Blogger Board Game Club – Cortex and Ticket to Ride review


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As part of my role in the Blogger Board Game Club  we review a new board game each month from Esdevium games. We had a gap in November and then had two in December, so this month I’m showing you two games: Cortex and Ticket to Ride First Journey.

Cortex Challenge game

We played Cortex over Christmas, with two rather squiffy people and two sober people. Let’s just say one of the sober people one. He’s also my brother, who is a genius. He’s not allowed to play anymore. Remember those brain training games? It’s a bit like that. It seems a bit complex at first but once you start playing it soon becomes apparent. I recommend a few practice rounds first so everyone knows the different types of mini games.


The aim of the game is to collect all four brain pieces, which represent the different areas of the brain that you use for the different games. You need to win 2 rounds of a particular type and then you get a brain piece. There’s an interesting twist, at the beginning there are 15 touch cards which are textured, see above the grater, feather and parrot. Everyone gets to feel and look at the cards, then when in play, if a fingerprint card is turned, whoever won the last round gets to feel one of the cards and tries to guess what it is from memory.


To show you an example of the games, the one above you have to decide which object is unique in either colour or shape, so in this case it’s the musical note, as all the others have a counterpart shape. Below is a different one, you have to be the first to say how many squares will fill in the blue squares. It depends how fast you count!


It’s a fun game for adults to play and children over 8. You can play with 2 to 6 players. It certainly gives your brain a workout! Buy Cortex challenge here.

Ticket to ride First Journey Review

This is a board game for children 6 plus, so ideal for my older 2 children and us to play. At first I thought it was terribly complicated but it’s actually really simple. I really liked the large board with a map of Europe on and bold bright cities, with visual depictions of what you might find there. It really helps cement the geography and capital cities in the children’s minds.

Each player chooses a colour and has 20 trains to their team. You get a mixture of train cards, tickets and coast to coast bonuses. The golden ticket is for the winner. Once you have your cards, if you have enough for one route, you play the cards and lay your trains down on that route. If you manage to get across a certain route you get the ticket. William and I had a game and we really liked it, I can’t wait to play it with Phoebe and Daddy too. I think Daniel is too young to play it, he does love trains but he will just want to drive it all over the board! You get some spare trains included in case you lose some. Buy Ticket to Ride First Journey here.


Disclosure: we were gifted the games for this review. All opinions are my own.

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