Switch & Signal Board Game Review (Thames & Kosmos)

Switch & Signal Board Game
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EDITOR'S REVIEW
OVERALL EDITOR'S RATING:
What It Is

In the cooperative train game Switch & Signal, players control and coordinate train schedules across Central Europe or North America. A turn consists of three phases: First you reveal a departure card. This tells you what trains to move or deploy, and then you roll the corresponding dice to determine each train's speed of travel (or how many spaces the train moves). Just make sure that you adhere to all the train movement rules, such as losing a time token from the clock face if your train can't travel its full number of movement points.

The second step is playing action cards. Each player starts with five of these cards. These cards might allow you to unblock a route, adjust a switch, move a train, perform any action you want, or load a train.

At the end of your turn, you must draw more action cards so that you once again have five in your hand.

There are times when you can call on a Helper. The Helpers are pictured in the top corner of the game board and can only be called on once. The Logistician lets you re-roll the die. The Dispatcher allows your trains to move through any city as though all signals were green. And if there's a color of train on your departure card that you don't want to move, call on the Conductor.

If you remove all the time tokens from the clock face, then the game is paused so that a departure card can be discarded. This gives you one less movement card available to get your trains where they need to be, such as to the port cities to deliver their goods.

When the eighth and last goods cube is delivered into the port, the game ends and everyone wins. But if the final departure card is played and you did not bring the last goods cube to port, everyone loses. There are ways to adjust the game's difficulty if you need an easier game or want more of a challenge.

Is It Fun?

If your family likes playing cooperative board games, then you'll enjoy working together to play Switch & Signal. The gameplay is pretty easy to understand, though we do recommend reading through all eight pages of instructions before you play. We think families will have fun traveling by train from the comfort of their homes with this fun game.

Who It’s For

Switch & Signal is for two to four players ages 10 and up.

What To Be Aware Of

The game includes a double-sided gameboard, nine trains, five dice, 12 Goods cubes, 30 Switch discs, 10 Signal discs, 100 Action cards, 11 Location tokens, 10 Time tokens, three Cover tokens, and instructions.

There are eight pages of instructions and a few different rules for the North American side of the gameboard, so make sure you carefully read through them to understand all the different moves and actions.

AT A GLANCE:
  • Fun

  • Repeat Play

  • Assembly & Instructions

    Easy