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March 19, 2014 / Jett

Ticket to Ride on iPhone Review

I’ve been buying board games on iOS since the launch of the app store. However, my collection of board games consists of mainstream titles like Monopoly, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit. Now that I’ve expanded my horizons when it comes to physical board games, it’s about time that I revamp my iOS collection as well. First on my new list is Ticket to Ride; a personal favourite of mine.

As with the board game, your goal is to score the most points by building train routes. This is achieved by spending your colour-coded train cards on corresponding routes on the map. On top of that, you can earn bonus points by completing your destination tickets and/or by creating the single longest sequence of trains. All of the things that make the physical game great are here as well.

The real question is how does it work as an iPhone game? Quite well, actually. I find that for the most part, the interface makes great use of the small screen in a way that makes it easy to handle the game’s core functions. I especially like how key cities are highlighted to make it easier for you to know where you want to build.

I play this mostly against the computer, which can take on 1-4 different roles. There are different difficulties based on the characters you faced off against. With the four different difficulty settings based on the character you assign them to, you should be able to find a challenge that works best for your taste. Their turns are played very quickly, which minimizes down time.

This game also supports local play between phones, pass and play and online play against friends or strangers. It’s great that online play is a feature and that games can be played asynchronously, though I’ve never had much luck in finding an opponent that played their turn within a reasonable amount of time. You do have the option of jumping to a single-player game if they take too long, but there’s no way to put your solo game on hold while you make a move in your online match. You’re forced to abandon your solo game completely, which kind of sucks. Then again, since solo games against the computer move very quickly and the turnaround time for online matches is so long, then this may not be a big deal.

The base game will keep you busy for awhile, but if you really need more content, you can purchase the 1910 expansion for $0.99. This gives you more destination cards and more game variants. As an owner of the physical expansion, this was a no-brainer for me. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, you can also grab Ticket to Ride: Europe for $1.99, which also adds new gameplay elements.

Ticket to Ride successfully makes the jump from your tabletop to your iPhone. It’s wonderful gameplay is kept intact in a package that works great for the medium. Even if you haven’t played the board game before, this is a great place to start. With the amount of time you’ll likely spend placing your trains across America, you’ll easily get your $1.99 worth out of this one.

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