The folks at Days of Wonder have just released a really special new update that third generation iPad owners have to see to believe.

All of the game’s existing iPad art was replaced with brand new super-high resolution art assets crafted from those used for the actual print version on the game, I believe, making it the first truly (better than) HD board game app available for the all new iPad. Take a look at the image to the right and you’ll see how crsip and clear everything looks…WOW!

“The reason being that the new Retina-enhanced display is high resolution, high contrast and sharp enough to reuse the exactly same high resolution print files we use for the actual cardboard (ie physical board game) versions. We still sample these files down and tweak them a bit – we print at 1,200 dpi in the cardboard version, for instance, which would obviously make no sense here.”

It is pretty impressive that the development team was able to accomplish this stunning transformation is a very short period of time, considering they only started the makeover once they got their first new iPad in hand (on release day). They waited for the actual product as they wanted to be able to look at the result on a real new iPad screen, and see the performance (how much RAM, etc.) to make sure there wouldn’t be any unexpected surprises when they delivered gamers this rich and realistic experience to their fans.

“The new retina display dramatically enhances the Ticket to Ride maps, allowing us for the first time to display the same high-fidelity, finely-detailed paper textures and beautiful background illustrations that are featured in the real world Ticket to Ride board game. “

All of the DLC maps have been updated as well and an added benefit of the increased sharpness of the new iPad’s Retina display is that it enabled Days of Wonder to keep the track symbols on the train routes even when playing in normal (non-zoomed) mode; helping to make it much easier for colorblind players to identify different routes on a map.

Ticket to Ride just recently crossed the 800,000 download mark on iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) and for good reason. Now more than ever, this is a MUST HAVE title for any iPad owner. So if you have the game already and own the new iPad, update your app for FREE now, if you own a new iPad, but don’t own Ticket to Ride, then you can (and should) remedy this by buying it from the app store now for $6.99.

In the gallery below are screenshots I captured both before and after the update on my third generation iPad.

A word of warning, these are around 6MB files so they may take a moment to load, but I didn’t want to scale them so you can see the big difference the new art assets make.