Travelin’: Across Europe – Mind Fitness Games – Review

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Designed and refined by 100% real backpackers, Travelin’ is a fun, thematic, light card game with enough mechanics to be interesting to a gamer and simple enough to appeal to non-gamers alike. 

Drew Vogel

MeepleGamers

8.5/10

Publisher: Mind Fitness Games


Designer: Eli Lester


Artist: Aurel Lazar


Game Type: Hand Management


Game Type: Point to Point Movement


Game Type: Take That


Initial Year of Release: 2017


Age Range: 14+


Expected Playtime: 25 minutes


Number of Players: 2-5

Travelin': Across Europe - Mind Fitness Games - Review 1

Theme and What is it?


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In Travelin’, you’re a traveler making your way through Europe using a combination of trains, buses, and planes. This game is built to be accessible for non-gamers while at the same time having solid strategy, Travelin’ uses card drafting, hand management, set collection, and take-that mechanisms for gameplay.

Turn-based and consisting of drawaction, and discard phases, the goal of Travelin’ is to amass the most points before the game ends (which happens once one player has visited five countries). You could go the fast and furious route, racing through countries like France and Germany to speed up the end of the game, or you could take a long-haul strategy of collecting high-point countries like Cyprus or Iceland. Each player starts with eight cards — countries to be played and actions to be taken.

Whatever road you choose, you’ll be forced to adapt your strategy to opponents and keep a delicate balance between stopping their travels and advancing your own.

–description from BG

Gameplay Mechanics


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8/10

Travelin’ is a travel-themed competitive game in which 2-5 players are exploring Europe. The goal of the game is to visit 5 countries before your opponents.

Setup for the game is simple… Deal 8 cards to each player, display the map (which is concealed in the nice magnetic-closure box), put out the Turn Order card and the Blizzard card. Set the Golden Trophy card nearby. Place the remaining cards nearby as the draw deck, and turn over three of them as common cards.

Each player selects 1 country from their hand (if they don’t have a country in their hand, they discard and draw 8 new cards) and places it face down as their starting country.

On each turn, players perform the following actions in order. Players start their turn with only one Action, but many cards provide additional actions per turn.

1. Draw a card. Draw 2 cards from the draw deck OR 1 common card OR the top card of the discard pile.

2. Action (optional). Perform 1 of the following actions if you want to.

  • Place a country card from your hand to the right of your last played country and pay (discard) the number of tickets to move there from your current location (Bus for 1 border, Train for 1 or 2 borders, and Plane for any number of borders). OR
  • Play an Action card from your hand, complete the action on it, and then discard the card. OR
  • Activate on of your played countries and complete the action on the card. It may only be used once; rotate the card upside down to show it has been used.

3. Discard a card. It’s required.

Play then passes to the next player (which depends on the Turn Order card).

Travelin': Across Europe - Mind Fitness Games - Review 2

Initial Impressions


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8/10

Travelin’ has an attractive presentation. It’s a small box (just over 6″ x 6″) with a nice magnetic clasp. Opening the box reveals a functional insert (that would not accept sleeved cards), and a colorful map printed on the inside of the box cover.

Artwork is bold and colorful, and consistent throughout.

One nice touch is that there is flavor text sprinkled throughout the cards. For example, Finland’s card says, “Out of 100 Finns, only 1 will smile”. The game’s manual says, “You may find some of the country texts strange, but it’s all true. Don’t believe us? Then ask Google!”. It makes the cards fun to read and is a nice touch.

Travelin': Across Europe - Mind Fitness Games - Review 3

Game Build Quality


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7/10

This is a card game, so the quality of the build is on the cards. The cards themselves are decent stock with a linen finish. They’re a bit thin, but appropriate for a game of this weight. We’ve played several times now and the cards show no sign of warping or chipping.

Travelin': Across Europe - Mind Fitness Games - Review 4

Artistic Direction


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10/10

The art is consistent throughout, and has colorful retro-style travel imagery that serves the theme of the game very well.

There are thoughtful touches throughout the game. From the aforementioned interesting flavor text, to the map being included not only on the inside of the box cover but at the back of the manual as well — which makes it possible for different sides of the table to have their own copy of the map. The country cards have an indicator on the bottom that tells what countries they connect to (this is a minor quibble — the dashed lines in the background of the country card caused a bit of confusion before we understood they were background and not indicating country connections).

The game has a small footprint and would fit nicely on a standard card table (or a train’s table {see what I did there?}).

Travelin': Across Europe - Mind Fitness Games - Review 5

Fun Factor


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8/10

This is a fun, approachable game for gamers and non-gamers alike. There is some take-that within the deck, but it’s mild and usually tolerated pretty well, even by my wife who is not a fan of take-that mechanics.

The theme shines through — you feel like a traveler. There is enough strategy to make it interesting.

It is important to manage your hand — know when to draw 2 cards to ‘bulk up’ your hand versus when to play your hand down. If you end up with few/no cards, you’ll ‘lose’ a couple turns while bulking up.

Travelin': Across Europe - Mind Fitness Games - Review 6

Age Range & Weight


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The box says 14+, and the BGG community lists the age range as 8+. The weight is listed as a 1.38/5. As stated, this is a very light game.

Travelin': Across Europe - Mind Fitness Games - Review 7

Conclusions


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7.5/10

Designed and refined by 100% real backpackers, Travelin’ is a fun, thematic, light card game with enough mechanics to be interesting to a gamer and simple enough to appeal to non-gamers alike. 

Travelin': Across Europe - Mind Fitness Games - Review 8

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