This is a special quick looks review as I’m writing this after my second play instead of my first. I don’t think my second play really adjusted my opinion of the game but it did give me some perspective on the four player experience. I’m also only reviewing the India map and not the Switzerland map. They do vary in rules so Ill be doing these separately. I’m also writing this with the assumption that the reader has played the original Ticket to Ride. Let’s get to it.
The India map is very tight and difficult to transverse. I found that this is more apparent as the player count increases. The double routes that do help with completing tickets but the difficulty comes from the middle of the board. I noticed early in my first play that there was a dead space where no routes. This created a bottle neck effect on the west and east side of the board that made blocking an effective strategy that wasn’t as effective in the original game. This created a bigger sense of urgency and panic that I can see some players not liking. I found this to be a bit of an irritation when you consider the new mechanic that they implemented.
The new mechanic that was added in the India map was the mandala scoring. This rewards players with extra points who can create a circular path connecting the cities that are on each of the tickets. These points ramp up with every circular connection that you can create. I love the extra level of challenge that this creates in the game but does have its draw backs. I find this mechanic to be a little lack luster. The players seemed to completely ignore the mechanic or focus solely on it. The players that focus on it seem to chase their tails a little bit as the routes on the board get blocked quickly. This is when the smaller size of the map and the bottle neck effect become increasing apparent.
This may take a few more plays to solidify my strategy with this map but as it stands this map is a lot more difficult than the original and worth a look for anyone who enjoys the original experience. I strongly suggest this map for players looking for a challenge.