I never played the original Let’s Make a Bus Route, but the idea of a flip and write game where I drive a bus sounds pretty awesome. Get on Board is a 2022 release from IELLO that has players traveling around New York and London, picking up passengers. Planning your route carefully can lead to loads of points and most importantly, keep you away from traffic.
Two Bustling Cities
The double-sided map of Get on Board gives you access to New York and London. For 2 to 3 players, your bus will hit the streets of New York. This is a skinnier map with heavy traffic throughout the middle of town. The London map is setup for 4 to 5 players and gives players a little more breathing room, but can get quickly congested.
Players start their bus route at one of the numbered spaces on the map. From this colored traffic light token, players will add a route shape on each of the 12 rounds of the game. Bus ticket cards let everyone know what shape is available to them for the round. Since player sheets are different, the route shapes and numbers will be different for every player at the table.
Unlike many flip and write games, the route building happens on a central board in the center of the table. Players record the passengers they pick up and locations they visit on their own personal player sheets.
Take the Side Streets
Just like any busy city, your bus will probably run into traffic, frustrating your passengers. If another player has already added added their route to a road, placing your route on that same road results in traffic. At the bottom of the player sheets, you’ll place an X every time you encounter traffic, ultimately resulting in negative points.
Players can extend their route by ending a turn at a stop light. Even a single city street can mean extra point in this game.
Get on Board is a route building game that we’ve really enjoyed. I was honestly hesitant to introduce this one to Erin since she has really disliked this style game in the past. Games like Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama and Metro X are games she doesn’t enjoy at all. So, what makes Get on Board different?
More Info > Less Info
The difference revolves around the information that Get on Board gives you that these other games hold back. Across the top of the player sheet, it’s easy to see what routes are still available and which have already been used. You’re tracking the bus cards that have already come out each and every round.
Get on Board also has a more fleshed out theme that’s anchored to a central board. There’s something about having this board and the tactile nature of the pieces your adding as you make your bus route. It’s more substantial than drawing a line on a dry erase board. Players are scoring points based on picking up passenger types (tourists, students, business people and the elderly) and then passing though the places they need to go.
Very little is left to chance or luck in Get on Board. Players can make adjustments to a pattern at the cost of taking negative points. This gives players enough agency that you are rarely stuck without an option.
Get on the Bus
I was honestly surprised by how much this game connected for both Erin and I. Get on Board is one of the games that hits the table during date night. It’s just small and quick enough that we can play it at a coffee shop or restaurant.
Since the map changes based on the number of players, it has a very different feel based on the player count. I think at 3 and 5 players, the game feels slightly claustrophobic as player look for routes that don’t result in getting negative points.
Players each have an individual goal card that can give them 10 points if they hit 3 specific spots in the city. There are also 2 common goal cards that players are trying to hit for 6 and 10 additional points. None of these goals mix up the game all that much. The goals are always attainable with enough planning.
Get on Board is solid recommendation from our family. We’ve enjoyed teaching friends and family how to play. There’s definitely something substantial about having a central board with wooden tokens as you build your route. It’s exciting to know that my wife will actually suggest playing this route building game. This is what sets Get on Board apart from similar games in our collection.
You can purchase Get on Board: New York & London at your local game store or through Amazon today.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
- Great central board and components
- Love the retro art style and double-sided board
- Each player count feel different
- Most games feel familiar, goals aren’t very different