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Despite the shift to a digital display, Ticket to Ride looks exactly as you’d hope, with the distinctive visuals pulled directly from the now-classic board game and perfectly presented in this new Mac release. And the menus are as stylish as they are functional, getting you to where you need to go while staying era-appropriate. Luckily, they get you right into the game itself, which is the real draw here.
Deciding which routes to complete is a necessary part of the game--and often the hardest choice.
Good news! The care and love put into the art style and menus is equaled and then some by the Mac interpretation of the actual game. There’s a reason why the Ticket to Ride board game has spun off an entire genre of rail-building games: it’s a lot of fun. The card collecting and spending is fast paced, yet tactical, and getting those last four green cards to finish off your lengthy train requires forward planning--but the hasty rhythm of play never lets anyone get bored.
When playing alone, the opponent AI is smart, capable, and definitely offers a challenge even to more experienced players, and those looking for a quick diversion can knock out a game in about 10–15 minutes. The best way to learn a new board game is simply to play, though a little guidance can be helpful. Luckily, the tutorial strikes the right balance, imparting only the basics before letting you loose in a game. It offers strategic tips without holding your hand the entire time.
Not completing a route you promised you would hurts big when it comes to counting points.
Of course, after getting the hang of things, there’s no sense in continuing to play with robots when you can hop online and play with pals. Finding some buds is easy with a Days of Wonder account, even if they’re playing on an iPad or PC. Everything works great, and there’s little to no lag time between turns. As far as online board games go, it’s hard to beat.
The bottom line. It doesn’t unseat the traditional board game experience, but Ticket to Ride for Mac is another great way to experience this modern favorite.
Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Gorgeous visuals. Speedy, yet strategic play. Excellent online support. Solid tutorial.
Expansion boards not included with the initial purchase.