Did I mention it's for little kids?

Asmodee focuses on the littlest gamers with Ticket to Ride: First Journey

iOS, Android, PC/Mac •

Not sure how relevant Asmodee Digital‘s latest title will be for most of the Stately Players out there, but I’m guessing at least a few of you have kids. Little kids. I’m talking preschool, kindergarten, maybe 1st-2nd grade. You know, little kids. Their latest release is a digital version of Ticket to Ride: First Journey and if you’re thinking it’s basically Ticket to Ride for kids you’d be right, especially if you’re thinking it’s for little kids.

Ticket to Ride: First Journey takes the basic premise of everyone’s favorite gateway game and simplifies it for the younger set. For example, there are no city names with destinations replaced with dancing 3D icons. No reading required! Remember how each turn you get to choose cards from a face up tableau or the deck? No more! Now you just draw two cards from the deck, removing any real decision making on each turn. The goal is still connecting cities, but you no longer get victory points based on links you place on the board. Instead, each completed ticket nabs you one VP and the first to get 10 wins the game.

Sound fun? It is if you’re 5! Or 6! Maybe even 7! If you’re an adult, however, I’d stick with the original. That said, my 7 year-old and I have been playing pass-and-play for the last couple days, and he’s loving that there’s a board game we can play together, and I’m loving that it’s not Candyland or goddamned Break the Ice. He has about 20 HABA games, but he brings out those turds more often than not.

With its target audience being on the younger side (did I mention it’s for little kids?), there’s no online functionality in the game. Instead, multiplayer is pass-and-play only and there are also 3 levels of AI if you, like me, use your iPad as an impromptu babysitter. Of course, once my kid played (and beat) me, the AI doesn’t interest him quite as much. It’s pass-and-play so he can kick his old man’s ass or nothing.

If you have little ones running around the house and have been looking for a game you can play with them that you wouldn’t entirely loathe, Ticket to Ride: First Journey is a pretty good option. The game is cheap (it’s on sale during launch) and comes with maps of both the US and Europe so they might even learn a little geography along the way.

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Notable Replies

  1. As the father of a 4-year old who is now teaching his cousins how to play "My First Stone Age," I am thrilled that this came out. The more I can introduce board games in whatever medium, the better. I'll admit I'm currently struggling as a parent over the appropriate amount/content of screen time for my children and it helps to have apps like this that that teach and nurture the kind of thought that is required in the board gaming world.

  2. Two good apps/ games for children are: Geography Drive and Stack the States (there is also Stack the Countries).

    Geography Drive is a drive around the country where you answer trivia questions about the state you are in. After you clear each state you win.

    Stack the states is another way to learn about states.. You stack your winning states to a preset height.

    Both are fun. We would play Geography Drive together as a group effort. Both are for kids over 4.

    Operation Math is a great way to improve your child's math skills. It is a timer based math quiz with fun graphics. The upper levels are very hard, even for an adult.

    My son is now onto Destiny 2. It's an educational game right? We try to limit his screen time to 24 hours a day.

  3. Jaels says:

    I've been playing the board version of this game for over a year with the kid (when he was 5-6), along with My First Carcassonne, and we've now graduated to the core games for both. Both games were at the right intersection of complexity/duration for him, and we enjoyed them very much (with Ticket to Ride being the favorite and a little more complex), and I would recommend them heartily as first steps in the boardgaming world,

  4. Patchwork is a good one for the young kids, too. The intricacies of scoring and strategy obviously go right over their head, but they can pick/place the pieces and as an added bonus the pieces you can afford sparkle and give a visual clue as to what can be played.

  5. My 4 year old LOVES "Chicken Cha Cha" on iPad. It's awesome, from coding monkeys ( the same guys who brought us the incredible Carcassonne app). It's very easy to understand (being a Memory variant) and he even beats me at times.

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