Ticket to Ride, designed by Alan R. Moon and published by Days of Wonder, has long been considered as one of the best gateway games of all time.
“Gateway” is a term understood by dedicated gamers, but what does it mean to those people who are diving into the modern world of tabletop gaming whose experience in any gaming is mostly limited to classics like Sorry, Monopoly and Yahtzee?
The term “gateway” means that a game is more easily understood and played by people who have no experience in the current tabletop landscape. It means the game isn't overly long or complicated and it generally means that a new player won't be at a severe disadvantage against experienced players.
The game was released eight years ago and has continually sold through printings.
“There are several reasons why Ticket to Ride continues to strike a chord with so many,” said Mark Kaufmann from Days of Wonder. “First, the game is not only simple to play - there's basically only 3 rules you need to remember - it's also easy to teach others. This gives casual players confidence when bringing it out to play with new people that their friends or family will start having fun right away and not worry too much about having to learn complex rules. Second, there seems to be a universal appeal to building train routes. There's just something that people find satisfying about watching their routes grow and their Destination Tickets get completed. Third, while the gameplay is relatively simple and can be played on a very friendly and casual way, there are a lot of underlying strategy to the game, giving more advanced players much more to think about and consider. Finally, there is an inherent tension that continues to grow throughout the game as the map gets more crowded and you risk the game ending before you complete your tickets.”