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Games, games and more games!
This is part of my series of reviews of how games have worked with my children - for the full list see My children's game reviews - children aged between 2 and 11.
There's nothing particularly special about the components, but the trains and stations are made in attractive colours, and are very tactile. The board is clear (although mine is in German unfortunately!).
Simplicity of rules:
I was actually a little concerned how my 6 year old would cope with the rules on the first play, but then on the second play he was able to play quite easily unaided, with just a few rules reminders (on how many tickets to draw when he drew tickets, etc), so it clearly is simple enough for children of this age.
I suspect an adult playing against children will always have a very slight edge in this game, but last game we played my daughter, aged 11, was just two points behind me, so I think if they played it more often the older two at least would rapidly find themselves being competitive.
Did the children enjoy it?
This is one of our games that has never been hugely popular with the children, and the games of it they've played have been at large intervals, yet they do suggest it from time to time, when they're wanting something different, and do seem to enjoy it when they do. The "mission" aspect, of trying to complete their tickets is quite appealing to young children, and the rules are very simple. I think it just doesn't have that something that makes it really appealing to them.
And how is it from the adult's point of view?
This is a game I'm always happy to play with the children. I don't play it very frequently anyway, so am usually happy to pull it out, and it's not a game where I feel I have to play down to them to let them win, which is always a bonus. I might not be quite as vicious about blocking them by building annoying small bits of track in their way as I might against an adult, but that is the only aspect of the game where I might play slightly "nice". I do prefer to play this map rather than the American one - both because they are more familiar with the geography, and because of the stations which give them a bit of slippage if and when they do get blocked.