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Role playing is part of our childhood. We all have done it in the past, but as we grow up we forget how fun these activities were...Until we get an excuse to let the kid in us run free and explore other possibilities. Cops and Robbers has always been a popular choice when it comes to imagining a different reality, and Raf Peeters, once again, succeeds in delivering a great game made by SmartGames.
Road Block is a packing puzzle with a twist, where a seemingly possible arrangement might not always be the correct solution. It's up to you to use logic and strategy to find a way to block all escape routes of the gangster's car and become the smartest policeman in town. Are you up for this demanding task, Officer?
(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 25 (Junior Difficulty)
The goal of the game is quite simple to understand, but it can get pretty tough as you advance to ever-more difficult challenges. Road Block consists of 11 pieces, although only six are part of the challenge itself. In other words, you will only be moving the six pieces with police cars in order to solve each challenge.
You start by rearranging the building blocks into the corresponding places as shown on the game booklet and position the red car in its starting spot. The real challenge begins next, as you try to pack all the six pieces with police cars in the remaining empty spaces. You have to use all six pieces, even if you think the red car is already blocked with four or five pieces.
(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 33 (Expert Difficulty)
I found that placing all the pieces in the game board isn't the most difficult part - That's easy, as there are countless ways to do it. The pieces are shaped as known polyominoes, as used in other packing puzzles, with a mixture of Trominoes and Tetrominoes. The challenge, however, lies in finding a way to use those pieces in an efficient manner to block all exits for the red car. There is only one solution in each challenge, which complicates things on the harder difficulty levels.
The game can be quite challenging, but I reckon the difficulty levels can be deceiving. There were several times when I spent more time on a supposedly easier challenge than on a harder one. It depends greatly on how you tackle each challenge, and how lucky you are to find the correct solution earlier. But, as pointed out in the game booklet, you shouldn't go at it head-on by trying to pack the pieces right away. Stop > Think > Plan > Execute. And you'll be able to solve any of the 60 challenges.
(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 56 (Master Difficulty)
Road Block, just like many others from SmartGames, brings something new to the logic game scene. Taking a simple packing puzzle and transform into a whole theme takes vision and creativity, and deserves recognition for what it accomplishes - To have an excuse to play Cops and Robbers, whether you're a 9 or a 31 year-old kid, like me...
Availability: To get a copy of Road Block by SmartGames, you can visit Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, or any other Amazon website near you.