Board Games Like Ticket to Ride


Ticket to Ride Game Board

Board games provide an experience like no other. They can allow you to build imaginary cities, create routes to connect towns, and build full empires from the comfort of your living room. Ticket to Ride takes the cake for being one of the most interesting board games to date and a household favorite. This is why we wanted to find other board games like Ticket to Ride to add to our growing collection.

Ticket to Ride was one of our gateway board games into the more intermediate world of board gaming. I still remember the excitement I felt when I created a route or won a round, but a change is needed sometimes.

If you already memorized every bit of Ticket to Ride as I did, you probably need a new game to establish your authority and bring to your next game night.

Board Games Like Ticket to Ride

Here’s a list of board games like Ticket to Ride to give you a new challenge and excite your friends!

1. TransAmerica

TransAmerica is as close as it gets to Ticket to Ride. The map is your world, and the rails are your weapons. Connect the cities, and you win!

  • Number of Players: 2–6
  • Common with Ticket to Ride: Train routes and strategic thinking
  • Age: 13+

How to Play TransAmerica

To start the game, each player will have five stations to connect using routes. The first player who connects his five cities wins the round. Easy, isn’t it? Not so fast! If you fail to connect all stations, you lose points at the end of the round.

The game is strikingly similar to Ticket to Ride. You’ll track the players’ scores, and the player who reaches the goal score first wins. 

When your turn comes, all you have to do is play one or two of the rails in places that’ll allow you to connect your cities. This bit needs strategic thinking, which is the main theme of Ticket to Ride. TransAmerica is easier to play, though, because you don’t have resources to manage.

That makes TransAmerica the perfect game for beginners and young teenagers—even 10-year-olds can understand it and join in on the fun.

2. Brass: Lancashire

  • Number of players: 2–4
  • Common with Ticket to Ride: Route building and hand management
  • Age: 14+

How to Play Brass: Lancashire

Brass: Lancashire is a bit complex to play, so you’ll definitely need to watch a couple of tutorials or see the instructions manual thoroughly. But I’ll do my best to explain the general rules.

At the start of the game, each player has a mat and chooses a color. Accordingly, you all get the industry tiles matching your colors. 

The main idea of the game is a bunch of cotton entrepreneurs competing for the market. The game’s actions take place during the industrial revolution, and it’s classified into the Canal Era and the Rail Era.

As you’re playing, you should match your tiles to the spot with their color on the mat. In each turn, you build your canals, connecting the cities. You also attempt to place your industries in different cities, building your cotton business network.

Each player should use the required amount of money and iron for each industry, and if your industry needs coal, you’ll need to have a direct connection to a mine. Here, the clever strategy shows because you should connect the cities and canals according to the industries you want to build.

After both Eras are done, their points get added together, and the player with the most points wins. The game is challenging, and it needs a lot of planning, but it gives you a thrill that’s hard to match.

3. Hey, That’s My Fish

Penguins trying to escape the dividing ice with the largest amount of fish possible. Sounds familiar?

Do you remember the penguins from the Madagascar movies? Well, imagine them in an Ice Age movie setting, and that’s the game for you! 

  • Number of players: 2–4
  • Common with Ticket to Ride: Strategy
  • Age: 8+

How to Play Hey, That’s My Fish

Hey, That’s My Fish is a pretty simple game. Each player moves their penguin across a map, which is made up of hexagonal ice tiles. When you step on any tile, you remove it, so no player can use it again. As the ice drops around you, it becomes challenging to cross the map, and that’s the whole beauty of it.

The strategic thinking makes the game a bit similar to Ticket to Ride because you have to design the map to your own accord. You want your opponents to lose their routes and get out of the game, all while maintaining a route for yourself to reach the fish.

4. Azul

If you have a thing for tiles, you’ll have a great deal of fun playing Azul. It doesn’t have any train routes or rails, but these are old-fashioned, anyway!

  • Number of players: 2–4
  • Common with Ticket to Ride: Strategic planning and collecting sets
  • Age: 8+
Azul Board Game

How to Play Azul

The main idea of Azul is collecting sets of tiles and using them to decorate the squares on the board. At the start of the game, each player has a separate board with empty squares for the tiles.

All the tiles are laid in the center of the table, and the players can choose from them to decorate their board. When the game starts, each player gets to take tiles from the pool on the table. 

Then as the game proceeds, players gain points for completing tile sets and decorating them in specific patterns.

The trick here is that you see the other players’ tiles because they’re all in the center of the table before getting chosen. So, you have to keep track of their choices to prevent them from completing sets. All while attempting to collect your own sets.

If you collect tiles that you don’t use on the board, you lose points—the same idea of the incomplete tickets that lose you points in Ticket to Ride.

We also feel like this game is a board game similar to Catan. Catan is another classic we love!

