Ticket To Ride is an all time classic board game. It’s easy to learn, pretty to look at, and quite fun. It’s a true gateway game, introducing the tabletop gaming hobby to countless throngs over the last 15 years. And there are dozens of versions and expansions out there. Enter Ticket To Ride: London, the most recent addition to the family. TTR: London, designed by Alan R. Moon and published by Days of Wonder, has 2-4 players claiming bus routes around the city of London with similar rules to the original game.
The board here is noticeably smaller than the original game and players only get 17 buses instead of 45 trains. Turns are exactly like the original – either draw cards or play cards to complete routes. There are a few contested spots on the board which can cause problems if an opponent blocks your route, but for the most part, you’ll be frantically trying to complete your tickets before the end game is triggered (when any player has two or less buses remaining in her supply). And the end will come fast. With only 17 buses, you really have to be judicious with your decisions. If you try to hoard cards to fulfill the longer routes you could end up empty handed at games end and lose points.
This is really the heart of Ticket To Ride: London. It basically provides the full Ticket To Ride experience, but in a much shorter time. This game should last no more than 30 minutes. Honestly, for me, that is perfect for a gateway game. For the most part, my gaming group has moved past these games as a go-to, and this edition of Ticket To Ride is just enough to provide the core experience in half the time of the original. It can still be used to attract newcomers to our great hobby, but at this length you’ll have the option to get in multiple plays or move on to a different game. I like that.
The cover art is cool and the colors on the board are bright. The bus colors are groovy pastels which add a 1960’s vibe to the game. The ticket art mimics some iconic vehicles from British pop culture as well. I think the wild card may be an homage to the Austin Powers “Star Car” bus. Package-wise, the insert is perfect if you don’t sleeve the cards. Overall, I thought London was a great addition to the franchise, and is likely to be the one I break out in the future due to its play time. I have heard that the New York version is similar in scale and so that might be a viable option as well.
Ticket to Ride: London is distributed by Asmodee and is available exclusively at Wal-Mart Stores in August for $19.99. You can also pick up the game at Gen Con.