Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner
That I love London so
Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner
That I think of her wherever I go
I get a funny feeling inside of me
Just walking up and down
Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner
That I love London town.

Ticket to Ride: London is a new entry in designer Alan R. Moon’s Ticket to Ride family of games and it carries all the pedigree of its bigger brothers, distilled down into a nippy fast playing form.

Designed to convey the strategy and depth of Ticket to Ride, while keeping playing time down to a half hour or less, Ticket to Ride: London (and her half-sister Ticket to Ride: New York), in a departure from traditional Ticket to Ride, take place in a single condensed city map. In Ticket to Ride: London, this is obviously the titular City of London, giving you a chance to ride the buses and see the sights.

TLDR: Ticket to Ride: London is a streamlined two-to-four player Ticket to Ride experience that keeps all the charm of a full game, distilled down to into a smaller, faster and lighter experience. A worthy buy both if you’ve never played Ticket to Ride before or if you seriously like the game but want a faster more concise experience. Also has adorable London buses as tokens.

If you’re already familiar with Ticket to Ride, Ticket to Ride: London isn’t going to come as much of a shock to you. In Ticket to Ride: London, each player starts with two Destination cards, which players will score by connecting the two locations indicated on card by a bus route. Players may choose to take on additional Destination card to score big but risk losing points for incomplete routes at the game end.

To build routes, players must gather Transportation cards which are spent to claim Bus routes. To claim a route, a player must discard a number of Transportation cards matching the colour of the route equal to the number of spaces it takes. A claimed route is then market by filling up the board spaces with Bus tokens of their colour.

An interesting add on to the Ticket to Ride mechanics is the inclusion of Districts, which encourage players to cordon off and dominate routes in certain sections of the board, indicated by printed numbers between routes. Players who successfully connect all stops in a district immediately score bonus points, encouraging alternate scoring methods besides gambling on destination cards.

The game ending condition occurs when one player runs their supply of buses down to two or fewer, giving everyone one final turn before scores are tabulated.

While you might end up missing a few mechanics like the longest railway, I don’t actually find myself all to bothered. If anything, I find Ticket to Ride: London actually pushes all the same buttons in my head that made me like the original Ticket to Ride, except distilled down to a single 15 to 30 minute snack sized package.

In a way, Ticket to Ride: London is comparable to a fun sized candy bar. Sure, a full Snickers might be more bang for your buck, but sometimes you just want a snack.

For something I can pick up, play and get back on my shelf in half the time of the original, Ticket to Ride: London turns a great gateway game into an excellent little filler title that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. As a player’s first introduction to Euro type board games, you really can’t go wrong with this.

– Kenneth, Games @ PI Manager

Ticket to Ride: London