The original Ticket to Ride helped usher in the board game renaissance of the early 2000s, a glorious and fruitful period that is still going strong. (Trust me kids, there was a time when board game options were limited to ancient resources like Monopoly and Life; those years were bored).
Ticket to Ride: Europe was an early follow-up that changed settings overseas and introduced some clever tweaks to the game. Now that this indie branch turns 15, publisher Days of Wonder has released Ticket to Ride: Europe 15th Anniversary Edition, a full, oversized and absolutely beautiful new version of the game. And you know what? Turns out, this strategy game is still as fun and satisfying as ever.
While there is nothing new here in terms of content, Ticket to Ride: Europe 15th Anniversary Edition represents the definitive version of this game. Includes everything that came with the original, plus all the expansions. But every physical piece (the board, the cards, the train pieces, etc.) has received a high-quality and careful upgrade. This edition is a sight to behold.
The board itself is huge, basically the size of a bath towel. It measures 38 by 25.5 inches and takes up most of my kitchen table. It looks great. While the routes remain the same as in the original version, the art is brand new, with vibrant colors and many more topographical details. The board itself is made of thick, high-quality material. I’m not worried about it accidentally breaking while folding or unfolding it.
However great it is, such titanic dimensions do have some downsides. The board is so large that it cannot easily (or at all) reach the items on the far side. During my gaming sessions, everyone was constantly being asked to put train pieces on them or draw cards. This wasn’t a big deal, but it’s worth keeping in mind, especially if your board game space is limited.
The board isn’t the only piece of hardware improved in Ticket to Ride: Europe 15th Anniversary Edition. The destination cards are also more colorful and all the cards have more detailed pictures. Also, the train parts and train stations are significantly more intricate. Each train color is completely different now, illustrating what kind of cargo it is carrying. Brown trains carry logs, for example, while blue trains carry those novelty things called automobiles. Each train is housed in its own great looking tin.
As for the game itself, it remains unchanged. The board is a map of Europe at the dawn of the 20th century. All cities, with names of their era and native languages, which is not ideal as it can make them difficult to find, are connected by several train routes. Your main job is to claim these routes as your own, based on the destination ticket cards you draw.
This may not sound like a blast, but it really is, in practice. The rules do not take long to learn and you will discover new strategies as you play. It is an extremely well balanced game that rewards smart and strategic play. If you’ve played any version of Ticket to Ride, you basically know what to expect.
Basically, if you are looking for the main version of Ticket to Ride: Europe, this is it. Each piece looks and feels great in its own right. When you play, everything comes together very well. If you have the space and can afford the premium price, this edition is an easy recommendation.
Where to buy it
Ticket to Ride: Europe 15th Anniversary Edition retails for $ 99.99, but can often be found for less at various retailers.