The Best Board Games like Ticket to Ride in 2022
I can remember when I fell in love with board games, it was in the early 90’s and Hurricane Bob came through my state taking the power grid down for about 4 days. All my family did was play board games, and cooked on the grill. It’s one of my fondest memories. If we only had like Settlers of Catan or Ticket to ride Settlers has got to be my #1 favorite game with #2 being Ticket to Ride. Ticket to Ride is a favorite strategy game of mine with several different expansion packs. It’s essentially a card game where you plan the best train routes between cities to earn yourself victory points and win the game. Today we’re taking a look at my top games that are like Ticket to Ride.
New York 1901
Differences between New York 1901 and Ticket to Ride
The main differences between New York 1901 and Ticket to Ride are the theme. Right off the bat, you’re building skyscrapers in the early nineteen hundred’s in New York versus placing trains to build routes across North America or Germany or wherever you choose to buy the game. The other differences is that New York 1091 game board is a tad more difficult. You have a few more options on your turn which ups the skill level. After you’ve placed buildings, you have the opportunity to destroy and upgrade them which the game play of Ticket to Ride doesn’t really give you.
So it’s more of a big picture game which also has a bit of a puzzle aspect to it, because after you’ve acquired the spaces with your workers, you’re taking them off and you’re trying to fit the buildings in to an area which will benefit you the most. You’ll have to be careful with placement so you don’t just throw the building down and then two rounds later be like I don’t think I should have put that building there. You’ll want to look at what you have in front of you make a little bit of a plan, and try to figure out what you need to do to get it right. That’s a similarity to Ticket, you try to plan out your route like oh, if I go here and then go to there, I can complete two routes at the same time without having to go everywhere.
The next part is at the future market in New York 1901. It’s very similar to the Train card, so they get laid out you see what’s available then pick one on your turn which allows you to acquire space. So that’s the other part that has in common the main thing that I notice is that you have limited options on your turn. You can either pick up a card or place one of your workers to hold an area, you can replace your worker with a building, or you can demolish buildings and later on upgrade them for more advanced building buildings. When you get low on pieces in New York back that triggers the end game similar to Ticket to Ride where, if you get low on trains that triggers endgame. New York 1901, that’s my first pick for new games that are similar to Tickets.
My next game is….
Trekking the national parks.
The first game I played of this I was hooked and it’s become one of my favorite games. So, let’s start with the differences, there are no trains. You’re trying to tour the National parks so in that sense the theme is still the United States much like the base Ticket to Ride. So if you’re in it for the trains, this is not gonna do it for you.
The other difference is that you get more than one action per turn, so it’s not simply take train cards or play cards or take new routes. You can choose between all of your actions and take two of them per turn.
So under the similarities there are the park cards. The park cards say If you have these colored cards in your hand, then you can play them so you’re collecting sets, and then playing them to gain points much like the routes in ticket to ride. Except they’re not negative at the end of the game, or anything like that.
There are however the post card cards which are also using set collection, and they do give you negatives if you they’re in your hands at the end of the game. So you gotta really watch out for the post card cards. Don’t get overzealous and be like I’m gonna do all those cards just like all the routes because you are going to be feeling the pain of negative points at the end of the game.
You can also block people by sitting in a space. They can’t go there if you’re occupying it, so they have to take their time to go around.
Next on this list is…
Bob Ross, the art of chill
Extra points if you grew up watching Bob say “Let’s just put a little happy tree here” God he was amazing! Because of this Bob Ross, the art of chill becomes just a classic game for me. So let’s start with the differences. The theme isn’t there, there are no trains it’s hard to find a train game that is similar to Ticket to Ride in the mechanics at least. But you’re painting with Bob Ross.
The next difference is you’re playing against Bob Ross, because if he finishes the painting or if anyone finishes the painting, then you can’t do anything else on that painting. This is the similarity where in ticket to ride if someone finishes a connection between two train stations then that connection is done. You can’t use it anymore unless it’s got an extra route or you’re playing with enough people. Tut they can block you and that can really hurt depending what you’ve got built up in your hand.
One of the other major differences is that you’re not just collecting cards in your hand, you’re gonna be playing them down on your pallet and then building up and your colors then you’ll play a brush card to kind of activate them. The brush card and the Color cards all have to match to what pieces of painting you’re trying to paint that’s on the board right now which is how you’ll score points.Which is similar to Ticket to Ride, you’re making sets playing them getting points putting stuff out on the board and winning.
The main difference I see with it is that Bob Ross the Art of Chill is more chill I just have to put it out there, but it’s a great game, a lot of fun and it it’s kind of the next step after Ticket to Ride, not a huge step, but just the next step, because you have more options on your turn.
You get more actions on your turn and you also have to watch out for Bob, because if he finishes painting faster than you do, then all your work of the paints that you’ve collected are going to go to waste. Unless you look out and around the next painting, which doesn’t always happen so that’s it, Bob Ross, the Art of Chill is on the list!
