For those of you familiar with Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride: Europe, feel free to skip to the quick comparison further down!
For those of you new to the world of Ticket to Ride, well you’re in for a treat, because they are a wonderful range of gateway games which I highly recommend looking into! But today we’re taking a look at Ticket to Ride: London, which is a stand alone condensed version of the original game!
In Ticket to Ride: London each player starts the game with two Destination Ticket cards which will be their objectives for the game. During the game you can choose to take more Destination Ticket cards but while completed cards will score you victory points, any that are incomplete at the end of the game will subtract victory points, adding a push your luck element to the game!
To build up your routes you must first collect Transportation cards. On your turn you can pick up two Transportation cards from the face up supply or take blindly from the top of the deck, building up a hand of cards. To claim a route you discard a number of Transportation cards equal to the number of Buses needed on that route (between one and four), then add your plastic Bus markers to that route on the board. Each time you claim a route you also score victory points depending on how many buses were placed.
Ticket to Ride: London introduces Districts, which are represented on the board by numbers between each route. If you connect these numbers with your Buses, you will immediately score points equal to the district number. In the photo above, District two requires you connect four stops, but you are not required to connect every route between each number, just enough to connect them. Completing District two will score you two victory points.
The game end is triggered once one player is down to two or fewer Buses in their personal supply. Each player, including the one who triggered the game end, gets one last turn and then it’s on to the final scoring for all the completed, or incomplete Destination Ticket cards!
Ticket to Ride: London vs. Ticket to Ride: Europe / Ticket to Ride
I’ve only actually played Ticket to Ride: Europe so my comparison is based on that version of the original game. I believe some of the below are also not present in the US version of Ticket to Ride:
- London uses Buses instead of Trains
- There are no Stations, Ferries or Tunnels
- There are no Long Destination Ticket cards
- There is no bonus for the longest train
- The longest route in London is just 4 Buses
- London introduces Districts, which score points if you connect different areas of the board with Buses
- The game board is much smaller, the box and cards are also smaller
- Game end condition is the same, two or fewer Buses remaining, but there are only 17 Buses per player, vs. 45 Trains in Europe, hence the shorter play time!
|Player Count||2 – 4 players|
|Play Time||10 – 15 mins|
|Weight||1.00 / 5|
|Publisher||Days of Wonder|
Disclaimer: This game was provided by the publisher, but my reviews are always 100% honest and all photos and opinions are my own!
GAME PLAY 6/10
Ticket to Ride in it’s original format was already a pretty simple game, which is why it is widely regarded as a great gateway game! It was one of the first games we introduced to friends, some of who went on to buy it for themselves and now play regularly with us, so I am grateful to the game for sure, but I can’t remember the last time I played it. When time is limited and we have too many games, our gateway games are neglected and rarely played unfortunately.
Ticket to Ride: London promised a familiar game but in a third of the time so I was intrigued to see how it compared and if it would become a regular for us once more. I have to say I enjoy the speed in which it plays, it skips over the middle part of the original game and before long you are in the tense final rounds trying to complete your last Ticket while keeping an eye on how many Buses everyone still has to see when the game will end.
But with this haste you do lose a lot of the intricacies that make the original the great game that it is. There is very little to think about and a lot less strategy needed in TtR London. It becomes a race against the clock more than a race against one another. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though and it will entirely depend on your experience with the original games.
The Districts are the new addition to the game but I didn’t feel much incentive to complete them. They are a great bonus if they happen to be along one of your Destination Ticket routes, but in a game with limited Buses to place already, the victory points seem a bit low to go for them just for the points, compared to taking another Destination Ticket for example.
AESTHETICS & COMPONENTS 8/10
There’s no denying they went all out on the 1970’s London theme with cool references scattered over the board and lovely new art on the Transportation cards, including the iconic Black Cab, Double Decker Bus and even a Yellow Submarine!
The plastic Buses are nice and make for a welcome change from the usual trains. Everything else is of the same high standard you would expect from a Ticket to Ride game although everything is shrunk down a little with a smaller board, cards and box! I know small cards can be troublesome for some especially when it is integral that your hand remains hidden and is unlimited in it’s size!
Another thing of note though is that the game comes with a great insert for a quick set up, which is important for a game that plays so swiftly, no one wants to spend more time setting up a game than they do playing it!
RULES & TEACHING 8/10
There’s really not a whole lot to learn or teach in Ticket to Ride: London, especially if you have already played a full version of the game before. The rulebook is little more than a leaflet, which you can easily skim through if you are familiar with the original games.
For new players this game will be exceptionally easy to pick up and play straight away as it removes some of the more complicated aspects such as Stations, Tunnels and Ferries.
REPLAYABILITY & VALUE 7/10
With a retail price of around £20 it’s nearly half the price of Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe so I do think it’s good value for money as you get a similar gaming experience in a fraction of the time!
In terms of replayability I feel like they have done a great job of turning a gateway game into a filler game and at this point in my board gaming journey, I am more likely to play a filler game than I am a gateway game, so I can see this getting played more than TtR Europe! And to be honest, even if I was wanting to introduce new gamers to the world of Ticket to Ride, I would probably be more tempted to start them off with Ticket to Ride: London for it’s speed and simplicity.
OVERALL SCORE 29/40 = 7.25
… you’re looking for a nice filler game
… you are familiar with TtR and think you might enjoy a super quick, condensed version