This review is not going to cover the bits, the game mechanics, the nuances of play but rather uses my proprietary FUN formula, a highly developed gaming review method. What is FUN you ask? It stands for Fast reading, Uncomplicated wording, and New player based. It will cover what most of us are looking for: Is it fun? Is it worth the money? Will my kids (and/or gaming friends) have a good time playing this game?
Is it fun?
I have played TransAmerica with 2 players and with 4 and it's definately fun. The game can be called a 'light' or 'filler' type of game. It's something you can whip out quickly, play for 30 minutes and pack away just as quickly. It is fun because you see where the other players are headed to and you want to connect your cities faster than them hopefully.
With 2 players it's pretty easy to see where everyone is going and there isn't a lot of decisions to make. With more than 2 it can get pretty exciting especially as people start closing in on their final cities.
Is it worth the money?
For about $20.00 (rough average) you can add this game to your collection. It's a great low-cost game to introduce to non-gamers and new gamers alike. You can purchase it at your local game store or online (the latter usually having better prices).
Will my kids (and/or gaming friends) have a good time playing this game?
If your kids like trains, light games, quick games, and fun games then you definately need to have this in your collection. Just watch out for younger kids (and pets!) as there are a lot of small wooden pieces that could get lost or chewed upon. It's a very visual game so not a lot of reading, or math is involved in it.
Gamer friends - I think this is a great filler/opener/closer type of game for any group. Something quick to setup and quick to tear down and fun to play. Plus, if you ever run out of Settlers of Catan roads you can use some of these as replacements!
In summary, don't play TransAmerica thinking you are going to get a deeper game like Ticket to Ride or Railroad Tycoon. Get TransAmerica to have some quick fun and help spread some more board gaming goodness to the masses!