great traveller revisits the classic days of players throwing dice and moving around the board. In the first generation of board games, rolling and shifting was the biggest mechanism as players made their way through spaces. While there have been other mechanics, this method of play is time-tested, with its appeal to chance as well as planning. great traveller takes classic mechanics and brings it into the modern era with a new twist that will send players on the run.
Set up in great traveller is simple: all players need to do is choose their favorite color for their airplane counter and a “hometown” representing one of the major airports in the United States. Each player is given a Destination Checklist which helps keep track of where they have been and how many miles they have traveled. Players take turns rolling a 20-sided die that will send them to a random destination as long as another roll allows. They are running to be the first to visit all 20 destinations and become the winner.
great traveller is a clever mix of luck and strategy. Luck comes from rolling the dice for high numbers, while the strategy is planning the paths to take to get there as quickly as possible. As more destinations are crossed off their roster, players are given more agency to choose their destination, which makes planning more important as the game progresses.
To add more to the luck side, players can end their turn on an “FF” space to collect a Coach card. Most maps are bonuses, like advancing extra spaces or immediately advancing to a certain destination, like Minneapolis for the Mall of America. Other cards can push the player back or even force them to go back to where they left off and raise. This really is the luck of the draw, so players will have to decide if they feel lucky when they plot their routes between destinations.
Throughout the game, players receive loyalty miles which can be cashed out for special bonuses. Players can choose their destination for their roll, upgrade to “First Class” for a double move and First Class cards instead of the regular “Coach” for additional bonuses, or even get a direct flight without having to roll for. that. In the final laps, players will eagerly cash in their mileage for extra moves and chosen destinations, in preparation for a climaxing sprint to the end.
great traveller is a roll-and-move board game for two to four players ages eight and up. It’s a moderately long game, lasting anywhere from half an hour to a full hour depending on how many players are in the game and how long they take to plan their trips. With its light rules and its balance between luck and strategy, it is an excellent evening of competition with family or friends.
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