Some of you may recall that the only negative I mentioned in my review of the iPhone release of Days Of Wonder’s boardgame app Ticket To Ride Pocket was that “the lack of online multiplayer is a bit disappointing”.
Prepare to turn that frown upside-down, because Days Of Wonder has just released an update which adds an all-new asynchronous, turn-based multiplayer game mode exclusively to Ticket To Ride Pocket. While this is not the real-time multiplayer mode the iPad release has, I think this new ‘Multi Mode’ is a clever choice.
Ticket To Ride Pocket players will still be able to have local real-time multiplayer games over Bluetooth and local Wi-Fi, and take on A.I. opponents in the local single-player mode, but the new ‘Multi Mode’ allows you to challenge your Game Center friends worldwide and make your moves whenever you have time.
The really cool thing is that this new mode will allow you to have multiple simultaneous games going against up to 3 friends (in each game). ‘Multi Mode’ is limited to the “Pocket Edition” of the game so don’t go looking for it on your iPad release. This was by choice in part due to the technical issues involved with getting two different apps (with different SKUs) to talk to one another nicely through Game Center.
“This is the update Ticket to Ride players have been clamoring for since we released Ticket to Ride Pocket.” Said Eric Hautemont, Days of Wonder Founder and CEO. “We love online gameplay, but faced a challenge: ‘how do you create a great online experience on a device like the phone that is constantly being used for other functions?’ We needed to build an experience where players could come and go as they please yet have something meaningful to do when they played; the thought of having multiple games going at once was what convinced us this could work. With Multi Mode, we’ve given players what they want without compromising on the gameplay that made Ticket to Ride so popular to begin with.”
When I read the news, my initial concerns were that since moves in Ticket To Ride can be really quick, you may often end up waiting a while for the other player(s) to make their quick moves and games could last a really long time. However, then I got to thinking that this is pretty much the case in just about every asynchronous, turn-based online multiplayer game.
Earlier this morning I loaded the new update. I immediately was able to find a random opponent for a two player game. Since both I and my adversary were making our moves right away, we had what equated to a real-time multiplayer game. So if the server (and your opponent’s) response time is fairly quick, you could potentially achieve a near real-time game anyways, even though this is meant to be an asynchronous multiplayer mode.
I’m excited about this new way to play this amazingly fun game, so feel free to send a challenge my way (OTGGamer). While I can’t promise real-time play (I have a job after all), I can offer some friendly competition.
Ticket To Ride Pocket is available on the app store for $1.99.