When comparing Ticket to Ride vs Betrayal at House on the Hill, the Slant community recommends Ticket to Ride for most people. In the question“What are the best board games?” Ticket to Ride is ranked 3rd while Betrayal at House on the Hill is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose Ticket to Ride is:
The core mechanics of the game are pretty simple to learn in under 15 minutes. Each player is given a destination ticket with the route they are tasked to build. Each turn they simply decide whether to draw a train card that represents the train cars, claim a section of a route using one of their train cards, or get another destination ticket to begin a new route. Whoever builds the longest route wins.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Easy to learn
The core mechanics of the game are pretty simple to learn in under 15 minutes.
Each player is given a destination ticket with the route they are tasked to build. Each turn they simply decide whether to draw a train card that represents the train cars, claim a section of a route using one of their train cards, or get another destination ticket to begin a new route. Whoever builds the longest route wins.
Pro No direct conflict
Most players will be solely focused on building their own train routes, and as such, there is no direct conflict against opponents. This makes it a good game not only for beginners, but also players who do not like the cutthroat tactics of games like Monopoly. It also makes for a good game for couples to play as there will be no arguments or moves that may slight another player.
Pro Great presentation
The board, train pieces, and cards all come together to create a pleasing and functional experience. The game board is a colorful, thick cardboard map of North America. It's large enough so the game board never feels crowded with game pieces. There are also 225 custom-molded train car game pieces of various solid colors. The game cards themselves are nicely illustrated and feature pictures of trains that take front and center - they contain no text overlay.
Pro A great gateway game
Thanks to its intuitive nature and easy to grasp rules, Ticket to Ride is great for newcomers to the game or those unfamiliar with board games in general, or even kids. It is widely considered to be an excellent gateway game.
Pro Satisfying to build routes, regardless of winning
Even if you don't win the game, it's often satisfying to watch your train routes slowly get bigger as you connect cities. There are also bonus points you can achieve for connecting especially long or tricky routes, which you gives you additional goals to work towards aside from the main victory.
Pro Tense gameplay each turn
Each turn, you will have to decide whether you want to draw another train card or connect more routes on the board. Since you can only choose one of these options, this is a highly important decision that may have you on the edge of your seat. By drawing more cards, you'll have more trains to place later, but you may be leaving an empty route open up for your opponent to steal.
Pro High detail design
Both the game board and playing cards have a very distinct style. The game board has an almost faded background of the landscape featuring mountains, rivers, and forests with the routes intertwining around the map in colorful patterns. This strong contrast really gives the board an intricate appearance. The game cards come in a variety of colors and all feature hand drawn artwork of all sorts of train parts - engines, locomotives, coal carts, storage carts, and more.
Pro Great expansions
Ticket to Ride offers numerous expansion packs that build on the base game in fun new ways. For starters, there's all new maps for places such as Europe, Asia, India, Africa, and more. This means you can play the game you enjoy on an a fresh board with new routes to learn. Each expansion also adds its fair share of new gameplay elements (such as tunnels, boats, and train stations) and has new train cards.
Pro Well written storylines lead to very memorable gameplay experiences
Each of the 50 scenarios are unique and have a gripping story that helps pull you into the game. Whether it's demons, monsters, or rituals that need to be completed, each gameplay session will be filled with new stories and new objectives. Thanks to this, each session memorable in its own way as you won't ever be doing the same thing twice.
Pro Exciting tone shift mid-game
In the beginning, players all work together to explore and search the haunted house, but once the betrayers are revealed in the later sections, the game turns you against one another. This complete shift in tone from co-op exploration to frantic survival is often the most exciting part as everyone's goals suddenly change and your friends are trying to kill you.
Pro Near endless replayability
The "Traitor's Tome" rulebook contains a base of 50 "haunt" scenarios to play through, but you can easily create your own or find more online if you'd like to play more unique or varied games. Even when playing the base game, the sheer amount of variety in nightmarish things (monsters, aliens, ghosts, weird portals) the game throws at you is incredible.
