If you’re an avid reader of this blog, or if you were Googling reviews on board games and arrived here, you probably have played Ticket to Ride or at least have heard of it. The original USA map is a classic, but there’s not many ways to spruce it up besides the 1910 expansion, which really just adds more destination cards.
This is where Alvin and Dexter can come into play. Alvin is an alien and Dexter is either a large dragon or dinosaur. Essentially, he’s just a large lizard that is different than a copyrighted monster who tends to attack Tokyo.
Alvin and Dexter can be played with any Ticket to Ride map, which really adds replay value, since every map already has its own unique set of rules. To use them, the last two players to start place Alvin and Dexter on cities of their choice after all destination and train cards have been dealt. Cities with Alvin or Dexter on them cannot have trains built to or from them. You can begin to see how this can quickly turn a passive Ticket to Ride player into someone who has to go on the offense and defense.
To move Alvin or Dexter off of a city, you can pay 1 locomotive card (the rainbow cards) to move them up to 3 adjacent cities away, or 2 locomotive cards to move them up to 6 adjacent cities away. When you move one of them, you take the corresponding Alvin or Dexter card. Whoever has the most of each card at the end of the game gets a 15 point bonus card (1 for each monster). Also, if you end up with Alvin or Dexter on one of your destination cities at the end of the game, that route is worth half its value rounded down (e.g. 7 point route is now worth 3 points).
Overall, this is an inexpensive add-on that can be used on any Ticket to Ride map to keep the games fresh. The premise is a bit absurd and seems to stray from the theme of Ticket to Ride, but if you’re okay with that, it’s a fun addition. My wife and I are usually passive players who only try to finish our routes and not block each others, but with this expansion, we were moving the monsters quite a bit to make sure our destination points weren’t cut in half.