Rail Pass Review | Board Games | Zatu Games UK | Seek Your Adventure

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Awards

90%

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Super engaging.
  • Huge amounts of teamwork needed.
  • A spectacle to watch!

Might Not Like

  • Real-time can be stressful for some people.
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Rail Pass Review

Rail Pass

Rail Pass is one of those games that has ‘the look’. It’s not overwrought with minis, it’s not a blinged-out Kickstarter. Set it up on the table and you’ll start to draw attention.

If you’re going to play Rail Pass in a crowded place, then you better like attention. Never have we drawn such a crowd as we did when trying this game at SHUX – a board game convention in Vancouver. With passive aggressive shouts of “Toot-Toot”, dramatic rail crashes and crazy laughter. You’ll draw a crowd and then you’ll play again with new found friends who want to get in on the fun.

Gameplay

There are six towns in Rail Pass, each in a different colour and with one large train and one small train. The game plays 2-6 players, and the six towns will be shared between all players. Each town starts with a selection of goods cubes in five colours. All of the colours in the game less the matching colour of the town. The goal is to get as many cubes as you can back to their matching town within the game’s time limit.

The game is played in real time, with players simultaneously working together towards the common goal. The goods in your town are arranged, randomly in a single line. Goods can only be taken and loaded onto trains from either end of the line. Once you’ve loaded a train, you assign a driver and pass the train along an allowable route to another player or town. The route has to be passable, not blocked and might be through a cardboard bridge, which just adds to the dexterity element. BUT, you can’t put the train down. Trains either need to be in a player’s hand or in the station. You must shout ‘Toot-Toot’ to signal that someone needs to grab the train from you.

If a train is left stranded it crashes and is out of the game, along with all of the goods on board. Additionally, if a driver ends up too far from home, then that driver is out of the game too. At the end of the game, there are penalty points for these mistakes, which are deducted from your total. Your positive points total is define by multiplying the total number of matching good in the two worst cities together. A net total over 100 points wins the game.

Something to Toot-Toot About?

We played Rail Pass three times in quick succession – something we never do with games. The first game was a mess. In the second game we squeezed a win with two players. In our third game we gained two extra players and it was back to losing again. There’s definitely a learning curve and it takes some time to settle into a good ‘group think’, but we might start to find it too easy on the basic setting. However, I’m more than excited to try out the advanced variant, as soon as we can get our hands on a copy.

With the time limit, you’re definitely thinking on your feet. However, you can be extremely clever in the ways you do things. Passing a train to a friend who has a spare hand whilst you have a bunch of stuff going on is a fantastic strategy. It’s OK for one person to be holding onto four trains – two on their board and one in each hand. This works so long as they don’t want to rearrange any goods cubes.

There’s so much angst in the game because you really need to think at time. Yet you can get into a really fun flow. Keeping track of your drivers has definitely been the thing to catch us out the most often. This is as it’s the least intuitive bit of the game that really flies in the face of the pace of real time.

Rail Pass really makes you exercise your teamwork skills. You don’t need to communicate, so much as work as a really well-oiled machine. If you enjoy real-time games then Rail Pass is definitely a superb pick. Its component quality is a little strange, but it still manages to be eye-catching. If not ear-catching for those in your vicinity!

Final Thoughts on Rail Pass

Who knew that real time, cooperative, pick-up and deliver, dexterity games were a winning recipe?! I think you have to love real time and a bit of chaos to play Rail Pass, but fortunately we do and it’s a superb 10 minute game. It really works for any crowd, provides enough challenge, makes you think, makes you cooperate and, most importantly, makes you laugh. It was a huge surprise hit for us.

You can find more from The Game Shelf at https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/, bringing you board game reviews from a couple's perspective.

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

Might Not Like

Zatu Score

90%

Buy Now

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Excellent
08000075444
Bowthorpe Main Centre, Unit 15, Norwich NR5 9HA
Zatu Games is rated 4.91 based on 9491
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I ordered Mysterium at the best price I could find anywhere and thought it was to good to be true. It came the next day sealed and in perfect condition, the service was so good I have ordered a second game and will probably get all my board games from Zatu going forward.

I ordered Mysterium at the best price I could find anywhere and thought it was to good to be true. It came the next day sealed and in perfect condition, the service was so good I have ordered a second game and will probably get all my board games from Zatu going forward.

sorry I can’t reviewthe actual games as the6 were a Xmas present. They did however arrive very quickly and were well packaged

sorry I can’t reviewthe actual games as the6 were a Xmas present. They did however arrive very quickly and were well packaged

Super fast shipping and prices that cannot be beaten! Very happy with my order, and would definitely come back.

Super fast shipping and prices that cannot be beaten! Very happy with my order, and would definitely come back.

Games delivered quickly. Arrived in perfect condition.

Games delivered quickly. Arrived in perfect condition.

So far so good. Orders are delivered quickly and the service is excellent.

So far so good. Orders are delivered quickly and the service is excellent.

I usually buy my board games from my local store but decided too explore the wonders of the Internet for my Christmas gift idea! By doing so I came across this orange website in which I seemed dubious of at first but after reading some of the reviews and doing some research, I found I couldn't get a deal better anywhere else! This delightful orange website called Zatu games delivered my gift, too which I ordered within 5 minutes, my gift came within 3 days tightly packaged and sealed up with zato tape. I would definetly order from here again in the future.

I usually buy my board games from my local store but decided too explore the wonders of the Internet for my Christmas gift idea! By doing so I came across this orange website in which I seemed dubious of at first but after reading some of the reviews and doing some research, I found I couldn't get a deal better anywhere else! This delightful orange website called Zatu games delivered my gift, too which I ordered within 5 minutes, my gift came within 3 days tightly packaged and sealed up with zato tape. I would definetly order from here again in the future.

Initially ordered from Zatu because of the good prices but they’re now my go to vendor because of the excellent service. Quick delivery and they keep you up to date on how your order is progressing. Packaging is perfect so games arrive safely.

Initially ordered from Zatu because of the good prices but they’re now my go to vendor because of the excellent service. Quick delivery and they keep you up to date on how your order is progressing. Packaging is perfect so games arrive safely.

Never heard of the company before. As a emerging board game fan I am pleased to find they have a large range of games and even have a reward scheme, which is great. Will be back to buy for myself in the New Year (bought a Christmas present).

Never heard of the company before. As a emerging board game fan I am pleased to find they have a large range of games and even have a reward scheme, which is great. Will be back to buy for myself in the New Year (bought a Christmas present).

Great selection of games, reasonably priced and easy to order. Waiting for delivery now.

Great selection of games, reasonably priced and easy to order. Waiting for delivery now.

Very easy to use, a great choice and great value.

Very easy to use, a great choice and great value.

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