I should start by saying that the game I actually have is Ticket to Ride: Europe. So when I say Ticket to Ride, I really mean Ticket to Ride: Europe. However, I believe the two games are the same, but just with different maps. So everything I say probably applies to both.
Ticket to Ride is about building trains. You get secret destination cards, and the goal is to try to complete your destinations by connecting the two cities listed with a train line. The farther apart the cities are, the harder it is to connect them, the more points the destination card is worth (higher risk = higher reward). Of course there are wrinkles along the way, like tunnels and ferries across bodies of water.
This game is a *little* complicated, but not too bad. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. Also, you don’t really compete much against each other. Sure, someone might steal your route now and again, but usually you just build a train station to lease their line and move on. It’s certainly less player-to-player competitive than most games of this caliber. You’re more playing against the clock: seeing if you can complete all of your destinations before the game ends.
It’s hard to explain why this is fun exactly, but everybody we’ve introduce it to has enjoyed it. There’s a little bit of stress and worry over completing your destinations, there’s a little bit of strategy over choosing your routes, and there’s a little bit of friendly competition (especially when you get to flip up the cards on someone who’s trying to build a tunnel!). But there’s not *too much* of those things, so it keeps it fun.
So come on over and give it a try! You’ll definitely have a good time. Games take about an hour and a half.