Most helpful critical review
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Not a fan of the terrain cards mechanic.
on September 6, 2014
The designers behind Ticket to Ride and its various expansion don't miss much, but they really missed the target on this one.
The new game play mechanic here is "terrain cards", a new deck of cards that are matched to the route colors (including grey) for the board. When turning in a route, you may also turn in a matching terrain card (or two, if the route is long) and double the score. The problem here is that you may only do so if you have the most (or are tied for the most) of that terrain card in your inventory prior to claiming the route. This leads to players delaying their claiming of routes, wasting turns to draw terrain cards, and also encourages hate drafting, where players will draw terrain cards solely to deny other players the ability to double their score on a route. This dramatically slows down the game, much to its detriment.
At the same time, the map itself is poor, with a shortage of double routes through key cities. This means it is frighteningly easy to get blocked out of a route to a major city in a game with five players. There is no station mechanic as in Ticket to Ride Europe, so if you're blocked out of a route you are just screwed.
All in all, this is one map I did not enjoy playing.