Jayson Myers
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Please check out my other reviews at:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2490589#it...



Conclusion:

A simple game that sometimes devolves to a guessing game or the best guessing game. The theme is you are traveling through the country and you need to do so as cheap as possible (which means going through the fewest borders (don't ask me why crossing a border cost more money)).

The components are cheap in this game and the rules do a great job of explaining how to play. The game works the way it is intended, but I am not sure it is overly fun (or a lot of "game" even).

This is a light game that is really good to play with kids to learn geography. Geography is one of those subjects you learn in school, but I'm not sure it is overly useful. So, it does teach you something, but I'm not confident the information you learn is overly useful.

The theme is something different and there is some appreciation for that. The game is light and quick to learn/teach. There is some level of fun, although my wife liked it more than I did. Of course, she likes any game that has any educational value to it (go figure).

In the end, we will keep it, but mostly for my wife.



Components:

The components in this game are a mixed bag. The cards are smaller, but you don't shuffle them much so they should last a long time (considering you also won't play this a ton either). The tokens and "board" are made of nice cardboard and are sufficient for the game.

You also get some paper (yes paper) maps (one of Europe and of the US). While you only use the maps as a reference to score, I do not like paper maps and I find them very cheap.

The country cards do have very nice looking art.

The components are fine except for the paper maps, but there is nothing to write home about here.



Rule Book:

The rule book is very interesting. This is a very interesting rule book as it is designed to teach the 7 rounds one at a time (not all, but most of the rounds play a tad differently). The rule book is very clear and does a great job. The rules are simple and it keeps the game from bogging down. This is intended to be a simple game that plays quick and the rules accomplish this.



Flow of the Game:

I am not going to tell all the rules or how each round works. Basically the flow of the game is the following:

1. You can look at a map.
2. Turn the map face down.
3. 7 cards are placed down and 1 is in the center. Each cards has a state/country on it (depending on which map you are using).
4. The idea is you place one (or both) of your token(s) (depending on which round you are in) on a state/country.
5. After everyone has placed their token(s), you flip over the map.
6. Count how much it cost to travel and pay the money.

That is the flow of the game. Basically, before certain rounds you get additional money. As you travel, you have to pay. The more borders you cross the more you have to pay to travel (thematically, this doesn't make sense to me).

Whoever has the most money at the end of the game, wins.

You also want to place your counters quickly, as if you place it on top of another counter, you must pay a 10 dollar penalty. other rules, there is a 40 spot on the board and if you place your token there you pay just 40 bucks. If you place a token on a state boarding the starting state, you pay extra money. On the rounds where you have to pick more than one travel location, they cannot border each other or you will pay extra (i.e. Texas and Oklahoma).

This is basically every rule in the game and it is easier to play than I am describing.

On each round change, you may have to go to two states instead of one or another small rule change. It keeps the rounds a little fresh.



Should I buy this?:

No, not really. While we will be keeping it because my wife loves all educational games, not because it is a great game. If you really want to teach your kids geography (well, Europe and USA), then this game may help. You just need to involve them in the scoring. The rule book also includes some small, unnecessary facts about each state that you can read.

Is this a great game? Nope. Could be fun for your family? Yep. Are you going to play this with your buddies? Nope.

For me, a purge. For my wife, a keeper. Guess what? We are keeping it.
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Oliver Paul
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I don't really get the target audience for this game. The scoring and the differing rounds make this too complicated for non-gamers (except if explained and hand-held by gamers), and the fact that it's simply not interesting enough for gamers makes it a bit of an odd goose. I didn't enjoy it at all, even though I'm a bit of a map/cartography/geography buff and I enjoyed backpacking through Europe last summer.

Anyways, good write-up! Enjoyed it very much.
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Randy Cox
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I'd love to play this with my buddies. I like it and think it fits the niche of geography games or "map games." There are so few good ones (Mad Dash! comes to mind).

For me it's a keep, though it (like plenty of my favorite games ever) only come out very rarely.
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Jayson Myers
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Randy Cox wrote:
I'd love to play this with my buddies. I like it and think it fits the niche of geography games or "map games." There are so few good ones (Mad Dash! comes to mind).

For me it's a keep, though it (like plenty of my favorite games ever) only come out very rarely.



I know there is a lesson in here somewhere, but I'm amazed that nearly any game has a fan. I'm shocked and very surprised that "some buddies" would get together and play Travel Blog. Please understand I don't mean that as an insult, but this isn't the sort of game that I could imagine a group of 5 guys sitting and sahying:

Buddy 1: "Man, let's play some Earth Reborn"
Buddy 2: "No way, we have Travel Blog."
Buddy 3: "Yes, let's play travel blog. I brought Agricola, but that was dumb, Let's play more Travel Blog."
Buddy 1: "I'm stupid for even thinking about playing Earth Reborn!"
Buddy 4: "Buddy 1, you cannot play with us when we play Travel Blog until you get us all Cokes. Earth Reborn...sheesh....Who would say that when there is Travel Blog to be played!"
Buddy 5: "You guys are all idiots. I'm setting up Travel Blog."

I posted the above to try and be funny, please only take it as humor. My belabored point is I just can't see some guys sitting around playing Travel Blog. If I ever walk into a game store and see some guys sitting around playing it, I think I might have a heart attack. I just saw this as something you would play with your kids.

(I hope my humor came across as funny and not insulting). I realize everyone likes different things and it is a lesson I'm still learning in life. I reviewed Mondo and knew people would like it (I did not). I just can't connect it with my brain that a group of guys would play Travel Blog (yes, I'm an idiot).
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Randy Cox
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Would you find it odd for a group of friends at, say, a convention to choose--as a first choice--to play Beyond Balderdash or Escape from the Hidden Castle or Enchanted Forest or Wildlife Adventure?

I only ask because I've seen different sets of my friends do exactly that at conventions going back for decades. Sure, they'll play regular Euros (don't know about that Earth whatever you mentioned), too, but sometimes you just have a hankerin' for Telestrations.
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Jayson Myers
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I stand correct and no ill will intended. I just didn't see this much as a gamer game, more of a family game. If gamers play this game as an opener, so be it.

I was attempting to be funny, but I hope my humor didn't cross a line. To each their own.

Randy Cox wrote:
Would you find it odd for a group of friends at, say, a convention to choose--as a first choice--to play Beyond Balderdash or Escape from the Hidden Castle or Enchanted Forest or Wildlife Adventure?

I only ask because I've seen different sets of my friends do exactly that at conventions going back for decades. Sure, they'll play regular Euros (don't know about that Earth whatever you mentioned), too, but sometimes you just have a hankerin' for Telestrations.
 
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Randy Cox
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Oh, I caught that it was humor and was not offended. I was just pointing out that I can see (and have seen) that it is as much a game as a lot of other things that come along.
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