5. Survive: Escape from Atlantis

If you’ve always been mesmerized by Atlantis like I am, you’ll absolutely love this game. It lets you delve into the secrets of the lost city, attempting to escape the fallen bits of the island around you and get rid of the opponents—all from the comfort of your living room and with the fresh company of your friends!

  • Number of players: 2–4
  • Common with Ticket to Ride: Strategic thinking
  • Age: 8+

How to Play Survive: Escape from Atlantis

Escape from Atlantis is a bit similar to Hey, That’s My Fish—it even has the same hexagonal tiles on the board. Both games have you planning a route for yourself while ruining it for the other players. 

The island is supposedly sinking, and you need to save your meeples and get them to the shore.

In each turn, the island loses more ground (literally!), taking players along with it. Your goal is to reach the shore safely without sinking with the island. You’ll also encounter a lot of dangers, including whales, sharks, and sea monsters. 

If you create a strategic plan beforehand and outsmart your opponents, you’ll be able to reach your goal with your meeples safe.

6. Istanbul

Oriental bazaars, baklava, and a whole lot of tea—who doesn’t want to visit Istanbul? With its European elements and Eastern vibes, the city is easily one of the most sought-after in the world.

But I’m not here to talk about Istanbul the city; Istanbul the game will take you to the world-famous city without leaving your game night.

  • Number of players: 2–5
  • Common with Ticket to Ride:
  • Age: 14+

How to Play Istanbul

If Escape from Atlantis is too easy for you, Istanbul is probably the game you’re looking for. It requires clever strategy and patience, but it may be the least similar to Ticket to Ride on this list.

The whole idea of the game is that you’ll guide a group of workers through a crowded bazaar. The group of five includes four assistants and a merchant. As you move through stores in the bazaar, you need to take specific actions, which you’ll find in the game’s instruction manual.

But that’s not it; if you want to take an action, you’ll need to move an assistant and the merchant. At the same time, you must leave an assistant behind to close the business deal.

To use that assistant again, you’ll need to go back to pick him up. You’ll want to plan this smartly because you may end up with no assistants, and so you won’t be able to take action.

Like I told you, the game is hard! The good news is, there’s an app for it. So you can try it before you buy the board game and see if it’s your cup of tea.

7. Steam

If your favorite part of Ticket to Ride is route building, Steam might be the alternative you’re looking for. Its box also features a train that looks like the one in the Harry Potter series, but that one, sadly, doesn’t go to Hogwarts. 

  • Number of players: 3–5
  • Common with Ticket to Ride: Route building and train rails
  • Age: 12+

How to Play Steam

Steam has the same train route theme as Ticket to Ride, and it requires clever strategy, too. The main item in the game is the map that contains all the cities and towns. The game comes with different maps for you to choose from, including a map of Canada and a map of Rhine and Ruhr.

At the start of the game, every player has an investment, which he uses to build routes and create a trading network between cities. As the game goes on, the players create their railroads using the hexagonal tiles provided in the game.

As you connect more cities, your network becomes larger, and you complete more deliveries.

With each delivery you complete, you make money that you can use to buy more trains, expanding your empire.

Of course, for the game to be fun, you need to have obstacles. That’s why the game has rivers, mountains, and channels that are meant to hinder your path. If you want to win, you’ll have to outsmart your opponents and get over the obstacles that meet you.

In the end, the player who builds the best train route wins.

8. Carcassonne

Now, you’ve seen America, Turkey, and Atlantis. If all of those didn’t get your attention, maybe the medieval France vibes in Carcassonne will!

  • Number of players: 2–5
  • Common with Ticket to Ride: Strategic thinking and collecting sets
  • Age: 7+

How to Play Carcassonne

Carcassonne is pretty easy to play; that’s why it’s suitable for 7-year old kids. However, I personally believe it requires a clever strategy that kids are yet to develop. 

The game revolves around building Carcassonne, a medieval French city. The players lay their tiles, then start to build fortresses, cities, and other game objects, trying to build a civilization. 

When the game starts, the players take their turns placing the tiles according to their preference. Then, they start placing meeples on the landscape, growing the tiles into a full-blown city.

When the players complete cities, monasteries, and similar items, they claim points, growing their game score. This is where all the fun is because you want to place your tiles in a way that helps you win and ruins your opponent’s chances of winning. 

At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins. The thing is, the tiles have endless combinations, so you can’t predict the winner except well into the game, and that’s the beauty of it!

Board Games Like Ticket to Ride

As you can see, there are a lot of games that may substitute for Ticket to Ride. Steam and TransAmerica may be the most similar games because they both revolve around railroads. However, the other games provide a nice escape from Ticket to Ride as well.

My personal favorite is Brass: Lancashire, but I’d lie if I said it’s not a challenge! You’ll have to gather the brightest members of your group for this game; it takes a lot out of your mind.

Hillary

Hillary is a 26 year old board game enthusiast from New York who specializes in hosting game nights.

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