Ticket to Ride at Days of Wonder
Ticket to Ride for iPad is a wonderful adaptation of the hugely popular board game of the same name. All of the strategy, luck, and excitement that made the original game so successful transfers perfectly over to mobile devices. Plus, by playing on a tablet, you get the added bonus of not having to shuffle cards and not having to clean up when you’re finished! This version proves that Ticket to Ride is truly fun for all ages, no matter what format you play it in.
Ticket to Ride is a game about connecting different cities across North America by claiming the train routes between them. A player does this by collecting and then playing a certain number of colored train cards. For example, to claim the route from Omaha to Chicago, you would need four blue train cards.
The overall goal of the game is to score the most points. Players obtain points mainly in two different ways: by claiming train routes and by completing Destination Tickets. Destination Tickets list two cities that the player must connect by any number of train routes. For example, if your Destination Ticket says “Seattle to Los Angeles,” you could claim the three routes directly down the West Coast and complete your ticket for a total of nine points.
Simple enough, right?
However, there are several obstacles in your way, namely your opponents!
The need for careful strategy arises because there are a limited number of routes between each city. You may think you have an easy trip down the West Coast until your opponents claim the routes you wanted and ruin the plan you had in mind. You might now be forced to work your way over to Denver from Seattle before heading down to L.A. That’s quite the detour for you (not to mention rather depressing for your passengers)!
Furthermore, even the best plans can be derailed by a lack of luck. Perhaps you’ve been waiting much of the game for another green train card to appear so that you can complete your final set of five. But it never comes! You start using your turns to draw blind from the random pile, but you still can’t get a green card. You’re running out of time, and your opponents are encroaching on your territory. Do you abandon your plans or hold out hope just a little longer?
This tension is what makes Ticket to Ride so exciting and so much fun!
The game plays beautifully on the iPad. The bright colors and lovely artwork found in the original board game show up vibrantly on the screen. The experience has even been spiced up a little bit with some additional animations and train sound effects. The well-designed controls respond accurately, whether you choose to tap or to drag. It’s also highly unlikely that you’ll perform an action that you didn’t want to have happen.
The interface shows you everything that you need to know right there on one screen. You can easily access information about your opponents, including how many Destination Tickets they have, how many trains they have left in their hand, and how may points they currently have. As for information about your own hand, you can quickly see how many cards of each color you have, and you can also check your Destination Tickets at any time. You can even zoom in on the map to get a closer look at the train routes as well as the city names.
There are several different game modes to choose from. You can play by yourself in Solo Mode against as many as four AI opponents or as few as one. There are three different AI difficulties to choose from, and each one plays with a different personality. You can also play against other human opponents, whether they’re in the same room with you or scattered around the world. Ticket to Ride has a huge online community, so there’s always someone willing to play. And even if someone disconnects, they’re replaced by a computer opponent so that you can finish the game.
One common complaint about the iPad version is that the AI opponents are a little weak. If your goal is solely to beat them, you’ll probably do so most of the time. However, if you’re trying to beat them AND set a high score, it’ll likely be much more challenging. The game keeps track of all your scores, so it’s easy to see what your target should be against a certain number of opponents. There are also specific achievements to aim for (such as winning the game while connecting all of your trains in one continuous route) that add an additional element of challenge and excitement.
Ticket to Ride for iPad takes a solid board game and delivers an equally solid experience, whether you’re playing by yourself against AI opponents or against friends online. Behind the simple and easy-to-learn gameplay is a complex strategy game that will provide you with lots of challenge and lots of replay value. So relax on your railroad journey from coast to coast…
…or panic as you make a quick detour into Canada!