Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries- Rocks!

My love affair with Ticket to Ride: Europe continues unabated but the game is not perfectly suited for two players. For that reason I dropped a few hints that Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries (TRN) would be pretty welcome below this year's Christmas tree. My wife came through and we got to unwrap and play this new iteration of a great game system.
TRN is fairly similar to it's predecessors in terms of rules. Players trade in cards to lay down train tracks between cities. You score points based on how many lines you can create and whether you connect certain randomly determined locations. TRN has a few twists. For one, it's designed for two and three players. What's more, there are far fewer destinations and fewer tracks with which to connect them. We found this led to a more cut-throat style of play as every line you create can seriously inconvenience your opponent. In a game of Flames of War a cut-throat game leads to fights and broken friendships. In TRN a cut-throat game leads to laughter and plans for a rematch.

TRN also presents you with a landscape that may be completely novel. I'm sure I should know where Narvik and Trondheim are but I am an ugly American and barely know how to locate Salem, NH. Navigating the cities of the North is in the end a great time and feels exotic and intriguing. Narvik could be a European version of Mineola, NY but I chose to believe it's a snowy fairy wonderland and now I've built a railway to it.

Note: Thanks to wikipedia I've learned that it is indeed a fairy wonderland!

In summary TRN to a fabulous member of the amazing Ticket to Ride franchise. It's a great choice when you're looking for a smaller game and presents just a slightly different twist on a beloved game system. Highly, highly recommended for adults, families, and older kids!

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