After 15 years of faithful service to the gaming community, Ticket to Ride Europe has been given a snazzy new anniversary edition. The Ticket to Ride Europe 15th Anniversary Collectors Edition! Not only does it come with upgraded components, but also a massive new map loaded with exquisite detail. Everything about this edition feels like a luxury; from the points trackers to the tins to hold the train cars, it is all simply delightful. Also, those who adored the original shouldn't be worried as the same core gameplay we love has remained untouched.
In terms of gameplay, the 15th Anniversary Edition brings the same set-collection and route-claiming formula it has done for, well, the last 15 years. However, as this is an anniversary edition, there's a little bit extra. Along with the base game, the routes from the 1912 expansion have been included along with the rest of the classic tickets. This lets players explore the routes across turn-of-the-century Europe. With 1912 and the classic destination tickets, players have an impressive 101 routes to try and claim. And of course, that's not all. I mean come on, this is a 15th anniversary! Along with this stack of Destination Cards, there are also 7 tickets from the Orient Express expansion, which takes players along the path of the legendary railway. This edition comes packed with Destination Cards, meaning there are a whole set of ways to play.
All these cards have been revamped from the original and now feature a unique 15th anniversary back and brighter front, making it easier to find the cities that are being shown. These cards haven't been the only ones to get a fresh lick of paint. The Train Cards have been completely redone and are truly stunning. Each card has been completely redesigned and the colours just pop. Now featuring logos and a more intricate design, the Train Cards are exceptional. The cards are hands down one of the most striking features of this game. Given how much use they get and how important they are, it feels right that they be made a real stand out piece.
Next Stop, London
Of course, one of the first things you'll notice in the 15th Anniversary Edition is the trains. Gone are the days of boring flimsy plastic trains that all look the same. Now, instead of the repetitive cars we are all used to, each player gets their own set of uniquely sculpted trains which are both bigger and better. The new trains range from oil tankers to postal express carriages, and each set comes with its own gorgeous tin to keep them in. The tins are even designed to show off the trains' branding and feature the names of the companies in their native language.
These tins really make this feel like a luxury product, no unnecessary plastic bags or loose components, everything is where it's supposed to be. This attention to detail is delightful and really elevates the standard even higher. The stations have also been given a new lease of life. Just like the trains they are now bigger and feel much sturdier and all-round nicer to hold and use. As before they sit nicely over the trains themselves and have coloured roofs so that they stand out proud.
Please Mind the Gap
When it comes to upgrades, the board itself has had one of the most stand out transformations. In previous editions, the map board has always served its purpose, but now it steals the show. In this sparkly anniversary edition, the board features fantastic new detail such as mountain ranges, landmarks, settlements, boats, and even different weather. The whole board (and there's a lot of it now) is just gorgeous. Adding to the beautiful map are the routes. These have been given the same treatment as the cards and now really pop, adding a splash of vibrant colour across the continent. This new design is sensational and there is just so much for you to look at that playing is even more enjoyable than before.
The entire box has been made larger to fit this new behemoth of a map in, and so it makes it a real focal point for your collection. However, because of its bigger size, it can feel a little empty, especially to those who are used to games like Gloomhaven, where the box is literally brimming with components. This 15th Anniversary Edition feels more refined than other, more brutish games. The box is sleek, and the inside is carefully laid out with dedicated space for everything. The box insert itself is impressive, and even has special slots for each of the five-player tokens.
You Have Arrived at Your Destination
Ticket to Ride Europe 15th Anniversary Edition is a centrepiece for any gaming shelf. With its oversized box, stunning components, and beautiful board. The 15th Anniversary Edition has taken the classic gameplay that people know and love and has made it into something truly special. It must be said that this is a real luxury item, and one that will take centre stage no matter where you put it. If you are just looking for a quick fun train-themed game to play with your friends, then regular Ticket to Ride Europe will be just fine. This edition is a collector's piece, and so carries a heftier price tag. That being said, this is a truly gorgeous game and it'll be well played over the years to come.