Pro Great for getting your friends into gaming
Overall, this is a great game to help get your friends into board games, even if they are bit reluctant. Each game session usually only lasts about 60 minutes, but manages to pack as much fun in as possible. The suspense of exploration combined with the excitement of the big reveal is an addicting mechanic that works well with many groups. Thanks to this short length and incredible way of drawing people in, this makes it a great game to pick up and play with friends on the spur of the moment.
Pro Not a huge time investment
You can play a whole game from start to finish in about an hour.
Pro Builds anticipation and suspense
Perhaps one person, or even multiple people are forced to switch to Betrayers in the middle of the game. You never know who is going to be affected, what the revealed horror will be, or when it will happen. Additionally, the Betrayers and Investigators often have objectives which are kept secret from one another, so you never know what your opponent's win condition is until it happens. All of this keeps everyone guessing what's going to happen next and how things will play out.
Pro Great expansion that adds to gameplay
The Window's Walk expansion not only adds 50 new haunts, but adds new rooms, cards and opens up the roof for exploration. Overall, it's an excellent addition that expands on the base game and gives you plenty of new content to enjoy.
Con Very basic
The "North American" Ticket to Ride (original game) is fun but has very low complexity. Regular players will tire quickly from this lack of depth. The variants like Europe or India bring some new maps and more gameplay elements, which is sorely needed after the first few games.
Con Very luck-based
The original destination ticket and the cards you draw during game play are random. This can make some routes easier or harder to connect, and it boils down to literally just being the luck of the draw.
Con Sometimes blocking routes for opponents hurts you instead
When preventing an opponent from completing their train route, you have to use your own trains to block them. This means less trains to complete your own route. It seems like this design is self-defeating at times.
The game generally retails for $50, which is quite high for a cardboard board game.
Con The mechanics aren't the best
The mechanics for things like movement and fighting occasionally break down or don't make sense in certain Haunts.
For movement, there are two cases where the mechanics break down. In most cases, it's very obvious where you're supposed to go and it ends up being a simplistic point A to point B course. This takes all the fun or guesswork out of plotting the optimal path. On the other hand, sometimes reaching your goal is impossible because of layouts which makes fulfilling an objective difficult or downright impossible. In both cases, movement feels unexciting.
When fighting, some abilities are rather complex, so time is taken out of the game to explain the mechanics to everyone. This ruins immersion for everyone and it can feel like there is more explaining than actual action.
Con Some Haunts are very unbalanced
Due to how the house is gradually discovered in the first phase of the game, it is possible for either the Betrayer or the Investigators to not have access to the tiles they need to win the game at the start of the second phase. Sometimes the Betrayers will be at a disadvantage, and sometimes the Investigators. It's an issue that effects both sides about the same.
Con Players may feel disadvantaged at times
There is a huge variety in the horrors revealed, and some work better than others after a large portion of the house has been discovered. Others work best in small, enclosed quarters. For example, a creature suddenly crawling through the walls works best in the small quarters, whereas it wouldn't be so much of a threat in a larger open area. Due to things like this, the scenario can sometimes often feel unfair for one side or the other - either the Betrayer or the Investigators will have a huge disadvantage.
Con Not appropriate for children
Some of the more complicated scenarios can be quite confusing, and the game is relatively slow paced, so it may not be fun for kids. As it's a horror game, some of the themes (monsters, cannibalism, demonic rituals) are not appropriate for young children.
Con Game relies very heavily on the players buying into the theme
This is a game that does best only if the players really buy into the theme of exploring the haunted house. Since cards are read aloud and acted out a bit (creepy voices highly encouraged), events and haunts in particular benefit from this extra bit of immersion. If this seems like a Pro to you, then great, Betrayal is your kind of game, but if not, then it can get stale quickly and its flaws are made even more apparent.