Alan R. Moon’s Ticket to Ride was has been a major success for Days of Wonder, the production company.
The game puts up a simplified geography of the 19th century US, commanding the players to set up tracks between the towns of the day. The track laying is all about collecting sets of matching carriage cards and figuring out the appropriate routes. The tickets add another scoring element, setting up bonuses for connecting specific locations with tracks.
The game is random by nature, meaning that every bout is more or less different from each other. This ensures the longevity of the game which turns boring or predictable far slower than expected. This, in addition with the easy to learn rules has been fundamental in settling the massive sales for the game.
A game that has turned into a franchise with spinoffs. While the original game was set in the wide open expanses of the united states, the followups turned to far more confined spaces, first Europe (introducing tunnels), Germany (the Märklin-specific variant using far prettier cards than any of the others), the Scandinavian region and finally Switzerland, before embarking on turning to additional game mechanics like dice. But that’s just the beginning, enterprising fans have turned additional countries and regions into playing fields.
The Xbox 360 Live Arcade game is a pretty good take on the original, though it features an awful color scheme (where different colors are nicely mixed up).