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This game was a gift from my one and only last X-mas. It is a beautiful game to look at and has a very impressive board and nice bits and pieces. It is nicely balanced with many options. I like the auctioning and having choices of what to do during your turn. I really enjoy railroad games and think this may the best one. The one pit fall maybe the lack of ways to win. After 2 games this year and a few last year there seems to be only one way to win, control the northwest. Every time, thats the player that wins. I will play more and see if this is true and if so, then even if it is the best railroad game it may get shelved for the others with many ways to win....ie Ticket to Ride, Santa Fe Rails and Empire Builder. Overall Score 8, Appearence 9, Components 9, The Box (storage) 4, Rulebook 8, Ease of Play 8, Mechanics 8, Involvment 7, Replayability 8, Uniqueness 8, Luck 4 v Strategy 6 (The higher the number the more it leans that way.)
In my opinion, Railways of the World strikes a perfect balance between the casualness of Ticket to Ride and the depth of 18XX games. I have played Railways of the World with many non-gamers and most of them have enjoyed it and have been able to compete pretty well. The Eastern USA map that comes with the map is simply gorgeous. And enormous. Biggest board I've seen. And it is so cool to see how it fills up with colored trains and station markers. Such a fun game!
Cool plastic pieces, and a lot of fun route building gameplay make this a winner. Some of the cards seem a little overpowered, and there could be a bit of a runaway leader problem, but overall I'm always happy to play this one.
My first game was fun and very interesting. The components, however, were disappointing. The boards were warped, the graphics seemed hurriedly placed with no thought to the cut lines on the boards, and the city colors were off. They should have hired somebody at Days of Wonder to oversee production of the components. : / My rating and my desire to play it again will likely go up if the problems are corrected.
2009-10-31 - Bought 2009-11-18: Played the Mexico map. Seems to be nicely balanced. And playing the introductory ruleset is sufficiently different enough to warrant playing again. 2011-10-21 - Been playing several 2p games on the Mexico map with the cards etc... very nice. 2013-10-20 - Rating 7.5 -> 8; It's always better to play with family.