By Chris “Lefty” Brown
The award-winning board game, Ticket to Ride has jumped the tracks onto the Xbox Live Arcade. The video game faithfully recreates the game play of the board game, and you never have to worry about losing train pieces or destination cards.
The object of Ticket to Ride is fairly simple. Players choose Destination cards to various North American cities, and then must use available train tracks to connect their cities together. Each turn players must choose between building a track, drawing train cards, or picking up new Destination cards. This is a relatively easy game to pick up and start playing, but can take several rounds to get a hang of things. Ticket to Ride does have a tutorial, but it really just addresses the game mechanics and controller set up, and doesn’t do a good job of helping the players learn other important game play like how many rounds are in a game or the audio cues that can help your game strategy. This is a game to they say is easy to play but difficult to master. Players can stop other players from building vital rail lines by blocking their routes.
Visually, the graphics looks nice with just a few exceptions. Some of the rail lines colors are hard to discern. Also this is another in a long line of games that place the toast pop-ups in a poor place. Whenever a friend comes online, the pop-up appear in the lower center of the screen obscuring your cards for a few seconds. However this is easily remedied by turning announcements off.
Ticket to Ride offers single player play against up to four A.I. or actual players. You can set the A.I. players are different difficulties. If you play with in-room actual players, the other players will be able to see each others cards and destinations. The game also has online multiplayer as well available in player match and ranked flavors.
The achievements in Ticket to Ride are well-chosen, doing a good job in encouraging players to play the game again and again. With the promise of future downloadable content, which will add new maps to the mix, this is a game that will provide hours and hours of fun. Ticket to Ride is a perfect game for all ages, but some of the strategy may be missed by younger players. The game is a lot of fun, and is another very successful board game reinvented for the Xbox Live Arcade. Ticket to Ride is published by Playful Entertainment, Inc. and is available for 800 Microsoft Points. Ticket to Ride has an ERSB rating of E for Everyone.