The Manufacturer's Board Game Review of TransAmerica:
America in the 19th century: railroads are booming! Pioneer spirit and vision are everywhere. Everyone wants to be the first to build a railroad network across the country. Each player has five cities and tries to connect them with a shared network of tracks. As soon as a player has done this, the round ends. The other players lose points. At the end of the game, the player who has the most points left is the winner! Who will be the first to connect his cities? Is it Casey, who was the first to build through the mountains to the west? Or Annie, who was the one who best made use of the others' tracks?
Rainy Day Game's Board Game Review of TransAmerica:
The TransAmerica board game has to be approached with the right attitude. It sits beside some pretty serious train games such as 1856 and Empire Builder, but its really in a different class, designed for different gamers. TransAmerica is their much lighter, much faster, much less serious cousin.
This game fills two roles in our games cabinet. First, its a great family game. We've had relatives as young as 6 years old play and enjoy this game. TransAmerica's simplicity and speed make it a great way for Mom and Dad to enjoy some time with the kids. Second, it works as an enjoyable conversation stimulator with our group of friends. A beverage or two, some popcorn and TransAmerica turn a Thursday night at home into something a lot better.
So, don't look for complicated strategy, don't complain about the randomness of the card drawing, and just enjoy a nice pastime with the people you love, or just like. Buy TransAmerica, and it will reward you with many enjoyable evenings.
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Steve's Board Game Review of TransAmerica:
TransAmerica is a great little board game. Like the review above mentions, it's not a heavy hitter as a strategy board game. But I've played it several times now and it's a very nice way to spend an hour with my friends.
You start the game by drawing five cards showing the cities you have to connect. This draw adds a large element of luck to the game. Once the cards are drawn, you have to lay track around the continent to connect them.
There aren't many chances for players affecting each other's play. There are defensive and offensive building that happens, but this is a very subtle part of game play. The largest strategic decision you make in TransAmerica is usually when and where to connect your network to another player's. Managing how the rail networks combine is perhaps the biggest challenge in the game.
I won't play TransAmerica all night, but it's a little surprising how often this board game gets pulled out. I recommend anyone who's looking for a less serious board game to buy TransAmerica.
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