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Another classic board game has made a successful jump to XBLA and delivers a true to the original experience.

XBLA has seen a number of board game conversions over the last year and has been fairly successful to date. Ticket to Ride continues this trend by delivering a solid reproduction of the board game experience with the added ability to play online and enjoy the graphics, sound effects, etc. that a XBLA version can bring to the experience.
Ticket to Ride provides a helpful, if somewhat short and simplistic, tutorial to help someone new to the game learn the basics of how to play and use the interface. For experienced players of the conventional board game, the tutorial is unnecessary (except maybe to pick up an easy achievement) since the "on by default" help prompts guide you through the interface well enough.
The interface is generally good and is very easy to pickup and use. It does seem a little awkward at times, but I am not sure that could be improved on much. Visually speaking, the interface is clean and easy to understand. The little bits of eye & ear candy (like the balloon that floats by or the train sounds) are unobtrusive enough so as not to interfere with the game play. There are times where the city labels interfere with the ability to see the underlying rail lines clearly, but this didn't come up often or every time.
The AI players play a reasonable game which helps when you want to fill in a game with additional players or grab a quick pickup on your own. Like the other "real world" to XBLA conversions, the online multi-player versions bring the game play to a whole new level. Since the game play is basically identical to the board game, you can often learn new tips & tricks that carry over to real world play and vice versa.
The interface seems to leave room for the possibility of additional maps. Whether this actually materializes or not has yet to be seen.
Overall, Ticket to Ride is solid, well-done, and easily playable version of the classic board game that easily justifies its 800MSP cost.

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