10 Amazing Games About Traveling The World | Where Will They Take You?
It’s raining outside and it’s months before your next vacation and the opportunity to travel. So what are you going to do in the meantime? How about traveling the world with friends? In this article I have gathered the top 10 games about traveling the world and where they will take you.
Here are the 10 best games that will transport you to far flung locations and help ease that hunger for travel.
- Codenames Duet
- Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
- Eldritch Horror
- Ticket to Ride Europe
- Trekking the World
- Tiny Epic Galaxies
So, get on the phone to your friends and tell them to get out the khakis and dust off the pith helmet. You’ll soon be traveling along the east sea road of Japan in Takaido. Or perhaps taking a train journey across Europe with Ticket to Ride Europe. If that doesn’t get those travel juices going then perhaps traveling the world fighting ancient evil in Eldritch Horror will.
There is bound to be something that will be your next fun game to play. You never know, you might get inspired to make the next real life trip.
First stop on your travels will be Carcassonne, France.
Table of Contents
- Carcassonne – France
- Tokaido – Japan
- Codenames Duet – Worldwide
- Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective – London
- Eldritch Horror – Worldwide
- Santorini – Greece
- Ticket to Ride Europe – Europe
- Trekking the World – Worldwide
- Pandemic – Worldwide
- Tiny Epic Galaxies – Space
Carcassonne – France
First off let’s travel to the ancient city of Carcassonne in France. This fortified medieval city is beautiful and scenic. Located on the right bank of the Aude it is still inhabited. There are 52 towers and two areas surrounded by ramparts.
Carcassonne the game takes you to this city and its surrounding countryside. You start by placing the scoreboard down and each player places a meeple at the beginning space representing zero. As you score points you move your meeple along this scoreboard to keep track.
It is simple to learn and involves laying down tiles upon which you have a choice of laying down a meeple. The tiles depict:
Some tiles may have several of these such as a road and a monastery or perhaps some field and a city wall. The cities will be only partially on a tile and represented by the Carcassonne medieval walls. Roads typically go from one side or the other or may have crossroads or T junctions.
When you lay down a tile it needs to connect to one already laid. You can put an edge of your tile with a city against another tile’s city edge. You could put the field edge against another field edge and so on. Trying to place a city against a field or road edge would be illegal.
In this manner you begin to build up the countryside with cities, fields, roads and monasteries. When you lay down your tile you have an option to put one of your meeples down and, depending on where you put it, that meeple will gain a trade.
You can put your meeple down on a road if there is no other meeple on it. That meeple is now a highwayman. The road’s length is defined by terminating towns or cities. So the simplest will be a straight road between two towns.
If this road has a meeple on it and someone lays down the final town then the player with that meeple gets points depending on the number of road tiles. So if there are three tiles then that meeple earns three points.
There are different scores for the different roles of Knight (city meeple), farmer (field meeple), and monk (Monastery meeple). For example the Monastery meeple only gets points once the monastery has tiles on each of its sides and corners. That monk meeple then gets a point for each tile including the monastery tile making a total of 9 points.
Placing a meeple into a city will mean it may be contested in that others can place their meeple there too. Once the city is completed whoever has the most knights gets the points. This is quite a fun part of the game where you have to decide if you are going to cut your losses or go for broke. There can be a lot to fight for as each tile within a completed city is worth a whole 2 points.
Before long you will have a beautiful sprawling countryside just like the real picturesque medieval Carcassonne in France. You’ll almost be able to hear the braying in the fields and taste the Corbieres wine on the tip of your tongue. This game is perfectly simple and is beautifully drawn and made. If you get this game then it will be one you will play often.
Tokaido – Japan
From the green pastures of Carcassonne we venture across the globe to Japan. Get your Seta’s on, dust off your Kimono and let’s take a journey along Japan’s Tokaido road linking Kyoto and Edo (modern day Tokyo).
