Continuing with my recent theme of Days of Wonder games, its time to review Ticket to Ride.
In Ticket to Ride, each player is attempting to build the most well rounded network of railroads by connecting various cities together. On any given turn a player can draw train cards for use in building railroads later, they can build a connection from one city to another if they have the appropriate number of matching train cards, or they can draw new "Destination cards" which will give them two cities that they can score points for connecting.
Ticket to Ride has several pro's and con's. The first pro is that the game is incredibly easy to learn. In fact, the instructions are 2 pages front and back (with a lot of pictures). This game could easily be taught to any level of board gamer, and would even be ideal to play with younger children (Days of Wonder recommends age 8+). This is nice, because the number of board games that actually include strategy but are able to play with younger children is somewhat limited.
Another pro is that Ticket to Ride is fairly fast paced and engaging. Each turn goes pretty quickly, and so there are not the long pauses in between turns where players can get disengaged. This is another thing that makes Ticket to Ride work well with all ages from 8 through adults with limited attention spans.
However, the ease of learning Ticket to Ride has unfortunately come with a con - the strategy is somewhat limited. Since the number of available actions is so small, the overall strategies in the game are not very numerous, so it can quickly feel like you are playing the game the same way every time. The basic strategies primarily lie in when to build railroads and when to wait, and occasionally in when to draw new destination cards.
Overall, I give Ticket to Ride a 7.0/10. It was very enjoyable when I first learned to play it, but I felt that the replayability was a bit low. (I realize that many people will disagree with both the rating and the replayability, and they should feel free to comment - please, just be tactful when leaving comments.) This is a game that I would recommend playing two or three times, and if you still enjoy it purchasing the game at that point if possible, instead of purchasing it up front. If you are looking for a high quality child friendly game, Ticket to Ride should be near the top of your list.