A Beat the Barriers Game
I acquired this game in the early 1980s, certainly before Christmas 1982 as that's when I managed to persuade the editor of the local paper that a board games column in the run up to Christmas would be a good idea. The column appeared on the "At You Leisure" page of the Peterborough Standard starting on 5 November with an introduction headed "Board Games are grown up" - not a phrase chosen by me! For the first of the planned reviews I selected Blockade.
For Starters try Blockade
ON THE shelves of most shops stocking games is a range manufactured by Action GT. They all retail at about £2.95.
Score Four is a three dimensional version of popular Connect 4 and Isolation recently scored six out of six, a rare honour, in 'The Gamer' magazine review.
My favourite however is Blockade. It is for two players. The box lid claims it is suitable for ages eight to adult and I think this is a fair assessment.
It is important to know that the term 'adult' is distinct from 'family' which means that adults are only likely to play the game to keep the children quiet.
The object of the game is to get one of your two pawns on to one of your opponents two starting points. Each turn consists of moving one of your pawns and placing a barrier piece on the board.
The feature that really lifts this game out of the run of the mill maze game class is that the barrier pieces are two Squares long. This means that you can use them to attack as well as defend.
In its simplest form you place a barrier at right angles to and across the line of your opponents wall. He can no longer close the gap. There are two further refinements. Each player has a limited number of walls and they come in two colours. The second must always be laid at right angles to the first.
Blockade is a reissue of the game Cul-de-Sac which was made by the now bankrupt firm Lazy days. It lacks the touch of luxury of the Lazy Days version but costs about half as much.
One thing I see that I didn't didn't comment on is that there is no rules leaflet or booklet. Instead the rules are printed on the inside of the box lid. The box itself is made of rather thin cardboard, and while a rules sheet will quickly get lost in some households, it does give the game a rather cheap throwaway toy feel to the game that is not justified as it's fully worthy of play well into adult life.
My only regret is that I never acquired a Lazy Days copy of the game as they were packaged so much better. I do have another of Lazy Day's games, their "Quantum". But even that good quality box is now very battered.