It’s not just Little Pip that likes board games! Myself and the husband find it a good way of spending time together as a change from sitting in front of the television. Today’s review is about a board game that we acquired over Christmas; Ticket to Ride Europe. This is a game we’ve wanted to try for a while now. We chose the Europe edition over the original, which is based on North America, in part due to the number of people we spoke to who assured us that it was a superior game.
Bit of basic information to start off with. This game is made by Days of Wonder and is all about train routes around Europe. It’s suitable from 8 years and for 2-6 players so a good choice if you want something to play as a family. A game is estimated to take between 30-60 minutes, which from the 3 games we’ve played, seems pretty accurate.
The artwork is the first thing that drew us to this game. The design of the board is great; I especially liked how a scoring system has integrated so you don’t need to waste paper keeping note. On first playing the game, we found the unusual method for picking who goes first – who has been to the most European countries – to be amusing and a nice change from whoever is the youngest or sitting in a certain position etc. However, if you’re going to play with the same people regularly, it could become a little annoying that the same person is always likely to go first so we have decided to skip that rule in the future.
This is very much a strategy based game. At the beginning of the game, and then whenever you wish to on your turns, you pick tickets that show a particular route from one city to another. You then try to make these routes using train cards and your train playing pieces. You can also be a little sneaky and attempt to block other players from making their routes, although we’ve found little point in actually trying to do this this – it happens frequently anyway. This can be a little demoralising – if you’re working on a route and then the only simple way to where you’re trying to go is taken by another player, you can feel like you’re now going to lose and there’s little you can do about it. However, we reckon that the game designers must have seen this flaw in the original game and consequently added train stations, which allow you to use another player’s route, for this edition. Other additions are tunnels, which I’ve so far found myself simply trying to avoid using, and ferry crossings, which were really a necessity for the European edition in order to cross the many bodies of water.
All in all, I’d say this is a good game. I wouldn’t quite say it’s now one of my favourites but perhaps it could be in time.
If you live in Cardiff, this game can be purchased from Rules of Play in the Castle Arcade. If not, it’s available from a few places online.