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A fugitive in a suspected stolen red sports car is heading east towards the city centre. He is thought to be armed and dangerous and he is refusing to stop. Use your brain to box the suspect in and block off all escape routes!
In RoadBlock, you are the chief inspector! It’s your job to coordinate your squad of officers and get their patrol cars to zero in on the suspect, block his escape and arrest him! With 60 high-octane challenges, RoadBlock is the definitive, police car chase game, suitable for adults and children alike.
Choose a challenge. Position the red car and the building pieces on the gameboard to match the starting layout shown on the card.
Carefully position the 6 police car pieces on the gameboard to block in the stolen red car so it cannot escape.
You have to place all police car pieces on the gameboard, even when they are not all needed to block in the red car.
Most of the games start with a theme first, not with a game concept. I got the inspiration for the SmartGame “RoadBlock” during a bicycle ride on a dark evening on an island (called Terschelling) off the Netherlands a few years ago. The lights were on in some houses, illuminating the windows. You could see shadows in the rooms beyond, because for some reason people in the Netherlands never close their curtains, like we do here in Belgium. It all looked quite fascinating.
The game concept followed almost automatically. Sometimes you can work for years before you get a concept to work, but sometimes you get lucky and your first version works. In this case I was lucky, although I needed a second version to figure out the right shape of all the puzzle tiles, to make enough interesting challenges.
In 2008 “RoadBlock” won the “Game of the Year” award in the Netherlands. This was a special experience because the news also made headlines in the Belgian media, probably because one newspaper wrote: ‘Belgian designer wins game award in the Netherlands.’ During the following few days I was interviewed by several radio stations, newspapers and a regional TV station. What made this special was that it changed the way my family looked at my work. Although I had been a designer for many years and I had won quite a few game awards prior to this, what I was doing never became real to them until they read about it in their own newspapers.
For me, the biggest reward is not a formal award but the fact that people buy a second or third game because they are so pleased with the first one they bought.
In RoadBlock, you start a challenge by placing the buildings and the red car according to the positions shown in the booklet. The object is two-fold: to place all the puzzle pieces with police cars on the game board AND to place them in such a way that all escape routes for the red car are blocked off. Sometimes there are more than 60 ways to place all the pieces on the game board, but only one will make sure that the gangster in the red car can't escape.
Last year we introduced a booster pack for this game with an extra puzzle tile and 60 new challenges. This time around you need to block in 2 cars. The position of the red one is still given, but the player has to find the right location for the green car.
Because of the theme, I had a big city like New York in mind, having seen (too) many American police movies. But skyscrapers would have made the game unplayable and expensive, and setting it in the States would have meant the cars were excessively big. So I changed the setting to a bad neighbourhood of an average city instead. But the lights illuminating the windows, where it all started, are still there.
I am a product manager and designer at Smart, a Belgian toy company and distributor. Most of my work involves the development and preproduction of quality toys, braingames and logic puzzles for kids and adults. Finding the right form and material for a concept, designing logos and boxes etc for a product and communicating with factories and printers is all part of what I do. My work’s only finished when the final product is on the market.