Game Review: Ticket to Ride
Released: June 25, 2008
Genre: Card & Board
Developer: Next Level Games, Inc
Available Platforms: Xbox 360
Players: 1-4 (local) 2-5 (online)
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00)
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Website: Ticket to Ride
In my opinion, board games that are ported to Xbox live arcade are hit and miss. Some are rather boring while others only seem to be interesting for a short period. This opinion is quashed with the latest board game offering in Ticket to ride. A continued tradition of providing excellent ports of thought provoking “premium” board games. Grab your ticket to ride and hop aboard the train with me.
Most Live arcade games in most cases are not known for their graphical prowess. Ticket to Ride is able to provide a faithful digital representation of the game board with detail and colors that are easy on the eyes. The only complaint is that some of the colored routes between the cities are sometimes hard to see when near a city or when there are multiple small routes around a city. Luckily there is a zoom feature when you need help in determining your strategy.
The sound in this game is quite simple. It contains music and sound effects relevant to the era of the early late 1800’s. It does a good job of immersing you in your role as a train baron while not distracting you too much from your game strategy. However, none of the sound effects or music will rock your world, but overall they are pleasant to the ear.
Gameplay is the strongest trait for this game. Simple to learn but not easy to master, will keep you playing for quite awhile. In the beginning, everyone picks at least two destination tickets. These tickets will tell you which cities need to be connected through the different train routes. When it is your turn, you have the option of drawing cards, claiming a route or drawing more destination routes. From here is where you decide to proceed with the best possible strategy to complete your destination tickets and possibly win the game!
The controls are very simple. It is clearly defined what action each buttons does on your turn. The right trigger allows you to zoom in and out if you need to take a closer look at the routes on the map. I did not fumble with the controls even once.
This is the second strongest trait of this game. You are able to play locally with up to 4 people plus one AI controlled player. The only weakness here is that upon each players turn, the controller will rumble and says which person’s turn it is. This means that all others players much look away. Truthfully, not the best way to play a local multiplayer mode but at least the feature was included. On Xbox live, a game can have up to five players and most of my experiences have been pleasant without the usual malcontents that can spoil the live gaming experience. This game is quite addictive either offline or online when trying to get a high score and win the game. The different strategies are numerous which kept me playing game after game. In addition, there will be future downloadable content for Ticket to Ride: Europe and Ticket to Ride: 1910. One can only hope we are not charged too much for the new content.
If you liked the other “premium’ board games released on Xbox live then I am sure you will enjoy Ticket to Ride. I believe you will feel the same way as I do that this will not be 800 Microsoft points ($10.00) wasted. Not to mention there should be future content that will expand the base game.
This is a great port of a board game. In fact, this Xbox live arcade game has me interested in getting the board game in the near future. The easy but addictive gameplay will have you playing for hours upon hours. Also, don’t be afraid to play a couple games on Xbox live because I am sure you will meet some very kind people, a nice change from the norm. By the time your interest starts to wane will hopefully be the time that new content for Europe and 1910 will be released to hook you all over again.
Alexander’s Bottom Line
If you liked Lost Cities, Catan, and Carcassonne then I am sure you that you will enjoy this game. However, if you still unsure about this game. Download the demo, take it for spin since it is free, takes only a little time and hard drive space.