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.