way around, via Italy.
Players can also collect more routes to complete during the game, with the caveat that any routes they don’t complete count against them come the final tally of points.
It’s an easy-to-learn game with a simple theme that still has a bit of depth – do you build track as early as you can, or hoard cards in order to build heaps of track in the latter part of the game?
You need big hands! In Ticket to Ride you definitely don’t want to be left with no cards, as you’re then left picking up cards for a few rounds whilst watching the other players build all over your intended routes. So a big hand of cards is great; assuming you can hold them all. For me the game has been superseded by Railways of the World, which doesn’t have the repetition of Ticket to Ride – but I still have a lot of respect for a classic that’s easy to teach, learn, and play.
It's not an especially spiteful game, and houserules may be applied to get around the 'blocking off' of younger players. For older participants, the strategy of stymiing opponents can be part of the appeal.
Very little – Ticket to Ride moves fast.
There isn't too much to chew over – pick up cards or build track are the usual choices.
The simplicity of the rules and not-too-long playing time make Ticket to Ride appealing.