Thurn and Taxis
Another gateway board games that is similar to Ticket to Ride is Thurn and Taxis. Again with the differences, the theme is probably the closest we’re gonna get to ticket to ride.
You are building trade routes for postal cars across somewhere in Europe. There’s also four characters that you can choose from every turn that gives you a special ability. That’s really neat, it’s like you get one extra oomph, every turn that you can use so don’t forget to use those.
The major difference from Ticket to Ride is that you can draw cards and play them on the same turn. That’s one of everyone’s Major complaints like “why can’t I just play this now. Why do I have to waste a whole turn playing cards?” but if you do that, that’s just not Ticket to Ride. I mean like that’s it, it’s supposed to build up and then someone else can play that route before you and take your thing you’ve been building out for six turns and just enrage you and that’s like that’s part of the game.
Similarities, well you are building the best routes, you’re trying to build larger routes as you go too. The postal carriages that are larger in size, goes all the way up to seven. You have limited actions, every turn, planning and draw or drawing choose any special ability and use that as well. That’s it it’s pretty simple game and when you play houses you score points, so instead of putting trains out on the board, you’re gonna be putting houses out on the board and you’ll be scoring points for that. So Thurn and Taxis It’s probably the most similar in theme and play styles that you’re gonna get two tickets to ride, but my next one that’s coming up, I just enjoy more one of the first time I played it I was like wow. This just feels like tickets, a ride, so let’s go ahead and get to my game on the list.
The next on the list of strategy board games that are like Ticket to Ride is Ethnos. When I first opened this up and played it I was like this is it this is a fun game that everyone’s gonna love, but it didn’t quite go that way. It’s Ethnos so it’s famous for having terrible artwork right people aren’t real fond of the board and how drab it looks, but at its core it is just Ticket to Ride with a different specific mechanic on the board.
So at the start of the game on your turn, you can take a card or you can play a set. That’s like what we’re doing the Ticket to Ride right so you’re trying to accrue cards of either hobbits or merfolk or Giants or dwarfs, and all these different races. It’s all a fantasy theme, so the theme is not there so throw that out the window. No trains and middle earths or wherever this game is supposed take place.
So you’re collecting, sets and then you’re playing sets eventually, it has to be at least two and then you’ll get points for that. Then you’ll also get to take one of your little disks and put them out on the board for the area control part of the game. So that’s the main difference there is that when you are playing sets you’re, not putting trains out on the board, you’re choosing the spots to put one of your disks to control that area.
Now, what set you play matters because, whatever card, if it’s, if you’re playing all one color, use the right place on that color zone, if you’re playing all one race, whatever color you put on top, you have to play in that color zone. The really interesting part about this game that takes it to the next level past Ticket to Ride for me is that all the different races have different abilities. Hobbits, don’t give you points when you score them when you play a set because there’s like a million of them in the decks collecting a large set of hobbits is very easy.
There’s also like the Murph rope, which added an extra board of the game where you’re trying to go up the merfolk track as well. There’s the giant track, there’s a budget for stuffing adding in but you only play with six at the time. So it’s not like you’re trying to add everything in at once: you’re just randomly choosing six races, shuffling all those cards in the deck and then forming one large deck and just going through it.
There are also three dragon cards that’ll signal the end of the game.
So once you have one dragon card outside, the game might end soon.
Once you have the second dragon card out, it’s like the game can end at any draw, so you gotta be careful.
But when you play a set all the other cards left your hand, you don’t keep you’ll actually discard them face up for everyone to choose from so that can help extend the rounds, because then people can choose one of your cards that you just discarded, instead of having to draw from the top of the deck.
The other thing that happens is like I said, there’s three rounds in the game instead of just playing one round.
So once the dragon comes up, the third dragon fire that ends the round and you’re gonna then look at the area of control and you’ll score points based off of who owns each area. Then the second round you score off, who owns each area and who is like second place in each area. Then the third round you get one more time except your score first, second or third place. I love it and that’s why It’s the best game.
It’s the perfect gateway game to teach younger players! It’s literally pick up a card, play a set. Just read what the cards do not know we’re too difficult. So my number one pick for family board games that are like Ticket to Ride. If you’re looking to get someone that loves to get try into something different and they are okay with fantasy theme or love fantasy. I highly recommend you check out Ethnos it’s a popular board game that your whole family enjoy.
Settlers of Catan
This one just may be me but this is at the top of my list of board games across any category. It is my goto game, my love, I just can’t say enough about it. Settlers of Catan is a city-building game along with route building and trying to create the largest army. This classic board game has sections of ore, wheat or wool that you own. The way to score these cards is by spinning the wheel and landing on your number corresponding to the resource you hold. So this is a main difference, instead of drawing a card there is an element of luck.
If you land on the Robber, you end up losing a resource card and are pretty much in time out for that turn. You score points by having the longest road, or the largest army. It really is the perfect game to teach younger players where they have to take specific actions, and a little bit of strategic thinking. This game comes in as my #1.