Ticket to Ride: London
Players try to get cards to help them connect destinations and routes in London. This smaller version of Ticket to Ride plays out much quicker on a smaller map.
Players still start with two destinations and two color cards. The color cards help them claim routes matching that color. Any grey routes can be claimed by any color as long as they're all the same color.
On a player's turn they can either 1) Claim a route, 2) Get a new destination card or 3) Get more color cards. If they choose to get more color cards they can claim two of them from the face-down stack or the 5 that are sitting out, but if they choose a face-up wild card that counts as their whole turn. Any face-down wild cards only count as one. If at any point 3 wild cards are face-up, the whole group of five is discarded and a new set is dealt out.
Play continues until a player has only two buses left, then everyone gets one more turn. Scores are added up based on who made their destinations, and who completed any districts. There is no "Longest route" bonus in this version of TtR.
Highest point value wins.
Artist: Cyrille Daujean, Julian Delval
Publisher: Days of Wonder
It seems only fitting that the game that invokes a Beatles’ classic finally has a version just for London. In case you hadn’t heard of the evergreen game Ticket to Ride, players gather colored cards to claim routes across a map, trying to link locations together and emerge victorious with the best railway and most points. In Ticket to Ride: London, players do this but on a scaled-down map of just jolly old 1970’s London, and with double-decker buses instead of trains. Hop on, the review is about to start!
Not only is the map smaller, but players are only given a small amount of buses to work with. Veteran players may take note that especially when trying to claim longer routes, they barely have enough trains to make it there. Unlike the original Ticket to Ride, players may want to start claiming routes early and often if possible, because the limitations of the smaller map become immediately apparent, especially when playing with the full four players. And that’s probably my biggest complaint with it – at max numbers, it doesn’t feel like there’s enough room to move where you want to, even more than in the normal games of Ticket to Ride.
If you stick to 2-3 players I’d say Ticket to Ride:London is a treat, and feels very accessible since even if a player does get snookered out of that 11-point destination, he is really only out 15 minutes. Games play quick and snappy, and are easy to reset.
The components felt like a bit of a mix for me – for one, the cards are all the smaller size, which makes it hard for a half-ogre like me to shuffle. But their quality was fine, and felt like they would stand up to multiple games (which is good because players will be shuffling the color deck several times per game). The buses are similar plastic as the trains, if not a little lighter, which unfortunately made them feel a tad cheaper. It seemed odd that the player markers are made out of the same plastic, instead of wooden cylinders like in past Ticket to Ride games. Also, in my copy I received two white player tokens and no blue token.
Days of Wonder did a good job on keeping everything in line with the theme, however – I like that the trains became buses, and the cards have very English influences like a yellow submarine or black London taxi. Even the rule book looks like a tourist brochure.
This game also added a new rule where the map is divided up into districts, and if a player can get their trains to each stop in the district they earn its listed points. This is a nice addition and can sometimes take away the pang of not making it to a destination before the last round.
This might be an odd game to start with in the Ticket to Ride line, but London does have a lot to offer in a small package. Especially for players looking for a quick route-building duel game or filler title. If you’re a die-hard Ticket to Ride fan or looking for a quick, easy to setup and play game, well then London is calling.
A review copy was provided by Asmodee.
+ Games are quick
+ Easy to set up and explain
+ Classic Ticket to Ride game play in a smaller package
- Much smaller board means less success in larger games
- Components feel slightly cheaper