Last night for gaming we had five people, so we decided to give Airlines Europe a try. I felt it was a pretty playable family game, but I don’t have much desire to play it again.
Airlines Europe is a reimplementation of Union Pacific. Your goal is to acquire the most stock in the airlines that are the most profitable (or make the airlines you have the most stock in more profitable) so that you get the biggest payout when the scoring card comes up. Each turn, you can take one of four actions:
- Play one or two airplanes (each plane claims a route between two cities), which costs $3 or more for each plane; the stock price for the company owning the plane goes up by the cost of playing it. You then draw a stock certificate, either one of five face-up choices or a random one from the deck.
- Trade in stock for Air Abacus at a rate of 1 for 1 or 3 for 2; Air Abacus shares work like those of any other company, but score based on the phase of the game rather than by the stock price.
- Play shares of stock from your hand; you can play any two shares, or any number of shares from the same company. Having stock in play is how you score points. For each stock you put into play, you take $2 from the bank.
- Take $8 from the bank.
The game is relatively simple to follow, and ran about 75 minutes with 5 people (including rules). Given the different mechanics (set collection, stock holding), I think it would be a good introduction to more complex games for people who normally play things along the lines of Ticket to Ride. However, it doesn’t have a lot of deep decisions – you play planes where they’ll boost the companies you have stock in, or plan to have stock in soon, and take stock for the companies that are doing well) and I don’t see myself ever requesting it.