Takaido is a game from Antoine Bauza and so comes from a lineage of fine games such as Hanabi, the awesome 7 Wonders, and Takenoko to name a few.
You are traveling the Tokaido road alongside your fellow travelers (your opponents) and this game is all about your one upmanship. The player with the most victory points will earn this honor. Each player chooses a traveler along with their marker to keep score.
Along the road you can experience anything from taking a nice bath in a hot spring, enjoying the local delicacies or visiting the temple to pay homage. Maybe take in a beautiful vista or pick up a souvenir along the way. All these will earn you victory points as you experience this wonderful journey.
Each activity only has enough space for so many travelers and so you must choose wisely on where you want to visit. Some activities do have space where some of you can meet up and experience the journey together. The Inns are spaces where you must all stay.
This is a long 500km journey to Edo so you can’t possibly make it in a day and so you and the other players must stay in Inns along the way. Whilst there you can buy meal tokens if you have enough money. These will earn more Victory points.
The first traveler has a choice of meals that totals the number of players plus one. So for 4 players they have a choice of 5 meals and can buy only one. They will not be able to buy that meal again as variety is the spice of life and you must experience as much as possible on your journey. The next traveler then has a choice of 4 and the next 3 and finally the last one only has a choice from two.
Once you are fully refreshed it is onward to the great city of Edo.
The game turn is also unique in that the last player along the journey is the next player to take a turn. This could mean that the last player may take a turn and still be last enabling them to go again.
There is no game quite like Tokaido and whilst it is beautifully rich in the culture of Japan it is also cutthroat and you will find yourself developing cunning plans to screw your fellow travelers over.
If you are looking for a game that will get your traveler juices flowing then Tokaido is a brilliant choice.
Codenames Duet – Worldwide
Now for something with a little bit more intrigue and espionage. You may have heard of or played Codenames but now this great espionage word game is available for 2 players in Codenames Duet. Codenames Duet is a collaborative game that is very similar to Codenames.
In Codenames Duet you must still work together to identify your agents and watch out for that assassin. If you stumble across him then it will be game over. There is also a timer mechanism that means you have to find all 15 of your agents within a number of turns.
The timer is in the form of tiles with innocent bystanders on one side or correct guess checkmarks on the other. Your teammate will try and give a one word clue that may represent multiple words. So if there were agent words Caesar and Lunch they might say Salad -2. This tells you that there are two words like salad.
If you make an incorrect guess during a turn then you will have hit an innocent bystander and then take the token and place it on the incorrectly guessed word. If you guess all the words correctly then you take a tile and turn it over to the checkmark. If you guess the first one correctly you can choose to leave the others and still get your checkmark. Remember though you need to get all 15 agents so multiple correct guesses is the way to go.
In Codenames Duet the travel comes in the form of the Mission Map. Once you have managed to complete a game with 9 timers then you have completed the first Prague mission. You can now choose to travel to the next destination. However, the mission parameters will change. You will see on the map that the cities have numbers next to them.
So if you choose to go to Moscow from Prague then the number is 8-8. This means you only have 8 counters in the timer and all of them could end up as innocent bystanders. If you went to Cairo the numbers are 9-5. This means you still have a 9 turn timer but you can only hit a maximum of 5 innocent bystanders.
You get to travel around the world searching for your agents and experiencing games that have varying challenges. This game is great for just two players and at 30 minutes a game you can play several missions across the globe. It’s just plain fun.
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective – London
If espionage across the globe is not your thing then perhaps a trip to the streets of London, England? Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective will have you pitting your wits against the great man himself. There are several expansions for this game and each comes with 10 new mysteries for you to solve.
In this game you follow the clues before you in order to guess who dunnit. If you can do this and score more than Holmes then you are a true detective. The Thames Murders & other cases is the first in the series and comes with a map of London.
The London map shows locations where you can meet people and follow up leads. It is divided into districts so that it is easier to find locations.
