Ticket to Ride published by Days of Wonder and designed by Alan R. Moon, is a Route building game that features set collecting and card drafting as primary game mechanisms, with a nice train theme that would make Sheldon Cooper proud!
The objective of Ticket to Ride is to score the most points, players collect points by playing matching train car cards to claim routes and by completing destination cards. Each turn players can perform one of three actions; draw more cards, claim a route, or get additional destination tickets. When drawing more cards players may take two cards from either the five face up cards, the card deck, or one card from both. If a player decides to draw a wild locomotive card they are only allowed to draw one card that turn. To claim a route players will discard an equal number of cards matching the same color as the route, e.g. a pink route that is four trains long will cost four pink cards. Players must claim the entire route at the same time and are only able to claim one route per turn. Additionally, players may use wild cards in place of any number of the matching cards needed to claim the route. Depending on how long a route is determines how many points a player receives for playing it, with a single train car route being worth 1 point and a six train car route being worth 15 points. The final action a player may take on their turn is to take additional destination tickets. Destination tickets are basically goals for players to complete, by connecting two cities on the map, e.g. Miami to Seattle in an unbroken chain. This action is especially useful after a player has completed their other destination tickets and want to receive more points at the end of the game. However, if a player is unable to complete any destination cards, they will count as negative points.
The end game is triggered when one player has either two, one, or no trains remaining in their remaining supply. After the end game is triggered each player including the player who triggered the end game receives one more turn. The players then add up any points they get through destination tickets. The player with the most points wins!
I personally quite enjoy Ticket to Ride! It is easy to learn and great for families or non-gamers to play. The game minimizes the “luck factor”, by not having any dice to roll, which greatly increases the strategy that can be used in the game. It is very nice that the game does not have any direct attacking of other players in it, the only way to affect other players would be to prevent them from claim certain routes or taking cards that you know they may be collecting. If you love other European style games like Settlers of Catan or Kingdom Builder, then I suggest giving Ticket to Ride a try! Ticket to Ride also has many expansions that add their own flare by adding additional rules and different maps!
If you are interested in purchasing Ticket to Ride, you can use this link!
Ticket to Ride Information:
Ages: 8 and up
Playtime: 30-60 Minutes
Players: 2-5 Players
If you would like more information on Ticket to Ride, please check out their website.