For over 50 years Gen Con has been running in North America and the timing and popularity of the event brings board game publishers from all across the world together and used as a launching pad to release their hot new games in time for Christmas.For a lot of games, this is the first opportunity for the general public to get their hands on these games before they even go through distribution across the world and onto retail shelves.
From August 1st to 5th, 2018, I got to experience my first Gen Con first-hand, and while there were over 600 brand new games launched at Gen Con, and so much to see and do, I want to use this opportunity to highlight just some of the games that really took my fancy, and if you’re thinking of getting a brand new game for someone for Christmas, this is a good place to start!
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Play time: ~60 mins
Overview: Build train routes across a map with the goal of completing secret “tickets” – connecting two cities before the end of the game. During each turn you need to make important strategic decisions – play cards, collect cards, or draw more tickets. Ticket to Ride is a simple and quick-to-learn game, with excellent replayability.
Ticket to Ride was my introduction to the modern era of board games, and after all this time I’m constantly returning to it, whether it’s a quick weeknight game against my wife, or introducing friends to a new board game. I’ve yet to have a negative experience playing it, and after five years I’m still not bored of it.
There are two main “base games”, Ticket to Ride and Ticket to Ride Europe. I personally prefer Europe, but I recommend regular Ticket to Ride for younger players (Europe adds slightly more complicated rules and more strategic gameplay).
Recommend to: families looking for a new “go to” board game. It’s a modern classic, loved by kids and adults alike. If you want to freshen up your games cupboard, you won’t go wrong with Ticket to Ride!
Ticket to Ride has a series of expansions, with each expansion providing its own board map (UK, Asia, etc) and slight twist on the rules.