Before I begin, I was sent a copy of this game in exchange for an honest review. I have received no money for this review. If you would like to check out my video of this review you can check that out below. Get your own copy at your FLGS.
You know what I have never done on a regular basis, outside of about 5 months while getting my master’s degree? Taken the bus. I mean sure, I rode a school bus as a kid, but that is a very different beast than riding a bus as an adult. And it is complex. I mean getting on and riding is not complex. That is pretty easy. What is complex is just how involved the bus system is. So many busses going so many places, and keeping to a strict schedule. Its downright impressive when you think about it.
In Get on Board each player will be creating their own bus route through the city (New York or London depending on player count). To do this each round, for 12 rounds a card will be flipped up that corresponds to a different pattern of route markers. These could be multiple in a straight line, they could include a 90 degree turn, or maybe more than one turn. Each player will then have to add those route markers to the map, and each passenger, or location they pass through they will mark on their score sheet.
Scoring is achieved by dropping passengers where they want to go. Collect multiple business folk and deliver them to work for a high score, do the same with students and school, and tourists and tourist traps. Grandmas? They just wanna ride the bus all day, and you get more points for letting more of them do so. There are penalties if you get into too much traffic, or if you decide not to follow the pattern you have been given, and should you ever cross over your path again you immediately lose the game.
So what do I think?
Simple to learn, hard to master. It is very simple to understand this game in all its aspects. There is simply nothing to get you bogged down. Along with its simplicity it is a lovely production and has a delightful table presence.
The two different boards work well for their player counts, keeping the game constantly feeling tight. On the other hand, while you think you have two maps to choose from each game, that is not really accurate. The player count determines which map you use.
Though you are ostensibly making a bus route, which as I mentioned at the top requires a lot of planning, this is not a game about planning. Rather it is a game about reacting. Each round you have to simple do the best you can with what you are given, so there is very little you can really plan for.
Bringing it all together
This is a very quick to play, easy to learn flip and write. The game looks lovely on the table, and the gameplay is simple, yet clever. This is not a flip and write that will have to creating huge combos, rather it is pretty much a what you see is what you get style game. Though there are two maps, the side you use it determined by player count, not desire. Finally, contrary to how it sounds this is a game that is more about reacting to what you are given, not making a plan carrying it out.
Yeah, I am only on this thing for two stops…hurry up.
* Easy to learn, easy to play, challenging to be good
* Lovely production
* Core gameplay centers around reacting to what you are given, not planning long term
* Two maps, but you do not have a choice which you play