Ticket to Ride: First Journey European Edition is the perfect introduction to the Ticket to Ride series as it is scaled down for children aged six and above. It is a fun strategy game with the objective of planning your routes to win. It can be played by two to four players. It is available to buy at £25.99 from Esdevium store finder and it will be available from Amazon soon.
This is a cross-country train adventure where players collect cards of various train colours that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout Europe. It consists of 80 coloured train cars, 72 train cards, 32 ticket cards, four Coast-to-Coast bonus ticket cards, one golden ticket, instructions and of course the game board which shows a map of Europe train routes.
This game requires a large table to place the board. Then each player will get their own coloured train cars, 4 train cards and 2 ticket cards to begin with. The youngest player goes first and proceeds clockwise around the table. To win the game, you have to be the first player to complete six tickets or alternatively, if someone has placed all twenty of their trains on the game board, then whoever has completed the most tickets wins!
On each turn, you can either draw two train cards from the deck or discard train cards to claim a route. To claim a route, you must have train cards that match the colour and number of spaces of the route. Then place your train in each of the route’s spaces. If you connect the two cities shown on a ticket with a path of your trains, reveal the ticket, place it face up in front of you, then draw a new ticket. (If you can’t connect cities on either ticket because the paths are blocked, you can take your entire turn to discard those tickets and draw two new ones.)
If you connect one of the West Coast cities to one of the East Coast cities with a path of your turns, you immediately claim a Coast-to-Coast ticket. This Coast-to-Coast ticket counts as one completed ticket!
We have played the adult version of Ticket to Ride which has many more routes and therefore more planning and strategy to think about. This meant they were longer games and sometimes we paired up with the children or gave them advice on how to plan their routes. This First Journey version of the game is much easier to play and more appealing to both of my young children. The rules are simple and easy to follow. Also it is fun, challenging and it’s nice to get a better sense of where some of the major cities in Europe are. I would definitely recommend it for children who like strategy games and trains. It is also a great way to get them to learn their European geography! My daughter has been interjecting various factoids about some of the cities they’ve learnt from school. This game makes a great present too.
Disclosure: We received the sample for the purposes of writing this review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own.