Designed by Richard MacRae & Corey Myckan | Published by Analog Game Studios
2-6 Players | 20-30 Minutes
In Centrix you’re working to navigate your pawns, step-by-step, up a towering, multi-leveled game board. Jump, bump and dodge your opponents as you seek to be crowned king of the mountain in this modern spin on the classic family board game.
To setup the game, each player receives 3 pawns of the same color and 3 cards from the shuffled deck.
During play, players take turns playing and drawing cards that will allow them to navigate their pawn up the 3-dimensional, multi-leveled board. Each level features a rotating ring with multiple color spaces players will manipulate to their advantage.
Each player card features a rotating number and color. When playing a card, the player may then rotate a level containing one of their pawns that number of spaces left or right. If the resting spot of that level aligns with the card color on the next level the pawn may advance. Players aren’t required to advance to the next level so you can just rotate the level to put yourself in a better position for your next move or attempt to deny another player theirs. Players may play as many of their 3 cards as possible on their turn. Afterwards the player replenishes their hand back up to 3 cards.
The player card deck also features a variety of wild cards that allow you to move freely around the game board in a number of different ways.
Pawns move up the board in a variety of ways as well. Typically a pawn may only advance one space, but there are circumstances that allow the pawn to leap one or more paws as well as bump pawns back down the board.
The game ends when one player has delivered all their pawns safely to the 7th level of the game board.
When talking about Centrix you’ve got to start with the towering board game. The colorful, multi-leveled mountain is attractive and engaging. While the components, from the pawns to the cards, are all pretty standard board game fair, the board is a conversation piece. It’s fun to spin the levels and march your pawns up the side.
Gameplay isn’t too deep. There is certainly a component of strategy, but planning ahead isn’t always a possibility. You’re often left to the fate of the draw as well as your opponents unpredictable actions. Don’t mistake those limitations as criticism. The game certainly sees itself as a strategic spin on the classic family board game and the turn limitations definitely appeal to the family gamer looking for a competitive yet quick romp.
That being said, the multi-tiered tower isn’t gimmicky. There is strategy involved and the levels do create an engaging, fresh alternative to the standard roll and move game board. Being able to use your opponent to leap frog up multiple levels or by giving them a bump back down a level or two keeps interaction high. By playing your cards in the right sequence, you’ll often be able to advance your pawn in unique ways through careful planning. It almost feels like you’re cracking a safe!
Centrix succeeds at the very thing it sets out to be: A fun, unique and engaging family game that is quick to play and accessible to kids of all ages.