Ticket to Ride: First Journey (buy on iOS / Android) is a really interesting distillation of the Ticket to Ride (buy on iOS / Android) formula. It takes a pretty complex game and make it accessible for all members of the family. But never in a dull or uninteresting way.

The game has been out for a couple of weeks, but that doesn't mean you'll have got bored of it yet.

So I figured it was as good a time as any to lay down some tips and tricks to make sure you're getting the most out of the track-placing experience.

If you've got your own ideas or helpful suggestions then feel free to chuck them in the comments section at the bottom of the article. Or don't, if you want to keep your special advantage.
(Oh, and check out our video below with even more tips for the game)

Your turn

When it's your turn you can either pick up some new cards, swap the destination cards you've got, or lay down a length of track.

Swapping your destination cards should be a last resort. It takes up a turn and you're not really gaining anything for it, so only do it if you've got a connection that's going to take a really long time to build.

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The cards

The most important thing to understand about Ticket to Ride: First Journey is that the cards you're laying down are colour coded. You're going to need the correct hue to make a connection.

You're going to need the correct number of the cards as well. If you've only got one black carriage and you're trying to fill a space that needs three, it's not going to work I'm afraid.

Don't think in straight lines

Sometimes the quickest route to a connection isn't the shortest. It all depends on the cards you've got in your hand. Take your time to consider what the best thing is to do with the cards you've been dealt.

Remember it's entirely possible that your opponent is trying to make a similar connection, and that you taking the slightly longer way round could well mess with their plans.

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Other connections

You'll want to learn which other connections score you points as well. Quite often these will come organically, but keeping an eye on them can give you a boost in the scoring stakes that might change the outcome of the game.

They're another good reason to not just make the shortest connections. Sometimes you'll manage to score an extra point without even realising that you were on the brink of doing it.

Watch and learn

If you keep getting beaten by real players, then make sure you're keeping an eye on how they're doing it. It might be the luck of the draw, but there's a chance you're missing something important.

The same goes for AI games. Look at the moves that the AI makes and try and understand why it's done that. And if you can, try and figure out what connections your opponent is trying to make. That's the best way to ruin their plans.

Want more? Check out our growing collection of Ticket to Ride: First Journey articles!