Swiss travel – 2020 edition – game review
The Swiss trip is a classic. But the game keeps reinventing itself. As the comments under the game review of the last issue show, there are numerous fans of the game and all of its older variants. The concept also means that new editions of the game will appear after a few years. Daniel Fehr ( Woodlands ), a well-known Swiss author, was hired for the 2020 Swiss journey.
After the helicopter trip, the Swiss trip is based on the tried and tested, the trip through numerous places in Switzerland. This is how you get to know Switzerland and its cantons, but also special events in the places. The Swiss Journey , 2020 edition, is purely a running and collecting game. Three characters start their excursion to the sights of Switzerland in Mendrisio, Basel and Geneva. Each player receives two objective cards at the beginning, the remaining objectives are mixed with event cards to form a draw pile. Depending on the number of players, there are a few days, and thus game rounds, time to reach as many goals as possible in Switzerland, to take photos and collect discovery tiles. Whoever collects the most points at the end wins.
The players take their turns in order. First you roll the dice. You can correct your result up to three times. Then the actions are fixed: Movements for one of the three own playing pieces on the board. Each figure has a different shape and is easy to recognize. Or a question mark that will bring any traveler forward. Maybe also a card symbol with which you take a new card from the draw pile. This can be a new target card that you keep or discard. Depending on the travel plan, not every destination always fits. If it is an event card, you immediately carry out what it says there. The journey can take unexpected turns – positive and negative. A triple symbol even allows three movements or three event cards. Each player can freely combine.
In the second phase you move your travelers. This works rather slowly at the beginning, because you collect a lot on the way. Discovery tokens or sights are grabbed in passing and thus at the end of the day, points are secured. Once these tiles have disappeared from the playing field, you skip these fields and advance significantly faster. If you achieve one of your goals, you also credit yourself with points.
This is how you plan your trip through Switzerland, get photos of sights and fulfill goals. A filled photo card earns you additional points. But be careful: every unfulfilled target card earns you three minus points. So it’s not worth hoarding and carefully planning your trip. Whoever travels most efficiently through Switzerland and collects the most points wins the Swiss trip.
I have to admit, I haven’t played a classic running game like the Swiss Reise, 2020 edition for a long time. The interplay of dice and travel works very well. There is a race through Switzerland, the luck factor is not even as high as expected. You can improve any situation by rolling the dice three times. The destination cards are drawn gradually, travel planning is important and only really picks up speed in the course of the game. Which figures do I want to move where? Can you achieve the goals in the remaining game rounds? And yes, by the way, you get to know Switzerland. The sights, the events, everything brings a touch of Switzerland closer to the players, known and less known corners. After the last helicopter issue, the Swiss journey is back on traditional paths without looking old-fashioned. The game is adapted to the present day. The journey with 3 tourists, the dice combinations and different points collections leads the Swiss journey into today’s gaming age and allows playful freedom in a race for the whole family. That goes down very well.