Next you get a London Directory. In this you have all the people you may wish to meet. Simply look up their name and it will give you their location along with a corresponding lead. There is also a list of Informants. These are people that you can fall back on. Depending on who you choose they will be more or less helpful so choose wisely.
Finally you will get a bunch of Newspapers. Each mystery is in chronological order so you only read the Newspaper for the first mystery and scour it for clues. However, as you move through the mysteries you may find that there are clues or information that will help you solve this case. So make sure you read everything.
This is probably one of the most complex games in my list but you will love how you get pulled into these mysteries. You will spend time thinking about the information you have and if it is relevant and a clue or not.
The script writing is rich so it can transport you back into Victorian England where you will enjoy reading everything to the point where you are ready to make a guess at the solution.
At that point you will be asked two series of questions which you must answer. Once completed someone can read out the solution section. Once you have the final solution then you can open an envelope which will give you the lowdown on how well you did against Sherlock Holmes.
If you fancy yourself as a detective then travel into the depths of Victorian England with this great mystery game. Also, check out 5 Fun Board Games Like Clue that has some other amazing crime based board games that you will like.
Eldritch Horror – Worldwide
Whilst we are in the past let’s take a look at Eldritch Horror that will take you across the world whilst fighting an ancient evil. This game is in the fantasy world of H.P. Lovecraft and so you will find yourself traveling around the 1920’s fighting monsters and trying to solve the mystery.
There is an ancient evil that is attempting to break into your universe and destroy life as you know it. As investigators you realize that something is not quite right and in this collaborative game you set out to gather clues, fight monsters and solve mysteries. If you fail then the world is doomed.
This game is beautifully written and the storyline will keep you engrossed during the game. There are 4 different Elder Gods for you to try and defeat. Each one has its own set of mysteries of which you will need to solve three in order to vanquish the Elder God.
There is also a Mythos clock that counts down to the impending Doom! If it reaches zero then it’s game over, not just for you but the whole of humankind.
Transdimensional gates will also be popping up throughout the world where monsters will break through. You will need to defeat the monsters and close the gates to prevent further breakthroughs.
It is quite likely that your character may not survive some of these battles and will then be out of the game. Their sanity may even hit zero which amounts to the same thing as they have gone mad. Luckily you will be able to take on the role of a new character and continue the fight.
The game turn has three phases: Action Phase, Encounter Phase, and the Mythos phase.
This is where you get to take actions from this list:
- Prepare for Travel
- Aqcuire Assets
- Component Actions
Each character will have one encounter and this can have a positive or negative outcome. If there are monsters at their location then those must be resolved first.
The Mythos Phase has its own deck of cards. One Mythos card is turned over and it will have several effects, typically none of these are good. Each of the effects on the card must be resolved in the order they appear on the card, top to bottom.
Eldritch Horror is a fantastic game that will not only take you traveling across the globe but it’ll be a fantastical adventure too.
Santorini – Greece
We are off to the beautiful island of Santorini in Greece. This time you will be gods helping the villagers of the island to build their village.
Sanotorini is a 2-4 player strategy game inspired by the cliffside villages on the island of the same name. It is very simple to play and a great game you can pick up and play a few games.
The game has a great 3D stand on which the 5×5 board sits to represent the Santorini Island and cliffs. It sells as 2-4 players but really is best with just 2. The objective of the game is to be the first to build three levels of building and place your worker on top.
In the two player game you control two workers. The game turn is very simple and consists of two phases.
First you can move one of your workers to any of the spaces that they are next to as long as they can only go up one building level. They can go down any number of levels.
Once moved the worker can build by placing one block anywhere next to the worker. There are three levels of building and the worker can also place a dome on top of the third level to prevent your opponent’s worker from winning.
