The update, which is free for existing owners of the Ticket to Ride app, makes some slight interface tweaks, but the bulk of the changes have gone on under the hood. Much of the app has been rewritten from the ground up using the studio’s proprietary “DoW Playground” cross-platform technology to allow for Universal support (essentially replacing the ‘Pocket‘ iPhone-only version) and allowing for asynchronous play across a wide variety of platforms in both local WiFi and online play.
Previously the iPad-only version of Ticket to Ride only allowed players to compete in real-time matches against other players on the iPad and Steam and the iPhone-specific ‘Pocket’ editions only allowed for asynchronous play against other ‘Pocket’ edition players. As of this update, players on any iOS device no longer need to carve out a chunk of time in which to play a full game in one sitting and can actually now have several asynchronous games in progress simultaneously. resuming play on any digital platform of their choosing. Turn notifications and a customizable player clock help to keep games moving and remind players to take their turns in a timely manner.
For me, this is a much better system as I have younger kids and as such, I don’t always have an uninterrupted dedicated block of time during which to play. This change means I no longer have to feel pressured, guilty or risk getting booted from a match because I took a little too long to take my turn. Sure, there will still be some people who prefer real-time gameplay, and they can still easily achieve this if all participants are good about taking their turns quickly; I used to do this on the Pocket edition all the time.
Along with this new interface update comes support for vertical maps, the first of which is India and you can certainly expect more vertical maps to be added in the future as many of the game’s cardboard-based expansions of the physical board game use the vertical format. The India map costs $2.99 to unlock (a special launch sale price good through the end of the year), but right now Days of Wonder is running a huge ‘Complete Pack’ promotion where you can get all 5 existing map packs (including India) for a single $4.99 IAP, saving you nearly $12 (70%) over purchasing each one separately. If you are considering even getting two of the map packs, this is a great deal. And if you are an iPhone or iPod Touch user who only owns Ticket to Ride Pocket and not the previously iPad-only version, then via a single $9.99 IAP you can upgrade Pocket to the full version, plus unlock all 5 of the map packs.
Ticket to Ride has always been a staple on my iPad and I’m thrilled that now I’ll have access to all of my games at any time on any of my devices. Plus I have some exciting new maps to try (I couldn’t pass up that $4.99 IPA to get the ones I was missing). However, perhaps whats most exciting is how this update paves the way for even more content updates in the future. With this update off their plate, hopefully this means we’ll be seeing DoW’s Splendor app updated soon with online (DoW Playground) asynchronous multiplayer support as well (hint hint DoW).
If you don’t already own this fantastic digital board game on your iOS devices, now there is no excuse not to.