Few franchises are as synonymous with the tabletop genre than Ticket To Ride, and it's also one of the most expansive games to date. Those expansions allow you to customize the experience to your liking, which is great for longtime players. That said, one of the challenges the genre consistently faces is welcoming newcomers into the tabletop fold due to the complex first impression all the fiddly bits and mechanics most initially make. That's part of what has made Ticket To Ride so successful as a franchise, but if you have a new player at the table, you can't do any better than Days of Wonder's newest version of the game, Ticket To Ride: London.
That's precisely what I did with my wife, who's heard quite a bit about Ticket To Ride from friends but hadn't ever had a chance to give it a go herself. The '60s London theme gives everything so much personality, and the smaller board made it possible to play the game on our ottoman as well as on our table, making it much more convenient to move gameplay from one room to another.
That might not sound like such a huge thing, but when you can easily fill up a large table with all sorts of figures, cards, and tokens, it's nice to have an alternative that you can actually bring with you from location to location and pretty much play anywhere.
The streamlined accessories also made it rather easy to teach the game. A new player only has to keep track of two different types of cards and their buses, meaning you only need about one turn or so to really get in a rhythm. The smaller size of the board (especially compared to other editions of the game) also means that new players can quickly visualize their route from one point of the board to the other, without getting lost in the myriad of options other versions provide.
Now, those who have played the game for years now will probably find this lacking, but that's expected, and I'm not really going to hold that against it. Days of Wonder has plenty of other versions out there of Ticket To Ride that add new mechanics and allow you to expand your map significantly, so this looks to fill a different sort of segment of gamers. There are plenty of players who these games appeal to but are not as inclined to give them a shot due to the complexity of mechanics and often intimidating setup, and those two areas are where Ticket To Ride: London shines.
There's just enough depth to keep the title replayable, though eventually, you will want to head out and pick up one of the larger titles for a more full experience. That said, this is perfectly priced at $20 and acts as the perfect introduction to board games for the curious tabletop gamer in your life.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Published by Asmodee/Days of Wonder
Designed by Alan R. Moon
Illustrations by Julien Delval
Graphic Design by Cyrille Daujean0comments
Editing by Jesse Rasmussen
A copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this review.