Customer Reviews: Ticket To Ride
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on July 16, 2006
Every year I buy my daughter at least three board games: one for Christmas, one for Three Kings Day and one for her birthday. It has become a tradition we both enjoy. I purchased TTR after reading excellent recommendations from other gamer parents on Boardgamegeek. I was not disappointed.

The game components are well made and beautiful, and the box is designed to store them well. This is very important, as the game has lots of pieces: cards, colorful plastic trains and wooden marker tokens.

Each turn lets you make decisions, play is never merely mechanical. Each time you play you will be able to choose one of three different actions: claim a train route, collect train cards or gather destination tickets. Each of those actions implies further decisions: Do you take a red train or a blue train? The short Duluth or Phoenix? Risk the big payoff tickets or keep only the safer, smaller points destinations?

The instructions are simple enough for non-gamers and children, but game play is engaging for all levels of play. The game accommodates both laid back and cutthroat gaming styles.

If your family games you should add this to your collection. If you are new to gaming and need a place to start, this is a fine first buy.
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on January 9, 2015
Once we played the game we were hooked. Fun for 2-5 players, which is great because it's hard to find games that are fun for 2. Takes less than an hour for my husband and I to play a game. Our family has played it at least a dozen times since Christmas---still fun. Highly recommend it for ages 8 to adult.
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on April 17, 2013
The game itself is OK. It's simple and easy to explain, and there are some interesting interactions. I do enjoy the geography aspect of it.

My first complaint is the game play seems a little too slow. In our games, we probably all spend around 10 - 15 turns at the beginning just taking cards, building up massive hands that are difficult to hold and sort. Taking train cards 2 at a time, with 8 different colors, it just takes such a long time to get the 5 cards of one color you want to start laying track. It seems like the 5 face up cards quickly get to being 5 cards that no one wants, so they just sit there unused for the most part. People build up massive hands because they are hesitant to reveal where they are going until they can build multiple routes at once, for fear of starting, then getting blocked.

My second complaint is that the plastic train pieces are cheap and too light. Because they are so small and light, they are a little difficult for an adult to manipulate. I would have much preferred painted wooden pieces like the roads in Settlers or the pieces in Agricola. These plastic train pieces just give an overall below average tactile experience.
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on November 17, 2009
For anyone who is not a "Gamer" the name "Ticket to Ride" doesn't really mean anything beyond a Beatles song. However if you mention it in Europe and many other parts of the world you might get a very different reaction.

About a year ago I got interested in Board Games and after much research I found that Ticket to Ride was always mentioned as the Most Popular Game on all the gaming websites. They call it a "Gateway Game", which means it is a Euro game that will appeal to non gamers, but at the same time it is a good enough game that gamers like to play it as well.

I was still a bit hesitant to buy it as I am not a big "Train" person. But after reading many many reviews, I realized that this game must be something really good and I broke down and ordered it.

I can tell you that anytime anyone wants to play Ticket to Ride now I am always ready to play. It doesn't take long to learn how to play, but it is one of those games that you learn new stratgies as you play it.

Ticket to Ride is usually my first choice now to introduce non gamers to Euro-style games. I have yet to meet anyone who didn't like playing Ticket to Ride.

I think if a poll was taken throughout the world, Ticket to Ride would probably be #1 even though it is not well known in the US. Once you play it you won't want to go back to playing Monopoly.... there really is no comparison... they are on two different levels.

Do yourself a favor and get this game and see for yourself.
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on January 28, 2016
I'm hesitate to post this because it seems so many get flak for anything that isn't a glowing review. I have looked at this game for a very long time to purchase for my family but always held off because of the price. I got a good deal and finally went for it for Christmas this year and was super excited. The box is gorgeous so I guess I was expecting a little more when I opened it. The game board is okay but again I suppose I just thought it would be something special with the box art being so great. Then there are the little train pieces that just don't seem to look right with the board. I get that they have to be different colors but I don't know it just wasn't what I was expecting. If the game had been thirteen dollars I wouldn't have any issue but I paid quite a bit more for it.

