iOS Board Games

Among the best things in life is playing printed games in person with family and close friends. When those are not convenient we like iOS Board Games. News, reviews, previews, and opinions about board gaming on iPhones, iPads, iPods and even Android devices. (iPhone board games, iPad board games, iPod board games, Android board games)
Recommend
89 
 Thumb up
11.25
 tip
 Hide

Review: Ticket to Ride

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Stats:
Compatibility: iPad.
Current Price: $6.99
Developer/Publisher: Days of Wonder
Version: 1.0
Size: 153 MB
Multiplayer: Online, (Pass and Play promised in next update)
AI: Yes, varying difficulties.
Itunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ticket-to-ride/id432504470?mt...



The Good:
The app is beautiful, from the menus to the in-game play.
A great online experience, better than Ticket to Ride Online on PC.
A wealth of features available at game launch.
The Bad:
Not a great candidate for pass and play or async multiplayer.
Could be at home on iPhone because it is mostly an online or single player experience.

Summary:
Ticket to Ride is a strong contender for the best board game app on iOS. It brings a very popular game to the masses in a very beautiful and sleek manner. In many ways it is Ticket to Ride Online reskinned, but the iPad version is easier to access, easier to play, and polished in almost every way.

Gameplay:
Ticket to Ride is one of the most popular and widely known designer board games. As a physical game it is sold in almost all speciality toy shops and has been given many awards. It stands with Catan, Carcassonne, and Dominion as one of the easiest and most accessible strategy board games. All lauds and praises aside I never cared much for Ticket to Ride, but I can honestly say playing it on an iPad has certainly changed my mind.

Ticket to Ride is a train game with simple mechanics. Players take turns collecting sets of train cards that allow them to claim routes (ranging from 1 card required to 6 cards) on a map of the United States, scoring points based the size of the route. Held in secret from the others, each player has destination cards that show two cities that the player must attempt to connect by claiming the routes between them, completing these scores the player bonus points at game end. Players continue to claim routes, draw train cards, and occasionally draw additional destination cards until one player has 2 or fewer trains of their color to place on the board. At this point each player has one last turn and then points are tallied. Player receive extra points for completed destination cards and one player gets bonus points for having the longest continuous line of his color trains.

With the launch of Ticket to Ride on the ipad there are already 3 expansion available that add many different ways to play. In its vanilla version Ticket to Ride is fairly simple to comprehend but offers a fun diversion with many strategic choices. Playing the game in its sleek and beautiful iOS implementation has given me a chance not only to explore it further through repeated play, but also changed my opinion on a game that many love. Ticket to Ride is great fun and highly recommended.

Implementation:
Ticket to Ride is a great example of what every iOS board game app should aspire to be. It was launched with an abundant amount of features and expansions. Also due to popular demand Days of Wonder has offered the missing feature (not in my opinion) of pass and play with the next update.

The graphic design of Ticket to Ride is, in one word: beautiful. It takes a more animated approach than apps like Carcassonne or Samurai, but it is still clear and appealing. The main option screen does not clearly list what each option is but after playing around a little you will see where each button takes you. Also the app will always give you a description of each option if you require it. The beauty of the app continues to amaze me. Just the other day I left the app running and realized the train station switches from day to night and new passengers come and go. Is it helpful to the game? No, but it looked very pretty and was a symbol of going above and beyond simply presenting information.

The interface of the app, despite being clothed in an artistic façade is simple and easy to use. From the main screen you can either go straight into the game creation menu or enter the station for more specific menu options. From the game creation window you can start a game with AI or online. In online mode you can select options such as how many players and whether or not you want to play a ranked game. The app will then automatically join you to a game that matches your criteria or it will create a game for you that others can join. You can purchase and select the 3 available expansions from this screen. From the train station menu you can enter the online lobby and pick a game from the list or invite friends to a game. You can also adjust basic settings, see leader boards, review written rules, and find links to purchase DoW products (smart for any board game app). I always felt like everything was well laid out and I was not wading through confusing menu chains. The in game play is very clear. The active player glows with their color. It also highlights the cities or your different destination tickets. The touch controls seem very clear and I have not encountered any problems.

The AI play of Ticket to Ride is there and offers bots of varying strategies. It is great for quick games when you are not connected but I have noticed that the AI is not extremely strong, I usually win with a wide margin and as any of you will meet me online can attest, I am not great at this game. However, the AI is great for learning and refreshing as well as testing out new strategies.

The online multiplayer of Ticket to Ride is equal to the best of any on iOS. It does not suffer from the lack of async, as I feel this would bog down the game and give the disconnected feeling of Ra. The online real-time multiplayer is quick and smooth. If a player disconnects they are quickly replaced by a bot and the game continues. This in my opinion trumps Carcassonne, where so many quick-play games are ended when one player disconnects (the majority of my wins are from forfeits). This app also awards you a karma rating based on how many games you quit out of early, so the more games you skip out on the less people will like you…makes sense. It is this fast, engaging online multiplayer that has moved me from an indifferent attitude toward Ticket to Ride to that of appreciation.

Another outstanding feature of this app is the amount of content it had at releases. It included online play, leaderboards and 3 expansions right out of the gate. These expansions are 1910 (which modifies the base game), Europe (provides a new map and new rules) and Switzerland (a map made for 2 or 3 players). This expansions are reasonably price and add a lot of variety to the game. I do think that their position in the initial game creation menu may be a little disorienting for new players they are clearly explained and labeled.

Ticket to Ride is honed toward online play. After your 3rd or 4th AI game the app will actually prompt you to play online instead. Because of this single player on one device and online focus it seems the iPhone may be a possible device for this iteration of Ticket to Ride (but perhaps I am only dreaming). Pass and play will be another feature to utilize but I can foresee it being used solely while traveling. I also assume there will be clamoring for async play in the near future, but I for one think this will not improve the play experience. I could see some sort of pause feature being used in games with friends but the game plays so quickly and turns are so short it is most enjoyable in one sitting. Days of Wonder has a good track record with Small World, not introducing more features than are necessary and I hope they continue that trend with Ticket to Ride.

Conclusion:
Ticket to Ride is near perfect. It is a fun and engaging app that offers a sleek and speedy online multiplayer system. It ranks up there with the best offerings on iOS. It may not have every feature offered in other apps due to the nature of the game, but this is, in my opinion, a strength not a weakness.

Rating: 4/4 One of the Best
Twitter Facebook
56 Comments
Subscribe sub options Wed Jun 8, 2011 6:02 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}