One of the great things about the iPad is that it lets you play your favourite board games without the hassle of setting up the board. I’ve already reviewed Carcassonne and Samurai, and last week a new board game appeared for the iPad and iPhone: Ticket to Ride, adapted by Days of Wonder.
Ticket to Ride is a popular board game that involves (you guessed it!) trains, tickets and stations. The goal of the game is to complete your tickets by linking two cities. Some tickets have a lot of points (longer routes) and some have few (short routes). You also make points by laying out tracks–the longer the better.
I played the actual board game once, not long before it came out on the iPad, and I had lots of fun. So I didn’t hesitate to pay the otherwise hefty 6.99$ for the iPad version.
Unfortunately, this is only for the original US map version. The game keeps the more interesting boards (Europe and Switzerland) in in-game buys (3.99$ and 1.99$). But then again, it’s worth paying out a little extra for the more interesting strategy of the Europe board.
After you’ve learned the rules through the tutorial (easy and straightforward), you can play solo, online, multiplayer on wi-fi (requires a friend with the game as well) or pass-and-play. Online playing assigns you a random opponent, so you can’t choose to specifically play with your friends, which is a shame. Carcassonne does it well enough, and I wonder why Days of Wonder didn’t include this function.
The gameplay is quite intuitive and it’s easy to manipulate the cards and tracks on the map. I haven’t had any problems choosing the right track, even in tight spots in the Europe map. The game goes pretty smoothly, especially with AI opponents–I can finish one in about 15 to 20 minutes. It’s longer against human opponents, but they also take longer to think!
If you’re in the mood for a simple yet always interesting game that mixes strategy and luck, Ticket to Ride is a great choice. The price is a bit high and you need to pay extra for more maps, but in the end it’ll come cheaper than the actual tabletop game.