Ticket to Ride

App of the Day: Ticket to Ride

There are games that are so simple, yet blindingly amazing, that they become kind of industries unto themselves. In the board game equivalent of sequels, a regular flow of expansions and fan-made scenarios pay homage to and expand the foundations, turning a single game into a niche genre. Ticket to Ride's cheery conductor, all rosy cheeks and handlebar moustache, may not look it, but the man's a monster.

Ticket to Ride was originally a board game, which made its debut in 2004 and promptly scooped the Spiel Des Jahres for its creator, Alan Moon (a Southampton man, which shows it isn't all boats and Le Tissier down there). It has received the treatment due a classic. Alongside The Coding Monkeys' flawless Carcassone, this app translates the board game so perfectly, and with such considered production, you couldn't imagine going back to the pieces.

Everything about the app is thought through and smartly implemented, from a magnifying glass and crosshairs that help you put down routes to the simple, civil and fast online matchmaking. The game is set on a map of the United States and Southern Canada circa 1900, with loads of individual cities connected by coloured routes. Each route is made up of blocks, each block needs a train of the same colour to capture it, and it has to be taken in one turn (so to capture a four-length red route you need four red trains).

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Ticket to Ride on XBLA tomorrow

Along with Happy Tree Friends.

As if Elements of Destruction, Sea Life Safari and Frogger 2 weren't enough for you, Microsoft is back with another Xbox Live Arcade duo tomorrow, 25th June.