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The set collection and route building game Ticket To Ride is truly a modern classic. In the original game you would claim routes across a map by playing a group of matching coloured cards. You would do this hoping to fulfil ‘tickets’ - journeys made up of multiple connected routes, with larger journeys worth more points. Unfulfilled tickets, however, lose you points at the end of the game.
The large maps of North America and Europe created an interesting tug of war as players attempted to construct the most efficient network, plastic train pieces made the board grow in a colourful spider web fashion as the game progressed. Ticket to Ride: New York shrinks all those ideas into an amazingly quick battle of taxi routes across the titular city.
In essence, New York shrinks everything about it’s older sibling down, the box, the cards, the game length. The box claims 15 minutes and I was shocked to find this is entirely accurate. Due to the tighter map, smaller routes and shorter tickets, the game has become somewhat akin to a knife fight in a phone box.
Because Ticket to Ride: New York is so short, tickets become incredibly important and reading them correctly is key to doing well. If you want to maximise your points you will need to draw extra tickets fairly early on in the game, but of course that’s a risk because if you can’t fulfil them you are going to lose points.
There are a couple of differences in the gameplay too. Namely, the points are all totted up at the end rather than as you go along, and there are some landmarks on the map which give you a small amount of bonus points. The rest of the changes all come from that shrinkage of the core game.
So, in Ticket to Ride: New York you have a quick playing, intense version of a modern classic, perfect for those times when you can’t commit to a fuller game, or just as an aperitif.
Player Count: 2-4
Time: 10-15 Minutes