A Tribal Games Review of Ticket to Ride: Europe
Prepare to explore the beautiful and vast European railway system in another edition of Ticket to Ride. Take charge of the new rules and additional point scoring methods in this updated version of the game, while travelling throughout Europe in search of the best score and the largest railway.
Personally, straight off the bat, I think that all versions of Ticket to Ride are fantastic and worth trying out. I believe that they contest Monopoly as the go to family fun game, due to the basic rule-set and competitive nature of the gameplay. The European edition, specifically, is the pinnacle of the franchise for family fun as the inclusion of tunnels provide the game with an element of luck, while the stations remove some of the tension that normally would lead towards flipped tables.
Similar to Monopoly and other family centric games, Ticket to Ride provides hours of fun with a quick set-up time and easy to learn rules. The game also includes a wide variety of ticket cards meaning that every match tends to feel very different, making this a game that can be played nearly endlessly. Having played the European edition of this game with groups within a varied age range, I have discovered that any friend, family, or social group could quickly pick up and enjoy Ticket to Ride: Europe, just as I have.
How to Play:
At the beginning of the game each player is presented with 4 ticket cards which each show a different route they will need to complete in order to score points. The players must select at least 2 of these cards to keep, however later throughout the game they will be afforded an opportunity to take more.
Once tickets have been handed out, the train cards will then be shuffled and dealt to players. Each player will randomly receive 4 train cards then 5 cards will be dealt face up next to the train deck to be used by players throughout the game.
During their turn players will have the opportunity to complete one of the following actions:
- Take a train card
Players may take, then replace from the deck, 2 face-up train cards (if the player wishes to take a face-up rainbow train then they may not take any other trains that turn). Players can also opt to take 2 cards from the top of the deck instead, or they may take 1 card from the top of the deck and 1 face-up card.
- Claiming a route
Players may use their turn to claim a route by discarding train cards matching the colour of the route they wish to claim (a rainbow card can count as any colour). Players must discard cards equal to the number of trains shown on the route in order to claim this and cannot claim a route that another player already has. To represent a claimed a route, players place their trains on the board where the route is. Claimed routes are used to build a path between cities, making it possible for players to complete their tickets. Each time a route is claimed, that player gains points based on the number of trains that they place on the board.
- Draw ticket cards
Players may use their turn to draw 3 tickets from the top of the ticket deck, they must keep at least one of these tickets.
- Build a station
Players may discard a certain number of cards to build a station. Stations allow players to borrow a route that they do not own in order to complete a ticket.
The game ends once any player has only 2 trains left in their pile, at this point, tickets, stations and points scored from claiming routes are added together and the player with the highest total wins.
8.5 completed routes out of 10
- Replayability - 9/10
Ticket to Ride includes a large number of ticket cards, which means that there are many combinations of tickets a player may of at the start of the game. These combinations of tickets change how each player will proceed with their gameplay which means that each game will be an entirely different experience for each player. The other area in which this game's replayability is supported is through the different play styles of players. Due to the size of the map and potentially overlapping routes, some players may opt to take a more aggressive gameplay stance, preventing other players from completing routes in order to reduce their overall score, while other players may choose to focus only on their tickets. This contrast in gameplay causes each game to have a completely different feel, run time, and enjoyment factor based on who the players are and how many people and participating. This means that more games can be played before anyone finds themselves bored, making this a highly replayable game.
- Thematic - 6.5/10
The European edition of ticket to ride includes cities throughout many countries within European which, coupled with the artwork for the map and the well designed trains, creates an environment filled with thematic potentially. The unfortunate downside to this game's theme is the lack of story or differences between players' actions which, if included, would have created the perfect captivating experience for all players. The edition of stations and tunnels in this edition of the game did, however, create a more realistic representation which helps to keep players into the world that Ticket to Ride is trying to convey.
- Fun Times - 10/10
Open a game of Monopoly, then take away all of the table flipping and pointless arguments over 50 year old rules and you get Ticket to Ride. The quick to learn gameplay, coupled with the intensity of a small map create the fun experience required within any friend or family group. Due to the basic concept and easy set up, this game can also be enjoyed in any setting, making it the perfect game for travel, staying at home, parties, or schools.