Ticket to Ride: The Card Game
For 2-4 Players, Ages 8+, Playing Time Around 30 Minutes
A New Train Adventure Begins!
The Ticket to Ride Card Game delivers all of the excitement, fun and nail-biting tension of the original Ticket to Ride board game, but with several unique game-play twists in a new stand-alone, card game format.
Players collect sets of illustrated Train cards which are then used to complete Destination Tickets - routes between two cities depicted on each ticket. But before their Train cards can be used, players must face the risk of 'train-robbing', where another player may force them to lose their hard-earned cards.
Every fan of the board game will want to own a copy of the Ticket to Ride Card Game!
The Ticket to Ride Card Game is for 2-4 players ages 8 and older. It includes 96 Train cards, 6 Big Cities Bonus cards, 46 Destination Tickets and a rules booklet. Playing time is approximately 30 minutes.
The Ticket to Ride Card Game is the perfect portable way to take your next train adventure!
Counter Magazine Review
Designed by Alan Moon
Reviewed by Greg Schloesser
I was attending the Gathering of Friends convention when I first heard of the card game version of the popular and award-winning Ticket to Ride board game series. Already owning three of the Ticket to Ride versions - original, Europe and Marklin - my initial thought was, ``I don't really need to play another Ticket to Ride game''. So, I didn't put any effort towards playing it until the penultimate day of the convention. I wasn't expecting much, but was I wrong! This is an excellent adaptation of the board game, complete with some very clever mechanisms and a touch of nastiness.
Two primary decks of cards are included; one depicting trains in a variety of colors, and the other the destination tickets. Completing destination tickets is the primary manner in which victory points are earned. Each destination ticket names two cities, lists the victory points earned for fulfilling the destination, and lists in bullet-fashion the exact train cards needed to complete the ticket. In addition, there are six goal cards, each naming a specific city. Each card is awarded to the player who makes the most connections into the city, with bonus points being earned.
Players begin the game with one wild card, seven train cards, and six destination tickets. They can keep as many or as few of the destination tickets as they desire. As in the board game, five train tickets are revealed, and the game begins.
Each turn, players have three options:
1) Take two train tickets. The rules are the same as in the board game - if a wild card is taken, no other cards may be selected. Players are free to take cards from the top of the facedown deck. There is no hand limit.
2) Play cards from hand. Players may play as many cards of a matching color to the table, which is known as the ``rail yard''. Alternatively, players may play exactly three cards, each of a different suit.
When playing cards, a player must play more cards in a suit than what is currently in play. So, if an opponent has three red train cards in his rail yard, in order to play red train cards, the player must play four or more cards. This has a cruel effect: any opponent who has red cards in their rail yard immediately discards them. This gives the game a nasty edge, and makes playing three single cards of different suits extremely risky, especially when playing with four players.
3) Take new Destination tickets. A player may draw four destination tickets. This option will usually be exercised a few times during the game. Unlike the board game, a player does not have to keep any of the cards, which makes choosing tickets near the end of the game a reasonable choice. Players can hope to get lucky and find a ticket that they feel they might have already completed.
Before a player takes any of these actions, he places the top card of each suit in his rail yard facedown into his ``On the Track'' stack. These are the cards that will be used to fulfill destination tickets. But here is the kicker: a player may not peek at the cards he has placed in this stack. So, he must attempt to remember, at least in general, the cards he has set aside. Some folks have complained that this memory aspect of the game isn't to their tastes, so the rules do allow a variant wherein players may look at this stack as often as they desire. This option is likely a wise choice when playing with children.
Play continues until the train deck expires, following which each player gets one more turn. Players then examine the cards in their ``On the Track'' stack and complete as many destination tickets as they possibly can. Any wild cards in the stack can be used as any color. Finally, the winner of each goal card is determined. Players tally the points of their tickets and goal cards, and the player with the most total points is victorious.
When playing with four players, the train deck is played through twice before the game ends. Destination tickets are filled at the midway point, and any cards remaining in a player's ``On the Track'' stack and in their rail yard are discarded. Players keep any cards in their hand, and receive four new ones from the deck. Goal tickets are not awarded until the end of the game.
The game contains much of the same tough choices as the board game. Choosing whether to take more train cards or play them to the table can be tougher than one would think, as there is the persistent temptation to take just one more card from those available. However, getting cards to the table means that you will have more opportunity to move them into your ``On the Track'' stack, which is ultimately what leads to victory points.
Ticket to Ride: The Card Game is one of the best adaptations of a board game to a card game format I've had the pleasure to play. It maintains many of the mechanisms and much of the flavor of the original game, yet also offers some clever new twists and features. The aggressive board play aspect of the board game, wherein players can be cut-off from desired routes, has been replaced with the ability to force opponents to discard cards from their rail yards. Yet, at the same time, the game is easy to learn and very accessible. Families can learn and play the game quickly and easily, yet there is enough here to engage gamers. I feel I will be enjoying the ride on this new Ticket to Ride version for a long time to come.