It sounds fairly simple and it really is a very accessible game. However, there are a few nice touches in that as a god you do get a few extra powers to help you along the way. These are effectively modifiers that change how each player will play. For example as Artemis the god of power you will be allowed to move an extra space per turn. As Prometheus you can build 1 level and, as long as you don’t move up, move 1 space then build again.
This gives some great variety to the game play and allows you to pit yourselves against slightly different strategies.
If you fancy a light game that is quick to play and easy to setup then be transported to the beautiful island of Sanotirini.
Ticket to Ride Europe – Europe
Now on to one of my favorite games that will not only transport you across Europe but by train. Ticket to Ride is a great series of games that launched as the original Ticket to Ride USA in 2004.
Since then there have been all manner of expansions that will take you to various parts of the planet. However, Ticket to Ride and Ticket to Ride are considered the base games that you will need with some of the other expansions.
So, if you haven’t got Ticket to Ride yet then either of these two versions will be the best. In my opinion Ticket to Ride Europe has the edge as there are variations within the game that make it a little more interesting.
The object of the game is to collect routes between cities. You have tickets in your hand that will link destinations such as Palermo and Moskva or Cadiz and Stockholm. Completing these tickets will give you victory points. For example, Palermo to Moskva will earn 20 points.
To join these destinations up you must claim routes through Europe and in between each city. So, your first route claimed may be Palermo and Roma, then you may get Roma to Venizia and so on until you have routes connecting all the way to Moskva.
This sounds very easy and it is….if no one else is playing. The problem is that there is sometimes only one route that can be claimed between cities. As in the case of Palermo to Roma. If another player has already claimed that route then you will have to find another route such as Plaermo to Brindisi.
Some routes are doubled so that more than one player can claim between the same city. You do not need to claim routes consecutively between tickets. You can start in the middle and claim disconnected routes but get some strategic points.
To claim a route you will have a number of colored trains i.e. your color trains may be red and another players might be green. You will also have a hand of various colored train cards.
Between cities there will be a number of spaces and these will be a certain color. For example, between Cadiz and Madrid there are three orange spaces.
In order to claim that route you would need to have three orange train cards in your hand. You would then play those train cards and place three of your colored trains on those spaces to claim it. There are wildcard trains that you can use if you have quite got enough of the color you need.
The more trains you used to claim a route the more victory points you earn. For a three train route you would earn 4 victory points. 4 trains earns you 7 and if you manage to complete the route that has 8 spaces you get a massive 21 points.
This is a great game that will take you closer to Europe and if you have traveled Europe before then it will bring back happy memories. If you haven’t been to Europe before, then what are you waiting for? Get your copy of Ticket to Ride Europe and jump on the next train to who knows where.
Trekking the World – Worldwide
Now we have a true traveling game with Trekking the World. The game is for 2-5 players and each game lasts between 30-60 minutes.
Trekking the World is a sequel to Trekking the National Parks and your goal is to collect as many victory points as you can. You do this by traveling to different destinations and visiting attractions and collecting souvenirs.
The board is beautiful and rounded in the shape of a world map which is a really nice touch. Souvenirs are randomly placed onto the board at the start and each player gets a backpacker meeple and suitcase. There are also 6 random regional bonuses that are placed on the board.
The start order is determined by the person who most recently visited an airport. They place their meeple down on one of the airports on the board. Then each of the other players do the same.
There are two decks of cards in Trekking the World. The first deck has 48 destination cards that are shuffled and placed in a draw pile. 4 cards are drawn and laid out face up. These are by far the most stunning part of the game as they are beautifully drawn.
The best thing about these are that there is a description of each of the destinations on the back about where they are in the world and very interesting information about them. Each card also has a nice pronunciation under each of the names to help too.
The next deck contains 78 trek cards again shuffled and in a draw pile. 3 cards from this deck are dealt to each player. Then a further 4 cards are drawn and laid face up in a row next to the deck the same as with the destination cards.
Each trek card has a number and a color/symbol. The number indicates how many spaces a player can move their meeple. The color/symbol is used to purchase a tour of one of the destination cards.
