One of the most anticipated board games promised for Arcade1Up’s Infinity Game Table is easily Ticket to Ride. It’s finally available for everyone to buy, but is it worth the cost? I’ve been playing it for a couple of weeks, and the answer to that question is easy. Yes!
At a $9.99 introductory price, you get a whole lot of board game. The original edition Ticket to Ride goes for $40 regularly, and that comes with just the one map (and train tokens and cards, of course). But the Infinity Game Table version comes with the original edition U.S. map, Europe, 1910 Big Cities, Pennsylvania, and the U.K. map.
If you aren’t familiar with Ticket to Ride, you’re in luck too. Usually, one of the most challenging parts of playing any new board game is learning the rules and strategies. Having an experienced player helps, but if you don’t, the only option is to read long pamphlets then muddle through a practice play run.
But Arcade1Up kindly introduced a quick tutorial. I call it a brief tutorial because it teaches you the bare basics of Ticket to Ride. You’ll learn what the cards do, how to claim a railway route, and how the game ends. You won’t get finer points of specific rules, like that you can’t claim parallel paths in games with three or fewer players.
But what I do appreciate is an included single-player mode. One of the downsides to most board games is that you NEED other people to play. At least two, although most play better with more than two. The same can be said of the physical edition of Ticket to Ride, but the Infinity Game Table can take control of the players so that you can get in a game by yourself.
The PC players aren’t the most difficult to beat and are somewhat predictable. And I’ve also noticed that the PC will almost always skip picking up wild cards, which is certainly a strategy you CAN choose. But that predictability makes the solo game a little easier; you can spot what the computer hopes to accomplish and block it. Of course, it gets a little more challenging to keep track of multiple PC players. Arcade1Up even included achievements for single-player mode when you accomplish tasks like scoring over 160 points.
The game starts to shine in multiplayer mode. You get (nearly) all the delight of a proper Ticket to Ride game—strategizing, obfuscating, and the desperation pull at the deck hoping for that last green train you need. I thought the map would feel cramped on the smaller Infinity Game Table, but it’s fine.
You also skip some of the annoyances of Ticket to Ride—namely, getting out and putting away the many train tokens. That does mean you can’t stack the trains while you’re waiting your turn, but that’s a small price to pay for easy setup and tear down. Moving your tokens onto the game board is more straightforward than I thought it would be too— tap your cards and drag them to the path between the two cities you want to connect. The game will highlight the route to let you know it understands what you want to do.
One major downside to multiplayer is hiding your cards from other players. It’s the same problem as Scrabble. You have to cover up your cards with the included privacy screens (or 3D print your own) and then do a dance to drag the cards around the screen and to the board. It’s not great, and half the time, it’s easier to have players look away when you’re moving cards around.
But overall, the experience works surprisingly well, and Arcade1Up thought out how best to implement the game. I do wish we could pair our phones to hide our cards, but the rest of the game plays perfectly. Getting access to several maps out of the box adds replayability as well. If you love Ticket to Ride and own an Infinity Game Table, you should purchase it.
And if you don’t own an Infinity Game Table, Ticket to Ride is just one more good reason to buy it.
Arcade1Up Infinity Game Table
The excellent Arcade1Up Infinity Game Table comes with tons of multi-player board games. It even supports house rules for titles like ‘Monopoly.’ Grab it at Best Buy for $700.