Here are my thoughts on Day’s of Wonder’s new cash grab… cough… instalment in the Ticket to Ride series, set in New York City. I first witnessed and played it at the UK Games Expo, and I was struck by how small and compact it was, not how you imagine New York City to be (then again, I’ve never been there)! The cards feel smaller than usual, even to the original TTR card sizes. The board is about 1/10 of the size of a standard TTR board and looks almost child-friendly with a lot of short routes and none of them going over three car lengths. (Except one route)
First, play-through was Lewis and me, and it ended quite quickly. Initially, I thought it was because it was a two player setup, but I have now played as a four-player game, and it ends just as swiftly, only running longer because someone is being soooo slow… taking their turn (which can feel like a lifetime). It still felt really quick and not even getting going before it has ended.
My wife, Claire, is a big fan of TTR and was excited to see a smaller version coming out, probably having the same thoughts as me, that it travels around with us better and as soon as I returned from Meeples’ corner with it, we played a game. When it is all laid out, there’s a feeling of something that might excite, create some fireworks and last longer than a Helicopter tour of The Big Apple. And just like most 2 player game nights we have at home, it ended unexpectedly sooner then she would like.
I believe her words were, “that was short and a little bit disappointing…” Looking at the TTR: New York board after finishing the first game, we both agreed that we need to rethink our strategies differently when playing this game again. Not playing the long game by drawing lots of tickets, as this is a significant risk, but can pay off if you can complete them. The only other negative thing I want to talk about is the coin scoring at the end, it seems a little point…less (pun), added on by DoW design team because there needs to be something different about this version. I have found the difference in scoring around 5 points per person, which doesn’t change the scores and if anything a bit of an anti-climax finish to the results. I used to say this about the longest route (in the original), but I have had some tight games where it has come down to the longest route determining the final score. Maybe the coins will do the same in a future game.
However, this is not a bad game in any way, with its quick playing time, places it in the filler game category. I can see this being a game that sits in my box of games in the boot my car to play while waiting in a restaurant, a coffee shop or when having a work lunch game. It won’t be a game I will play with the wife in the evening, but it can be played in between games on Game Night while you are waiting for others to arrive or finish off a game. It’s not a bad thing being a filler game, New York still gives the same feelings of intense gameplay but a little more amped up, as you know you need to play quickly, complete your routes and keep a close eye on your opponents because before you know it, it’s over.
Claire and I have considered using this version as an intro game to teach the kids TTR, and then we will slowly build up to the bigger brother version. Added to that, this could also happen in a local friendly/family Gameday/night/club setting. Ticket to Ride: New York feels like a gateway into the full version, like a 15 minute prologue to the full epic experience, all the same rules apply but on a tiny scale. Once they have experienced the taste of the sample, then you can bring out the real thing and get them hooked even more.
Ticket to Ride: New York/Light/Travel Ed/Compact, call it whatever you like because it is not a revolutionary game changer, but it does have a placing my collection and any gaming community.
Written By Joel Wright
Photos by Joel Wright
Edited By Claire Wright
Game Supplied by Meeples’ Corner