We are huge fans of the epic board game Ticket To Ride, and when the chance to play and review the all-new standalone entry to the series, Ticket To Ride First Journey arose we could barely contain our excitement! This also marks my first post as a member of the Asmodee Blogger Board Game Club. Go me!
Most people will know that my family and I are huge board game fans. Our Saturday evenings (and the early hours of Sunday morning) are spent playing games; be it Dungeons & Dragons, Ticket To Ride, Carcassonne, Dobble, Catan, Battletech, Magic: The Gathering, Agricola, (the list goes on). We have some children’s games, but it’d be fair to say that the better games in our collection are aimed at adults. The kids’ games we do have are designed to teach basic maths or English, or fall firmly into dexterity challenges. Often, to include our kids in games that will reward them for strategic thinking, we have to tweak the rules to make them more accessible. Ticket To Ride: First Journey will be our first “junior” edition of a serious “Euro-game”, but we’ve had My First Carcassone, Junior Catan and the introductory version of Stone Age on the shopping list for some time.
Ticket To Ride First Journey
If any of you reading this have played the original Ticket To Ride, or Ticket To Ride: Europe, then you’ll be familiar with the concept of the game. At its core, this child-friendly edition is, in essence, just a simplified version of the full game. For those of you who have been living under a rock and have never played Ticket To Ride then let me tell you the basics…
Ticket To Ride is a fun game to pass the time. It is incredibly quick and easy to learn, incorporates just the right amount of luck, and rewards both defensive and offensive strategic play.
The concept of Ticket To Ride is simple: points are scored when a player connects two cities together, either directly, or via other cities, by placing their train tokens along coloured routes. Routes are claimed by matching the number and colour of spaces on the route to cards played from the hand. Cards are drawn or replenished as an action, in place of claiming a route. Each player is given ticket cards, which determine the points available, and the start and destination cities. The winner is the person to get the most points, with points deducted for incomplete routes. Simples.
The kids’ version is even more simple, with fewer destinations, fewer colour combinations, quicker play time and a more “visual” board. The artwork is colourful, has cute cartoons and is very eye-catching, meaning that children don’t have to read the names of the cities, but can spot the associated imagery quickly and easily to find what they’re looking for (e.g. Big Ben for London, the Eiffel Tower for Paris).
There is no point scoring in this version, instead, it’s first to claim six completed routes.
- Who’s it for? 6+. We played with our 6-year-old daughter, and it took her a little while to understand what was going on and how to play. But, I am not the best rules teacher. Nor is my husband. That said, she soon figured it out once she saw us playing. We play the ‘grown-up’ version of Ticket To Ride regularly, so we were able to get started right away, but the rule book is clear so new players can get the core rules down pretty quickly. One point my husband raised was, that you could choose to include a few house rules and add in some of the “grown-up” rules to make this an even faster paced, quick play version of the main game, to introduce older kids.
- How many players? 2-4 players. But if there are more of you, just sit on each other’s laps and team up.
- How long does it take to play? For this version, the box says 15-30 minutes. If it were just two playing, I could believe 15 minutes. BUT it took half an hour just to explain the game to Willow in the first place (slight exaggeration). Once play had begun, we were done and dusted within 25 minutes.
Whats in the box?
- 1 big board
- 80 coloured trains
- 72 Train Cards
- 32 Tickets
- 4 <<East To West>> Bonus Tickets
- 1 Rule Sheet
- A whole lotta’ fun 😉
What did we think?
Well, personally I thought it was amazing! I love playing Ticket To Ride: Europe the best, but have never actually won a game. Playing this version I felt like I actually had more of a chance of winning. Maybe I should play more child friendly versions of games more often. I still didn’t win though.
Willow bloody well loved it! Of course she did. She whooped my butt and won! Hmmpf. She quickly got the aim of the game and was soon playing confidently. Willow said that she especially liked the pictures and learning the names of new places, as well as their features. Dublin was her fave! It was also so nice to spend time with just her, once her younger sisters had gone to bed. Invaluable family time together, sharing the passion of a good board game!
I really think Ticket To Ride: First Journey is the perfect bridge for kids to take a step away from the ‘typical’ family games (such as Buckaroo, Mouse Trap, Hungry Hippo’s etc) or educational games, and discover a board game that would really impress their lil’ buddies at a sleepover! Willow felt so grown up playing this game and I firmly believe that it has fuelled her passion for playing more board games with her super-cool mum and dad.
Design– 10/10. It looks awesome. Kudos to the designers!
Ease of play-8/10. This depends on age. Willow has just turned 6, so is still very young. My hubby is 30 and found it a piece of cake.
Fun– 10/10. Very fun… and competitive, addictive,
Value for money– 9/10. It’s quite pricey but this game will last you years. These premium games are made to last, with a heavy cardstock board and thick silky cards. And in 30 years time, you’ll probably be able to flog it on eBay to some classic board game collector or a 36 year old wanting to relive some 2018 fun.
Ticket To Ride – First Journey is available for £25.99 RRP. A copy of this game was sent to me as a member of the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club, in exchange for this post.
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