"Ticket to Ride" Board Game Review

September 19, 2019

Entrepreneurship, like many other interdisciplinary fields, requires many different types of thinking. As we tell the kids who participate in the entrepreneurship education program TREP$, it’s part of what makes it both interesting and challenging! In our last game review, we recommended the game Disruptus as a way to get kids to start using disruptive thinking. Disruptive thinking is extremely valuable during the innovation process. But once you have found your spark or idea, strategic thinking comes into play. Many board games involve strategy, but we’ve never found one that is more compelling than Ticket to Ride.

The award-winning Ticket to Ride is a train-themed strategy game with over 6 million copies sold. The gameplay requires players to collect sets of cards in order to claim train routes through various cities of North America. Each route has a different point value, with the longest routes worth the most. Players attempt to complete their chosen routes to earn points and can earn bonus points for the longest continuous route. Failing to complete a route card in your possession will result in having the corresponding points docked from your overall score.  Kids will enjoy the detailed board depicting a map of the continent and will love the colored train cars used to visually show which routes are yours. With clear instructions, it is easy to learn and recommended for ages 8 and up.

On the surface, the connection between this game and entrepreneurship may not be the most obvious. But Ticket to Ride is a fun, risk-free way to get students to practice setting and achieving goals. Logistical abilities are developed as players plan their routes. As players routes become blocked, they discover there are multiple paths to success. Overcoming detours and challenges to your plan builds critical-thinking, decision-making, and resilience.  Play is competitive, and sometimes when it feels like you are losing, one smart decision can turn things around!  Sounds a lot like entrepreneurship, no?

Ticket to Ride is a perfect way to encourage strategic thinking when students are creating business plans for their TREP$ businesses.  Ticket to Ride is available on Amazon and is also available in a digital version.  In addition, there are various expansion versions of the game with maps of different continents and cities.


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