tt_africa_boxThe latest map released in the Ticket to Ride Map Collection is The Heart of Africa. I’ve had a chance to give this new map a whirl, and I’ve very impressed with how well it plays.

All there is inside the box is the new, gorgeous, Africa Map, destination cards, new terrain cards, and a globetrotter bonus card. You’ll need a supply of colored train cars and the trains from one of the full Ticket To Ride games. Setup is pretty much the same as other Ticket to Ride games, but each player all receives 2 terrain cards that must be left face up in front of them.

Gameplay is similar to what you’d expect from a Ticket to Ride game. The only real difference here is the new terrain cards that come with the game. Each terrain card has 3 colors matching track colors. Terrain cards are played when claiming a track and double the amount of points you earn for that track. The trick is that you have to have equal or more of that type of terrain card compared to the other players in the game. 1, 2, and 3 segment tracks require 1 terrain card, and 4, 5, and 6 segment tracks require 2 terrain cards to be played. Terrain cards can be acquired just as you would take train cards, and can be taken in addition to train cards.

I’ve only played this map with 3 players so far, but I have to say it’s my favorite map so far to do so with. It’s not as cut-throat as Switzerland or Nordic Countries, but it feels like a race to claim certain areas of the board before other players do and make you take a pretty long way around to where you need to be.

Overall this is a solid addition to the Ticket to Ride family, and you get a great experience for the price.

Ticket to Ride: The Heart of Africa was provided free for review by Days of Wonder