As far as the game play once again it wasn't what I expected. I always read such great reviews and together with the artwork I imagined this game to be much more than it was. I won't go into to specifics but it was just so different than what I anticipated. The box looks like it promises adventure and a spirit of excitement and for us it just didn't turn out that way. I know that tons of people adore this game so maybe we just don't know what we are doing or maybe it just wasn't my family's cup of tea. I cannot get anyone to play it again to give it another shot so that is pretty telling to me. I have all different ages in my family and this didn't keep anyone's interest. Even though I did get a deal the game was still expensive as far as games go so I really want to give it a few more shots before it continues to collect dust. Hopefully once that happens I will have a happy update.
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on September 23, 2016
There is a reason that this game has won a bunch of awards and is still popular, it’s very fun and can be played multiple times without feeling stale. This is one of my favorite games to play with friends. Although it can be reasonably competitive, it is not nearly as cut throat or intense as some other games we have regularly played (looking at you Settlers of Catan). It is nice that you can play with up to five people without have to buy any kind of expansion pack. The board, cards, and pieces are all of pretty good quality, which I always appreciate in a game that I buy and may see a lot of use. I do wish that the destination and train cards were a bit larger, since they are probably only about half the size of regular playing cards. This can make them easier to lose or harder to hold or shuffle, but can come in handy when you have less table space. It is nice that the game is pretty simple to understand and explain to new players. We also appreciate that games don't take more than an hour or so, since some strategy games seem to drag on forever. Overall, I highly recommend this game for people that enjoy strategy games, but don't want anything extremely long or complicated.
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on January 17, 2016
So here's the deal this game is super fun just like everybody says so don't think my less than 5 star review indicates anything but that. We play it as a family and both the parents and the kids get really into it. High play and replay-ability, quick to learn but a LIFETIME TO MASTER and all that stuff like you'd expect based on everyone raving about it.

Observations / suggestions / etc:
- Requires a fairly big surface area given lots of cards and lots of pieces are part of this game
- Gameplay is super fast, you can get around the horn very quickly (4 players can play in 30 seconds total if they all just draw cards), so don't think you're going to be getting up to get a drink after your turn or anything. Or checking phones seriously just put them away. Good to agree on a set "break time" or something
- Total game time is also pretty fast but not silly fast. An hour or 90 minutes or so.
- If you play with people who are sneaky you should think about wearing sunglasses so they can't see where you are looking on the board because it might give away your strategy if they could tell where you are focusing
- If you're playing against people who don't wear sunglasses try and watch their eyes so you can see where they are looking, it may give away their strategy and you can swoop in and take their routes and win the game that'll teach them
- The spot labeled Duluth is clearly in Minneapolis/St Paul and *everyone* who you play with from Minnesota will point it out
- I recommend some sort of "card holder" thing if you play with younger kids and/or people with smaller hands. We have some wooden boards with slots cut in them to hold cards and they help a ton in this game (and others). I put a picture of that up.

My only real critique of this game - and the reason it's 4 not 5 stars - is the board doesn't sit especially flat. You can see in the pictures I attached. At times you have what seems like a million little trains on the board and just having the board not sit flat makes it seem a bit cheap. This is all about MANUFACTURING quality however, not about GAMEPLAY quality.
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on July 1, 2014
I needed that route! You just cut me off, now instead of destination cards giving me gobs of points, now they all count against me. There’s no way around! My nerves have never felt more vexed than they do now. That’s Jane Austin speak for: I’m seeing red and now I’m going to do anything I think might hurt your chances for the rest of the game; and the next one we play!

Ok, so the first time this happens, there’s usually another way around, it’s probably the long way around, but hopefully you have enough trains to make it, because that’s a constraint you have to work under.

Game Play

This handsomely illustrated elongated board looks has a map of the United States dotted with notable cities that are connected by short and long lines of rectangles (or tracks). In line of track is one of several colors.

You start the game with some cards in your hand that are nicely illustrated train cars of the same several colors. Each turn you either

· take you can draw two cards from either some face up cards or “roll the dice” and choose some from a facedown draw pile, or a combination. If you pick a wild from the face-up pile, you only get one card that turn.

· buy a route (lay down your trains on the rectangles between cities) You buy the track by discarding from your hand the same number and color of cards of the track where you lay down your trains.

· Draw three Destination Cards. You’ve got to keep at least one. These give a method to the madness of which routes you buy.

As you lay down your trains you rack up points, The longer the track, the larger the gain. If you successfully complete the route on your destination card, you also rack up points, but those you conceal till the end of the game.

The game ends a full round after someone has fewer than four trains- everyone but the catalyst gets another turn.

Points are scored as I’ve said, but those destinations you weren’t able to complete, yeah those count as negative points. Oooo.. ouch.

I hate to tell you what to do but…

Keep an eye on how many trains your opponents have left, don’t be stupid and fill your hand with destinations when you won’t have time to complete them.

