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Publisher: Days of Wonder    Genre: Board & Card
Min OS X: 10.3    RAM: 256 MB    Hard Disk: 250 MB    Graphics: 16 MB VRAM

Ticket to Ride
March 24, 2006 | Nuno Alves

Click to enlarge

Choose your opponents

The game engine
I could not believe when I read the game credits. This game was actually programmed by a single guy with the help of two artists! The graphics are simple, attractive, and they serve its purpose. After all this is a board game and not a third person shooter. The menus are also clear and intuitive. With this computer version, long gone are the days where you had to spend five minutes manually counting each train segment and making out difficult sums (for example, 13 + 43 and so forth) to figure out end scores. The computer will do that for you, making my lazy brain happy. These are the blessings of technology!

Unfortunately there are two things that turn me off about this game: the annoying 19th century Western saloon music that goes on an infinite loop and the dumb computer opponents.

The music that really gets on my nerves can easily be disabled from the main menu (thank god!). Unfortunately you can't do anything about the computer opponents. The artificial intelligence is so bad that you can easily see how your inanimate opponents were programmed to think. One of the opponents will always try to gain points by having the largest railroad, while the other tries to get the maximum amount of points from carts. The artificial intelligence is so bad that in one out of 20 games the games crashes due to some sort of deadlock. One of these days I will send the programmer an email requesting that on future updates of the game, he releases the artificial intelligence code so that dedicated fans can tweak and customize their opponents. That would be hot!

Online play
Why should you bother to play against bots when you can play against real humans? This game comes with superb online play. It's pretty much the same thing as the normal game, except that you will probably get your butt kicked. There are hundreds of online players available 24 hours a day. I've noticed that a good portion of them, myself included, do not seem to have a real job because they are permanently connected. This means one thing: new players don't stand much of a chance. If you are like me and have some self-esteem issues, I suggest you to take a look at the rankings and play with people who have only played a couple of games. Odds are that they suck, but don't take that for granted (I've had my share of bad losing experiences to apparent newbies). The online ranking system is quite simple; the more games you win, the higher you will rank. Once you activate your online play you can use your account for one year. Once it expires, you can purchase an additional yearly extension for 18 bucks.

Ticket to Ride is a clean, fun game with lots of replay value if you like board games and enjoy playing with challenging opponents from all over the map. If board games are not your thing, it would be best if you look elsewhere.

• Faithful representation of the board game
• Online play
• Great video tutorial

• Annoying soundtrack
• Terrible artificial intelligence
• Some annoying bugs
• No support for Intel Macs or LAN play

Ticket to Ride
Publisher: Days of Wonder


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