“Wake me up before you go go, Don’t leave me hanging on like a yo-yo!” Chances are, if you are traveling in a board game you would not be waking up your opponents to tell them where you are going…..but traveling adds a fun mechanism to games that makes you feel like you are accomplishing something. I love me a map and meeple to travel on it! There are tons of ways to incorporate travel into a game. These games are the ones I feel do it the best, either in how you travel, where you are traveling to and why you are traveling. It doesn’t matter if it is over countries and continents or within the same city, it’s how you get there. So, pack your bags and get your ticket to travel to the Best 3 Games with…..Travel!
3. Agents of Smersh by 8th Summit
This one satisfies the WHY I am traveling part of the mechanism. Because the how you travel is just blaaaahh, roll a die and travel that many spaces……but the WHY is great. You are a team of Secret Agents trying to find intel to bring down Dr. Lobo and his crew. You travel to all sorts of different cities and have an encounter each time. Some of these areas will have intel or Henchmen that you have to defeat. Each time you go to a location, you have a death defying event that you have to pass. Jason Maxwell, that even sounds like a secret agent name, designed this with a great purpose. Every time I travel in Agents of Smersh, I can’t wait to see what encounter lays in wait. Anything from driving your car off a parking garage onto an adjacent one, to being tied up and being pushed over the side of a boat into the nearest lake, every travel opportunity is just great.
2. Yokohama by TMG
Now we come to the HOW part. We just recently played Yokohama, and I must say the traveling is quite good. You are in the same city the entire part of the game, the bustling trade center of Yokohama, Japan, but you need to go to different districts to get things done that you need accomplished such as donating to the church, developing technology or trading for goods like fish, silk, copper and tea. Hisashi Hayashi really puts your brain to work with this mechanism. You have a President that is traveling around the city making your Assistants take actions to get things done. The travel part comes in where you have to travel through districts where you have Assistants. These Assistants must create a continuous unbroken connection to where you want to move to. So, lining them up to be able to get to the places you need to go is critical. Also, when you get to a spot where you have Assistants you will put them to work. This is such a nice puzzle. Did I also mention that if you go somewhere where there is another players President or even placing Assistants in that area, you have to pay them. I really like the how you travel in Yokohama.
1. Orleans by TMG
Orleans is a fantastic game for so many reasons. Traveling is just another fantastic mechanism in it among many others. Mixing both the HOW and WHY you travel is what makes it great. I think the best part in the travel mechanism, designed by Reiner Stockhausen, is that it is optional. You literally do not have to travel at all, but when you do it is great. Everyone starts in Orleans and then you travel from there around the French countryside. There are two different paths you can take, either on roads or rivers. When you travel you get to collect a good located on that path. You can also build trading posts to give you more victory points. Even though traveling is not necessary, it is highly encouraged. With the co-op version, it is essential! When you travel in Orleans, especially when you do it more than once in a turn, it is so gratifying……and makes you want to do it more. Traveling in Orleans, just gives it one more reason it is my second favorite game of all time.