Ticket to Ride – a great introductory-level board game for youngsters.
I’m a firm believer in board games being one of the best teachers for children: there are frequently maths, reading, logic, team work, consequences and even history and geography being taught without the kids realising it. They are also great for getting the family together away from TV, phones and games consoles.
Our latest game is a long-time favourite amongst board game lovers: Ticket to Ride. A game we have found to be a great introduction into the world of gaming and more grown up and involved board games for the kids.
Ticket to Ride Europe is a 2 to 5 player game aimed at ages 8+ and my 7 year-old loves playing it with us. It’s a bit too advanced for the 5 year old, but even he enjoys watching and placing the trains, counting the points and finding the destinations on the map.
Ticket to Ride Europe is about claiming pieces of rail track to cover the routes on your cards whilst battling against your opponents to claim the fastest routes, trying to be covert about where exactly you are going to and from, and complete your routes before your opponents complete theirs. You have to collect cards, plan your route, work out alternative routes if someone else claims your track and chose routes based on the probability of you completing them in time.
You gain points by placing trains on track to claim it as yours and completing routes on the cards – the trickier or longer the route, the more points you gain. The game ends when one player uses up all of their trains and the winner is the person with the most points once you have deducted points for uncompleted routes.
As well as being a really fun game – myself, my other half and friends are often found around the dining table fighting for rail supremacy across Europe – it’s a brilliant game for learning about European geography, planning, consequences, contingency planning, as well as basic maths practice. It gets a firm thumbs up from us.
Ticket to Ride comes in various versions: the original Ticket to Ride covers North America, our version is the Europe game and there are also Asia, India, Heart of Africa and Nordic Countries versions as well as apps and expansion packs and card games.
To mark the 10th anniversary of Ticket to Ride in 2014 Days of Wonder is hosting a Ticket to Ride world championship with the winner receiving a magnificent Grand Prize – a 9 days/8 nights trip for two to Asia, including 3 nights aboard the Luxurious Eastern & Oriental Express. From the excitement of Bangkok to the elegance of Singapore, this trip will be an unforgettable journey through the heart of South-East Asia with visits to colonial Georgetown, Fort Cornwallis and the infamous River Kwai. Visit Esdevium Games for more information.