There is quite a lot to this game that changes the way it is played and improves the playability. One thing that does this is the two journey cards. The first time you play these are fixed but in further games you can randomly pick these from their decks.
Once set up the game begins and you will get to travel by using trek cards. You can play multiple trek cards to make up the amount you need but it must be exactly the right amount.
If you need to move three spaces and only have two trek cards totalling 4 then you will not be able to move three. You can only move a 2 or a 4.
If you land on space with a souvenir you can pick this up and place it in your suitcase. If you get a column of souvenirs then you will get some victory points, if you get the next column you get more and so on.
You can also gain victory points from having one of each type of souvenir in your suitcase. There are bonus VP cards for each type of souvenir too. If you have the most souvenirs of that type in your suitcase then you will gain those VP points. If another player gets more than you then that card will be passed to them. In this way the souvenir bonus cards will be passed around during the game.
The end game is triggered by either 5 of the 6 regional bonuses being collected or a player tours their 5th destination card.
This game is stunningly drawn and you will no doubt learn a thing or two from the destination cards too. You never know, you may even pick up a destination to start planning your next trip.
Pandemic – Worldwide
This is another worldwide travel game and much like Eldritch Horror you are out to save the world. This cooperative game is for 2-4 players and sets you all against four viruses that are ravaging the earth. Believe me when I say you’ll need all the help you can get.
Each player has a character with a trait that specializes in one way or another that will mean each player must use theirs to the best advantage of everyone. For example the dispatcher role can move any player’s character to another player’s tile or move another player’s character as if it were theirs.
You have one way to win – find a cure for all four viruses. In this game though you have multiple ways to lose. This is a challenging game and that makes it fun. You can lose if:
- 8 outbreaks occur which create a worldwide panic.
- You run out of a colored disease cube and need to place one.
- You run out of player cards meaning you have run out of time.
There is an infection deck which depicts how the virus spreads and where. The viruses are depicted in the game by colored cubes. A number of each virus is randomly put out across the board using the infection deck.
There is also a player deck that has city cards and event cards. The player deck is also interspersed with epidemic cards that trigger a sequence of actions.
Epidemic cards increase the infection rate which will require you to turn over more infection cards and speed up the rate of infection. You will also draw one card from the bottom of the infection deck and add 3 viruses to the city on the card. Finally take the discarded infection cards, shuffle them and place them back on top of the infection deck.
The last action doesn’t sound much but it is a real kicker in that you have likely recently put a virus out in those cities so it increases the chance of an outbreak.
If a city has three virus cubes and requires a 4th then this triggers an outbreak. The outbreak marker is moved up one and each connecting city is given an additional virus of the same color as the outbreak. If any of those cities already have 3 viruses then they in turn will outbreak creating a chain reaction of outbreaks. Remember, you can only get 8 outbreaks so this is really bad.
Once the epidemic card sequence has been completed that epidemic card is removed from the game so it will not happen again. The level of difficulty is defined by how many epidemic cards are in the player’s deck.
The city cards and event cards can be picked up by players who can then play event cards. Each city card will have a virus type on it. If you are at a research station and you have 5 of the same virus then you can find a cure for that virus by discarding all those cards.
Once a cure has been found players can begin to eradicate the virus from the board and any infection cards turned over for this virus can be ignored. Once all the viruses are removed the virus is cured and cannot come back.
This game might seem complicated but it is actually quite easy to play and you will pick it up quickly. If it sounds hard that is because it is. It is also one of the most entertaining games you can play. You will find yourself getting really invested in stopping the virus from outbreaking.
There will be moments where you hold your breath praying that the next player card is not an epidemic card. You will enjoy traveling across the continents saving lives and curing disease in the epic game. You will probably lose and then want to play again.
