Ticket to Ride will be the next smash-hit board game to receive a legacy game transformation, if a new teaser from publisher Days of Wonder is anything to go by.
A mysterious video posted to the studio’s Instagram account shows a map of the United States, tracking up the west coast from Charlotte and Charleston through Philadelphia and Buffalo. At the very top of the map, the Canadian city of Montreal can be spotted.
More importantly, the teaser namedrops Ticket to Ride creator Alan R. Moon, alongside two more big names: Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau. Leacock is the designer behind co-op hit Pandemic, while Daviau is regarded as the godfather of legacy games, the revolutionary genre of board games that see players permanently modify and customise their game - by ripping up cards, applying stickers and writing on components - across a multi-game campaign.
Following Daviau’s success with Risk Legacy - considered the first legacy game - Leacock and Daviau previously collaborated on the acclaimed Pandemic Legacy trilogy, which spanned three numbered ‘seasons’ showcasing the designers’ increasingly inventive gameplay twists and storytelling surprises - often revealed as players opened envelopes and boxes containing new components and rules. Daviau has also explored the legacy genre further in his solo design SeaFall, and legacy adaptations of series from Betrayal at House on the Hill to Ultimate Werewolf.
Ticket to Ride, of course, is Moon’s beloved train game that tasks players with collecting cards before spending them to connect routes between major cities. The series launched in 2004 with its titular game set in North America, which went on to win the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award and sell more than three million copies. Since then, the Ticket to Ride series has seen various expansions and spin-offs set in other regions across the world, as well as different time periods - from turn-of-the-century Europe to 1960s New York and 1970s London.
While the apparent teaser for Moon, Leacock and Daviau’s Ticket to Ride game gives away little - the video ends with the normal Ticket to Ride logo and the promise of more “Coming Soon” - there are a few intriguing details.
The gradual reveal of the map recalls the exploration gameplay of Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, in which players uncovered a post-apocalyptic United States by adding region stickers to the main board as they moved between locations. A brief glimpse at the city icons shown in the Ticket to Ride teaser show at least two variants - a normal red circle and a green icon with the silhouette of skyscrapers - suggesting that there may be an element similar to the city evolution in Pandemic Legacy, which could see certain cities eventually fall to ruin and destruction, indicated by permanent stickers placed over their spots.
For now, the project remains suitably mysterious. We’ll no doubt find out more in time, as the teaser post's accompanying caption indicates a release date this autumn.