Build your railroad routes across the country

Ticket to Ride is another solid iPad adaptation of a classic board game in which you race other players to build railroad routes across a map of the U.S. and southern Canada.

Ticket to Ride is another solid iPad adaptation of a classic board game, which has the same name, in which you race other players to build railroad routes across a map of the U.S. and southern Canada.

Fans of the board game (and its online version) will find this a satisfying reproduction of the original--but, of course, with the added bonus of not having to fumble with all the little pieces, cards, and bookkeeping. You can play a solo game in about 15 minutes, with no cleanup. If you don't know the game already, it's pretty easy to learn--and Ticket to Ride practically falls all over itself with explanations: there's a walk-through video, complete rules, and an optional tutorial that will walk you through your first game step by step.

Some board game adaptations make better use of the touch screen than others, and Ticket to Ride definitely does a great job here. During your turn, you can draw cards (with a tap), claim a route by playing cards (drag a crosshair and release), or draw new destination tickets (say, from Calgary to Phoenix). The interface is packed with info, but not overwhelmingly so: you can see your competitors' hand size and the number of destination cards and trains pieces left (which lets you know how close you are to the endgame). You can play solo against up to five opponents, but you'll have the most fun online, in quick public or private matchups.

The game's only notable shortcomings are the quality of the AIs (they can be predictable, and are assigned randomly) and the lack of a pass-and-play option--but both of these issues are being addressed in updates, according to the developer. Also, sometimes turns can happen too fast to track which cards opponents are drawing. The quickness of play is a big plus, but we might like to see this addressed somehow. Replay value is excellent, with endless good matchups online, as well as optional map and rule expansions available as in-app purchases. Overall, Ticket to Ride is a lot of fun, and well done, whether you're new to the game or not.

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