In another of our regular board game spotlights, Zatu peruses the CD rack for the music that adequately captures the cavernous hole in its soul, but where teen-centric angst-synth should be there’s only Ticket to Ride, the 2004 release from publisher Days of Wonder and Designer Alan R. Moon.
Ticket to Ride has players competing to take control of the railways of North America, which is actually considered illegal. To do so, they collect cards and train cars, hoping to claim longer routes than their opponents and fulfil Destination tickets.
Players have limited actions each turn. They may draw more cards; take additional destination tickets; or claim a coveted route. Destination cards act as goals, tasking players with connecting certain cities or constructing routes that exceed a certain length.
Ticket to Ride, in its infinite popularity, has become known as the cannabis of tabletops, the ultimate gateway game. This is down to the simplicity of its rules alongside the risk-reward tension that, as designer Alan R. Moon himself says, stems ‘from being forced to balance freed – adding more cards to your hand, and fear – losing a critical route to a competitor.
Since winning the coveted Spiel des Jahres in 2004, Ticket to Ride has sprogged numerous sequels allowing players to locomotively dominate in a more global sense.
Days of Wonder takes its name from the childhood fascination many feel when they first play games. In 2004 it became the youngest publisher ever to win the Spiel des Jahres, just 2 years after it was founded.
They distribute across 25 countries and their popular titles include Quadropolis, The Battlelore series and, of course, Ticket to Ride.
Alan R. Moon is an English board game designer who grew up in the USA. He has been designing games for over three decades. Two of his designs have won the Spiel des Jahres: 1998’s Elfenland and 2004’s Ticket to Ride.
Since the year 2000 Alan has been a full-time freelance game designer and now has a huge catalogue of board games to his name. The first game that he published was Black Spy, which was released all the way back in 1981.
Start building those rail roads
If you want to know what she’s got, buy Ticket to Ride from Zatu today!