Ticket To Ride
- iPad - £4.99
- New boards in-app: £0.69-£2.49
If it wasn't necessary to lose almost a third of the day to the seductive mistress of sleep, it would be nice to spend more time seeking out quality board games.
It's a regrettable hole in my nerd arsenal, I admit. But until medical science makes it possible to stay awake all day without the bothersome hallucinations, panic attacks and paranoia, superb competitive multiplayer nonsense like Ticket To Ride will most likely remain tantalisingly out of reach.
Or will it? Days Of Wonder has the answer, via an excellent and intuitive interpretation of the (apparently) best-selling strategy board game.
If, like me, you've never played the source inspiration, it's all about rail routes, and your ability to grind your opponents into the dust by building more than them.
Each player kicks off the game with route cards, and it's your goal to unite destinations by using your resources wisely around the map. Each turn, you can decide whether to gather more resources (essentially colour-coded cards) or build, or swap your route cards for potentially more favourable options.
Once you've accumulated enough cards of the required colour, you can begin to take control of that specific part of the rail network - and potentially block your opponent in the process. And so it continues until one player has whittled down their resources.
Deciding the winner isn't merely a case of who built most, but how many unfinished projects you have on the go - so it's often wise not to get overly ambitious. But that's easier said than done in this cutthroat affair.
With its attractive maps and quick-fire premise, matches don't outstay their welcome, either, which makes Ticket To Ride a viable prospect for online play. Predictably, the online community is thriving as a result, with busy, friendly lobbies and a slick, hassle-free set-up process.
Even if you're not a hardened follower of the board game scene, Ticket To Ride stands out as a great turn-based strategy game in its own right, and right up their with the mighty Carcassonne as one of the finest examples on the iPad to date.
- Android - £3 on Gameloft Android Store, £3.99 on Google Android Market Place
- Also available on iPhone and iPad - £4.99 (Universal binary).
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It's a place where people go and and don't expect to come back - but detective John Kannon crosses it every day. Some might call him a loose Kannon, but that's probably about as far as anyone could carry off the Marlboro man act before it all collapses into ignominy.
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If someone created a game specifically to create an internet meme, they'd probably end up with 9MM. But in a world that's become one enormous self-aware festival of irony, maybe the joke is on us after all.