If it looks like a route you need is one that your opponent might need, you have a vested interest in getting there first, even if it’s an easy one.

You may even consider drawing more destination cards for your first turn or two so that you can spend more time in the game working on more that are related. Than getting those you start with and drawing more in the middle of the game.

What does “related” mean? Consider the following routes:

LA to Miami (goes from the south-east corner of the US to the south-west corner)

New Orleans to Duluth (goes north and south through the center of the US)

Salt Lake City to Houston (goes from the western US to the south-center)

Because there could easily be much overlap in the first and third route, but not the second route, I’d dump the second route and keep the other two.


Well, several off-shoots from Ticket to Ride have come. Not to mention an expansions for the original game that adds several smaller routes. So there is evidence that the theme can be slanted, but in Ticket To Ride Europe, game play is the same with some twists, like you can use someone else’s route for your destination’s sake without getting points for the route, and you route requiring tunneling through mountains are more pricey. These off-shoot stand alone games are a good way for Days of Wonder to charge full price for what could have been a less expensive expansion to the existing game.

I can hear you say, “Yeah, but they are boards in different venues!”

Yes, they are, but Rio Grande seemed to be able to offer double-sided boards (Yes, that means two new maps) and new rule sets for Power Grid for less than half the cost of the original game.

“Oh... Really?”

Yup. But for comments to the theme itself, I think the original game is pretty strong. Struggling to eek out routes to complete destinations- trying to get there before someone cuts you off can be very nerve racking, especially when two or more destination cards are riding on making that connection. I’ve got lots of little trains! Cool little plastic trains!


While I often complain about chance and this game includes card, the fact that you don’t have to take all the destination cards you draw mitigates it, and that there are several face up cards to choose from also helps. Anyone can build anywhere beats the imbalance Power Grid shackles you with. Tit for tat. Anyway, for having cards, I have no complaints.


Interaction is low. While verbal congrats are possible, expressions of dismay and indifference often follow someone laying track. If you can’t reach the cards, there will be- “give me those two oranges” or, “how about two off the mystery pile of joy! But as I think of it, this game could be played in silence. So if you are entertaining that favorite group of mine to pick on- introverts, you already knew what you were in for.

Learning Curve

Low. The purchase price card you get tells you how much things cost and the production of a square base on die roll and Robber operation are pretty easy. Each development cards has what it does written plainly on it. While the rules are easy, the options are pretty limited and objective is pretty straightforward.


Nominal. While you do have to wait your turn, there is a possibility that the track you want to buy gets bought on someone else’s turn. If you pay attention you can make groans at the time they will pay off the most.

What’s not to Like?

I can’t think of anything bad to say that I haven’t already said. It’s a great game that has done much good for the industry and I trust the makers are raking in mega bucks with all their spin offs. If people are willing to pay, they deserve it. Ah, the beauty of capitalism. I guess there are eccentric people out there, who are happy to shell out another $35 to $50.

Collateral Endorsement

I haven’t come across a soul who didn’t like this game, but you may say that my social circles are small. You are probably right, but I love growing them with games. My kids love to line up the trains from here to there, but they have severed my board in one place, so beware, the (read: any) board is best set up on a table rather than the carpet floor where wee feet are wont to walk.
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on August 12, 2006
My daughters (ages 8, 8, and 7) beg me every weekend to play this game. It is the right level for them: complex enough to be challenging, but not hard enough to discourage. And I am glad they are learning some American and Canadian geography along the way!
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on June 21, 2016
This is a great game of strategy as players attempt to create train routes from city to city. At each turn, you have to decide whether to draw new train cards, claim a route, or draw new destination cards. Points are based on multiple factors: completion of the longest route and completion of the routes on the destination cards that the player draws, What I like about this game is that multiple strategies work (versus a game like Monopoly where the strategy is always the same - just buy everything). It's a great game for 2 - 4 players, takes about 45 minutes per game, and is enjoyable for adults and kids. It's an easy game to learn and the rules are pretty straightforward. The illustrations on the board are nice and it's completely family friendly. Other than a few lessons in geography, it's not particularly educational. This version is all in North America (mostly U.S. cities with a few Canadian locations). There are also Europe and other versions available. I have both the board game and the card game and while I like both, the board game is much easier to follow and more visually appealing. The card game requires players to remember what they've played rather than being able to see it on the board. The only thing I would change is maybe having a larger version that could be played by more people. Highly recommend this!
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