Ticket to Ride is a brilliant game for 2-5 players, especially for kids and can be easily learnt in less than 15 minutes but takes a lifetime to master. The instructions are simple enough for gamers and non gamers alike and its strategic and tactical game play is engaging for all levels of play. The game itself can be quite competitive but not as cutthroat as say a game like Risk: Legacy.
At each turn you need to take decisions thus ensuring the game is not too linear and mechanic in nature. Each player has to pick three cards at random and every card has an inherent action attached to it: Collect train cards, claim a train route or gather destination tickets. The game board as such has multiple routes leading to every destination and players collect card of various routes to claim railway routes on the map. The resources are colored trains, and you’re building stretches of railroad that are worth certain amounts of points and the aim is to maximize your network of tracks by connecting to as many cities as possible while ensuring your train is continuous. What makes this game so engaging is the that there’s a constant flurry of activity at all times and also there’s no elimination pattern as such, so all players are playing at all times even if they are not close to winning it.
The final part is where the games shines because every player has to reveal all their secret routes they were trying to conquer in an attempt to score more points. The game also incorporates its fair share of twists to add to the game play. This game is best played with more than 3 players as it involves a lot of strategy when players are trying hard to block off another player’s route. Additional points are also there to be earned by players who fulfill destination tickets- cards which connect to distant cities and also to the players who builds the longest continuous route. Each game takes about an hour to play and the game ends when a player has three or less cars left in their inventory.
Game play is pretty simple and the game as such requires a fairly big surface area given the number of cards, colorful plastic trains, wooden scoring markers and other components. The game pieces as such are intricate and well crafted and the box is well proportioned to store all the pieces neatly. An added bonus is that it really strengthens one’s knowledge of Geography by gaining an understanding of where all the major cities are located in the country of the map you’re playing.
There are several board games if you like ticket to ride and In this post, I have compiled a list of five other games like ticket to ride and have ranked them in the order from number 5 to number 1 .
2-4 Players • Ages 8+ • 45+ minutes to play
In Pandemic, you are part of a disease fighting team and together you seek to fight four deadly diseases which have cause panic and mayhem in the world. Time is of the essence as diseases and epidemics are spreading rapidly and mankind stands a risk of being completely wiped out. Players must work as a team to find all four cures in time and fight to prevent further outbreaks before they spiral out of control. The best part about Pandemic is that it’s a Cooperative Game; no player is competing with each other, but rather everyone must work together and try to defeat the game. It’s like a puzzle, but far more interesting and the game is different every single time you play it.
1-4 Players • Ages 8+ • 90+ minutes to play
Suburbia lets you take up the mantle of a city planner and you’re essentially entrusted with the task of building a city from scratch. You need to use the hexagonal shaped tiles of different types (essentially residential, commercial, industrial) to aid in the building of a city. Every single tile you place can have a positive or negative impact on your city’s reputation and/or the income. The reputation and income has a monumental impact on how the game pans out in the end. A higher income gives you the liberty to spend more but gaining a better reputation means an influx of more people in to your city, and that’s what matters in the end; the winner is judged based on the highest population. In addition to population there are several other goals to ensure parity and to maintain overall game balance. The best thing about this game is that turns come quick and game doesn’t really bog you down and a game typically ends between 90-120 minutes.
2-15 Players • Ages 12+ • 1+ minutes to play
Bohnanza lets you take on the role of a bean farmer and the goal of the game is to make as much money as possible by growing and selling beans. It’s a game which is fun, appeals to all age groups and works best between 3 to 7 players. Each player is assigned two bean fields and each field can be used to plant only a single kind of bean. However, you can sell these beans only after accumulating a certain number of beans. Every bean is assigned a different value. What makes it interesting is that your cards always need to be planted in the order you drew them and this might result in far fetching consequences for your carefully built bean farm. After planting, you draw two cards face-up and you have the option of either keeping those cards and then planting them immediately, or trading those cards. The one with the most money in the end wins the game. The most interesting part of the game that despite the premise being so simple, there’s a lot of brain work needed to plan ahead and win the game. If you like ticket to ride game you will like Bohnanza for sure.
2-6 Players • Ages 12+ • 120+ minutes to play
Power Grid has a simple enough concept but the learning curve to comprehend how everything falls into place is quite steep. Gameplay is pretty basic; You build cities and then connect your cities to your power grid by powering them with power plants (with coal, oil, wind, fusion, nuclear) All these power plants provide power at the cost of a resource like oil or coal. Finally you earn money depending on how many cities are receiving power through these power plants you have setup. What gives this game a nice twist is that resources are limited and power plants you can purchase are limited to three. It’s a very challenging game as quite often you can place bids in different areas of the map where your friends are based to disrupt their power supply and add a bit of drama. The first play through might be little bit rough and may go on for over 3 hours but after that you can seamlessly play after applying some logical thinking.
2-5 Players • Ages 10+ • 75+ minutes to play
Often compared to TTR as it’s designed by the same designer, Air Europe is an aviation game which pits you against your opponents for complete air supremacy in the skies of Europe. In the rapidly growing airline market in Europe, ten airlines that operate between the major cities in Europe, are up for grabs and players can invest in these airlines by way of securing their licenses and in turn, rewarded with stock certificates. Three times during the game, a scoring card will be unveiled and each card will have victory points assigned to it which will be awarded by the airlines you own. Your ultimate goal is to accumulate these shares to be the majority share holder during each of the game’s three scoring phases. After the third scoring card is revealed and points are awarded, the game ends. The player with the most points wins. It’s pretty simple and straightforward. The game has brilliant tray insert for the pieces and the pieces themselves are quite bright and colorful along with the cards which makes for a top gaming experience. If you’re looking for board games like ticket to ride, look no further.
Such brilliant, mind chasing and fun games like ticket to ride not only are not only exciting but also take you back in the past where you must have grown up playing board games. In this virtual world where gaming has gone digital big time, more games like ticket to ride pull the attention of those who cherish spending weekends playing with their gameophobics.
If sometimes you feel the need to exercise your brain a little then look no further and go for these brilliant board games. If you like ticket to ride you’ll like the rest mentioned games on the list as well.