Is standard Ticket to Ride not chaotic enough for you? Does it lack the fire and destruction you’re looking for? Well, Alvin and Dexter are waiting for you. This is a small expansion for Ticket to Ride that adds great flavor to the game.
Alvin is a space alien and Dexter is a dinosaur, each represented by a small plastic piece. At the beginning of the game, the last two players put Alvin and Dexter on two cities of their choice. As long as these monsters are terrorizing that city, players cannot claim routes in or out of that city. Tickets (e.g. New York to Los Angeles) are worth half of their value if a monster is on that route at the end of the game.
But Alvin and Dexter aren’t fixed. In addition to their regular turn, players can spend one wild card to move one monster up to three cities or two wild cards to move them up to six. If they do, the put the corresponding monster card in front of them face up. As long as that monster card is face up, it cannot be moved again. At the end of that player’s next turn, they turn the card upside down, add it to their pile, and the monster is up for grabs again. At the end of the game, players are rewarded fifteen points for having the most Alvin or Dexter cards.
- This is a very simple expansion. Alvin and Dexter freshen up the game with a new layer of strategy without adding overly complicated rules. In my opinion, that’s the best kind of expansion.
- This expansion has broad playability. It works with the United States. It works with Europe. It will even work as an added layer for other Ticket to Ride expansions like the UK. This adds a lot of value to these two pieces, as the possibilities expand with your collection.
- This expansion makes players interact more. Unless you have a really cut throat group, Ticket to Ride doesn’t usually feel like a head-to-head competition. Sure, you’re racing to claim routes but, in my experience, it’s uncommon for players to do something directly aggressive. Alvin and Dexter give you some direct options.
- It’s easy to get caught at the end of the game. On the last turn, as you see everyone’s trains laid out, it’s pretty easy to guess what someone’s routes are. I haven’t played a game yet where someone didn’t put Alvin or Dexter on someone’s most valuable route. Since the monster can’t be moved until next turn, the affected player has no recourse. That’s a bummer.
- The figures are lackluster. The molds for Alvin and Dexter are pretty nice and detailed, but they are both solid colored. With a retail price of around $20, I would have liked a little bit more. Maybe some basic paint? Or even different color plastic for the two monsters?
This is a fantastic expansion for Ticket to Ride. Every time I’ve brought it up to other players, I’ve gotten raised eyebrows. Monsters? Really? But after the game it’s always been a big hit. If you’re looking for a way to add some pop to your game, this is a great option.