Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone
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Ticket to Ride Europe Pocket brims with tea-stained lace and adventure. Ticket to Ride, the wildly popular virtual train game, released its European version, and it has me aching to board a train through Burgundy’s twisting vineyards. Dusty books, crusty French countrymen coated in layers of garlic and sweat, and oil painting-filtered light and views to spare. I adore the romanticism Ticket to Ride Europe Pocket evokes.
Don’t be fooled, though. Ticket to Ride Europe Pocket requires strategy and thought as well as the keen ability to place an antiqued virtual ticket into just the right “highlighted route” without being subject to a loud, irritating buzzer. The buzzer may have been more unique to me, since I’ve never actually played the game and only longingly watched others play.
Ticket to Ride Europe Pocket is a gorgeous, sprawling package of yellow-tinged graphics that soothe and addict. I can’t get enough play with my virtual opponent while I dreamily strategize to melodic, easy cello music and the intermittent sound of a train whistle to beckon me onward.
The detailed and elegant graphic and visual design effectively combine an Old World sensibility with modern appeal. Much like architecture in Europe, Medieval castles meld handsomely with Contemporary, Guerry-esque structures. This seamless infrastructure has me purchasing tickets, claiming stations like Berlin, London, and Amsterdam, and connecting green train cars all afternoon.
The interface is easy to navigate and understand. There is tutorial that plays like a slideshow and offers helpful tips and suggestions. I feel perfectly competent to begin playing a solid round while the game instructs me on which tickets to choose and which routes to claim.
A game that resembles the nostalgic childhood staple Candyland, Ticket to Ride Europe Pocket is a confection for the adult set. While Candyland connotes images of lacquered red gumdrops and swirly rainbow lollipops, Ticket to Ride Europe Pocket is more like an afternoon tea with clotted cream and scones. I’d throw in a few hard, dark, and bitter chocolates and a shot of whiskey to boot.
Ticket to Ride Europe Pocket is much heralded by fans of the original game. The awaited Europe version is gracious in its blend of strategy, tactics, graphics, and immersive gameplay experience. It doesn’t skimp on the exquisite details that helped Days of Wonder, Inc. to earn a name for themselves as game developers.
Some gamers warn that the Switzerland map, an in-app purchase, is bug-ridden and actually causes the game to freeze. Others are attracted to the Europe version for its more difficult and harder to master layout.
A sensorial buffet to feast on with eyes, ears, fingers, and imagination, Ticket to Ride Europe Pocket is the real deal, a complete and integrative experience for fans of the original version and for those of us ever searching for a delicate bite of lazy fun and pleasure.