26 June 2022
A route building game with the spirit of a roll and write at its heart, Get On Board does a couple of clever things. And the fact that it’s only a couple really is one of its strengths, it’s one of the most pleasant family-weight games I’ve played in a long time.
Unusually, in this outing for Saashi, the art has been paired with Monsieur Z, instead of the other Saashi. If you want that version you’ll need to pick up the charmingly titled Let’s Make A Bus Route which Get On Board is a reimplementation of.
It’s a light and charming enough approach to the look of the game, and once the streets start filling with route markers, there’s a presence on the board that upgrades it from many flip and write box tickers. Here the roll and write part is just a clever way to motivate your route making.
The players take an individual scoring sheet from the pad. Each of these has a different set of route shapes assigned to the ticket numbers that will be flipped from the ticket deck each turn. So while I might have a ‘two in a straight line’ route shape associated with my tickets one and seven, you might have a ‘two with a turn’ route displayed on yours.
Each player has their own goals for a completed route (visiting certain intersections) and everyone can score points through picking up certain kinds of people, and in some cases dropping them off where they want to go. The sightseers for example can be added to your bus until you visit a site worth seeing, where they all get out and you take the points for the number you’d collected on the way. This makes your routing choices over the twelve rounds really important, do you want to scoop up an extra businessman on the way to the office? Or will that delay you so much that you’ll be unable to complete your main route?
The multiple ways of scoring also come with the option, as you’d expect, to ignore your designated route and add a turn, for a cost. Equally, heading through a busy section of the city (where another player has a route marker, or in the two player version, some always busy areas) will cost you points. Unlike many roll and write games, you don’t become bogged down in the mass of interactions between boxes and scoring. The board rules here, and the sheet provides the motivation.
Complete your route, pick everyone up efficiently, and get bonuses for dropping them off and get points. That’s it. A little splash of interaction with the way your routes affect each other on the board and you’re away. It’s effortless to play, with interesting choices to be made as you go. Much like arriving at a bus stop as your bus arrives, your favourite seat empty and waiting, conveying you to your destination in good time.
Christopher John Eggett
PLAY IT? YES
An extremely satisfying Eurogame-feeling flip-and-write. And it might just be a sleeper hit that makes its way into your game night, whichever route you take.
TRY THIS IF YOU LIKED Ticket To Ride…
A complete step up, and to the side, for fans of this route-making classic. You never know, it might even replace it in your collection.
Time: 30 minutes
What’s in the box?
- Double-sided board
- 50 Double-sided player sheets
- 160 Route markers
- 5 Departure pawns
- 28 Cards
- Inspector pawn
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This review came from Tabletop Gaming Magazine, which is home to all of the latest and greatest tabletop goodness. Whether you're a board gamer, card gamer, wargamer, RPG player or all of the above, find your copy here.Get your magazine here
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