There is a legacy version of pandemic that is lots of fun and will provide you and your friends with a lasting memory. If you don’t know what the difference between Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy then you can find in What is the difference between Pandemic & Pandemic Legacy?
Tiny Epic Galaxies – Space
With SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic offering rides, space travel is a real possibility. If you are brave enough to consider space travel then what about expanding your empire across the entire galaxy?
This game is not only galactic and epic, it also comes in a small box that will fit in your backpack. So, next time you are on your travels this game could go with you.
Your galaxy is positively bulging at the seams and there is only one alternative – expansion. Your empire must go out and colonize other planets but it is a race as there are other empires with similar ideas.
This is a dice rolling game with the usual objective to earn the most Victory points. This is done by expanding your empire through claiming various planets and completing your secret mission.
The universal currency in the game is energy and culture and you can use these to further your empire. Each player has a galactic map, a culture token, an energy token, and an empire token.
The culture and energy tokens go on the circular track marked 1 to 7. This records how much of each you currently have. When you spend your resource you move that token down the track.
Your empire token sits on the empire track and as you play you will be able to increase your empire’s level and bring with it extra bonuses. As you increase your level you will get to roll more of the dice, earn victory points, and also release more rockets to enable you to fly off to more planets.
The game comes with 7 action dice. Rolling the dice provide you with several actions you can take during your turn. There are six different types of action as shown below:
|Utilize a Colony
At the start of the game your empire token will be on the star and the two tracks to the left symbolize the dice and ship tracks. You will see a 4 on the dice track which means you throw 4 dice for your turn. As you level up your empire then you will get to throw more dice.
You also start with two ships that are placed on the galaxy image in the center of your mat.
These ships allow you to visit planets and colonize them. You will see there are two additional ships on the rocket track that are released once your level reaches them on the empire track.
This is a really novel idea and gives you something to work towards and a reason other than victory points to level up.
There are secret mission cards that are shuffled and two dealt to each player. Players pick one from the two and discard the other. These cards give them a secret objective to complete and give them additional victory points if successful. These are placed under the mat face down so your opponents can’t see them.
Finally there is a planet deck of cards which are shuffled. If you are playing 5 players then 6 of these cards are dealt face up. If less than 5 then you deal the number of players plus 2 cards.
These are the planets you hope to colonize and expand your empire giving you victory points and also additional actions that you can use when the Utilize a colony dice comes up.
Once all setup the first person rolls the number of dice available to them. They then activate each action on the dice one at a time. This can be done strategically to give you the best outcome. You activate the dice by putting it on the mat on the activation track in the first position.
If you don’t like your roll then at any point, even after activating a few, you can reroll. The first time is free but after that you pay 1 energy to do this.
Another unique idea is the ‘Follow’ which means that when a player activates their action any other player can also do the same thing and ‘follow their action.’ This costs one culture though.
When you get the ‘Move a ship’ dice and activate it. Then you can move one of your ships from your galaxy map to a planet. There are two choices with this action. You can land on the planet that will activate it’s action for you. Or you can orbit the planet.
Orbiting the planet and reaching the end of the track will mean you have successfully colonized it. You can then take the card, return all players’ ships to their galaxy maps, then place it under your mat.
The game is a great strategic game to play giving you options to go after your secret mission, colonize planets, follow other players or level up your empire to the max. All of them will gain you victory points and so pick carefully.
Something that comes from such a little box and is so enjoyable to play can only be totally epic and live up to its name.
There you have 10 amazing games about traveling and where they will take you. If you love traveling and are in between trips then maybe Santorini will have you hankering after a trip to greece. Or perhaps Trekking the World will inspire you to plan a trip to visit the beautiful site of Angkor Wat.
Whatever the trip, whether it is to far flung beaches, roaring down the railroad across Europe or even colonizing another planet. These games will keep you and your friends entertained.
Memories will return or perhaps you will be inspired to plan your next trip.
Whatever you decide, I wish you a safe journey and epic memories.