Ticket To Ride: First Journey is a fantastic new family-friendly board game, launched this week by Esdevium Games.
Aimed at a younger audience, the board game now features new colourful eye-catching cartoons, simpler objectives, shorter routes to maintain engagement, and bigger trains for kid-sized hands, making it more accessible for the whole family. It is also a great introduction to the adult Ticket To Ride game.
“Of all the Ticket to Ride games, this one was the most fun to playtest. I’m thrilled with this version and I hope it will serve as a great introduction to the adult games.”
Alan R. Moon, TTR Game Designer
Aim of the Game:
TTR First Journey is a game for up to 4 players, aged 6+. Players collect tickets for 2 train journeys across America, e.g. Calgary to Kansas City, and New York to Dallas. Each turn, players choose to draw 2 coloured train cards or claim a route by placing trains from one city to another. Once a journey has been completed, players then choose a new ticket and gameplay continues until one player completes 6 tickets, winning the game.
My 2 boys, aged 6 and 9, absolutely love this game. As do we.
It is a great game for their age group; my youngest grasped the rules of this really quickly and was soon playing this on his own by his second game, just like his elder brother. First Journey is fairly fast paced, takes about 30 minutes to play, and really holds their attention well. Journeys are much shorter than the original TTR game and there are fewer cities on the board making each ticket easier to complete. My youngest can sometimes lose concentration when playing games and drift from one toy to another, however, this game was a winner for me as he remained fully focused throughout the entire game.
Both boys were soon very much in competition against their parents to win the game. They realised that there were multiple ways to reach each city so they would plan ahead, working out the order they would need to place the cards and reach their destination first. They utilised tracks they had previously laid from other journeys to complete new ones. They blocked routes so that we couldn’t complete our tickets. They learnt bonus moves to gain more tickets, e.g. completing a route from coast to coast across the length of America gains an extra ticket.
Their strategies often worked a little too well, beating us many, many, times!
What I absolutely love about board games is that they take children away from modern technology to spend time as a family, socialising together and playing. What I love about TTR First Journey is that it allows children of a wide range of abilities and ages to access it; for younger children you could ‘select’ cards with the shorter and easier journeys, but for older children it really encourages them to strategise and plan their moves. I also love that it teaches children locations of places across America; educationally it’s great for geography, for pronunciation, and also a prompt for simple discussion on some of the bigger, more well-known cities e.g. ‘Washington’ where the President lives, ‘Florida’ home of Mickey Mouse (and where they’ve been on holiday), ‘New Orleans’ jazz and Mardi Gras, ‘New York’ home of The Statue of Liberty (and where their Daddy proposed)….etc.
There is also a TTR European First Journey version on the way soon, release date is March/April, which will also have the same gameplay. When I was a teacher, I remember a 12 year old who, in his geography lesson, thought that the Isle of Wight was in Scotland. What made it worse was that he lived only 15 miles from the Isle of Wight! A board game that teaches children the location of cities and countries, particularly across Europe, sounds fantastic and another essential must-buy!
Esdevium Games are launching Ticket To Ride: First Journey this week and they have sent me a copy to give away on Toy Discounts. Keep your eyes peeled for more details on this. Esdevium Games are an established, UK-based distributor of Games and Toys, and part of the Asmodee Group.
Fun, family game
Good quality, lovely eye-catching design
Encourages planning and strategy
Good value at £25 (current price Feb 2017)
Can’t think of any! Buy it!