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Ticket to Ride Review:
Ticket to Ride is based on the board game of the same name. The premise is straightforward enough: build railroads to connect different cities. The catch is that only so much track can be put down on a path, so if another player grabs that specific route, you have to find a way around, if one exists.
Players score based on the amount of track they have put down, and if they manage to connect the cities they have tickets for. Failing to connect these cities deducts points from you in the end, so be careful when you select your tickets. The game features AI opponents as well as local and online multiplayer, so you can play it alone or with friends. You cannot control the difficulty of the bots, but you can control their numbers, from one to four (so that is two to five total players).
The graphics are simplistic and meant to mimic the aesthetics of the times when railroads dominated the land. One issue I have with the graphics, though, is that it can be hard to spot the trains placed by the players. Different routes can require different colored train car cards be placed on them, and these colors are shown on the map. The pieces put down by the players, though, directly on top of these routes, are also colored (to match the player, not the route) and a few times I had to look carefully to make sure if I was seeing an open route or a claimed route. There is just not enough contrast between the pieces and the board to know at a glance which is which, in my opinion.
The PC version is played completely with the mouse, which translates very well to the touchscreen of an Android device. The only issue with the Android build is that some of the elements are placed very close to the edge, making it easy to miss them. Some of the elements are also somewhat small, making it very easy to cover them with your finger when you go to grab them.
The soundtrack is comprised of assorted train noises and music meant to emulate the sounds of the time. Honestly though, some of the sound effects get annoying after a bit. The music, however, is fitting and pleasant enough for background music as you play. Something worth noting is that when you first open Ticket to Ride, it immediately throws you into an audio tutorial of the program. You have to go to options to disable this. This, coupled with some of the sound effects, make me very much believe the entire game experience has been designed around children playing the game, and not adults.
I see this more of a time-passing game, meaning something you would play while commuting or to give to your children to play during a trip than an experience you would sit down to enjoy for hours at a time (which would likely be many games). In that regard, the Android version is great to have, especially if you have a tablet to play the game. The PC then will be a good place to practice or play some online multiplayer.
If you are not familiar with Ticket to Ride then, honestly, you can probably take a pass on it. It is fun, so do not disregard it if you get the bundle, but it does not stand out enough to recommend on its own. Of course if you already know the game and want some digital copies, go ahead and get the bundle. Though I am not familiar with the original board game version, it seems to be true to its board game origin, with some of the improvements video games offer.