164 of 169 people found the following review helpful
Improved follow-up to Ticket to Ride USA,
= Durability: = Fun: = Educational:
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This review is from: Ticket To Ride - Europe (Toy)
Ticket to Ride Europe is an improved follow-up to the original Ticket to Ride. It improves upon the original by coming with standard-sized cards, by adding ferry and tunnel routes, and by adding train stations. It is a stand-alone spin off, so the original TTR is not required to play.
Much like the original TTR, TTR:Europe involves claiming train routes to complete city-to-city destinations on destination tickets. On each turn, players have take one out of three possible actions:
-- collect train cards (which are used to claim routes)
-- claim a route (by spending train cards). The routes score points as they are claimed, and their point value grows progressively with length: 1 length = 1 point, 2 length = 2 points, 3 length = 4 points, 4 length = 7 points, 6 length = 15 points, 8 length = 21 points).
-- take destination tickets (which give bonus points if you are able to complete the destination by the end of the game, but COST points if you are not able to complete). The player takes 3 destination cards and must keep at least one card, but has the option to reject up to two. The makes it a bit of a gamble - the player may get destination tickets they already have completed, or they may get destinations that are difficult to impossible to complete. The destinations can be close city connections worth a few points or cross continent connections worth 20 points.
Since each turn involves only one of three possible actions, the turns move very quickly and keep everyone engaged in the game. If you take your turn and get up to get a drink, it will usually be your next turn before you get back to the table. The scoring is fairly well balanced, and since you don't know what destinations other players have or haven't completed, the score can change dramatically at the end of the game.
Unlike the original TTR, there are two new route types that add a twist to the game. The first is the 'ferry' route. These are all 'any color' routes, but they take one or two locomotive (wild) cards to claim. The second is the 'tunnel' route. These are either a specific color or 'any color'. When a player wishes to claim a tunnel route, they state their intention and three train cards are drawn from the top of the deck. For each card that is the same color as the route, the player must add that many cards to complete the route, so it could cost anywhere from zero to three extra cards to build. If the player is unable to add enough cards to claim the route, the turn is over.
The other addition to the TTR:Europe that is not in TTR:USA are the train stations. The train stations allow a player to use the route of another player in order to complete a destination ticket. These can prove very useful when the right cards aren't coming your way, or if a section of the board get clogged by other players. They come with a cost: 1 card to place the 1st, 2 cards to place the second, 3 cards to place the 3rd, and a 4 point penalty for each station placed at the end of the game. However, if the station helps to complete a route, the 4 point penalty is usually a worthwhile tradeoff.
TTR:Europe even has bit of educational value. The city names are in their local names, so Moskow=Moskva, Munich=Munchen, Rome=Roma, Vienna=Wien, etc.
If you are looking for a game to add to your game nights, consider Ticket to Ride Europe. If you are on the fence between the USA version and the Europe version, you'll be happier with the Europe version.