This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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# of Players: 2-6
Game Type: Family
Gamer Type: Casual
During the COVID-19 crisis, a lot of people are going stir crazy. Most of us are not used to being forced to stay under house arrest by the government. This means that families are having to find ways to have fun. Some people are allowing their children to sit in front of the TV for hours a day, which really does not help in a time when your kids are not going to school.
Games On a Board, Not a Screen – Story
Others are teaching their kids skills with board games. Centrix, by Analog Studios, is a great game that teaches strategy, math, colors and is very fun. This is a good game to kill the time of the quarantine and to help build a love of gaming in your kids. Starting with the story of the game, you are trying to get to the top before your opponents.
Ok, this one does not have much of a story, but anyone in the world can understand that you want to be first. The little meeples feel like you are in a race or climbing the corporate ladder. Like we said, there is not much story here, but there is enough make it a fun family game. Therefore, it earns a 3 for story.
Artwork and Game Mechanics
Now that we have the “weak” category for this game out of the way, let us take a look at the artwork of the game. Like the story, the artwork is simple enough. Since this is a family game, simple is good. The board consists of six colored rings that stack upon the base to make a tower, like a ziggurat. When the game starts, the colors are lined up and the board is almost like a piece of abstract art.
As the game moves on, the art gets more abstract as players move the wheels. The meeples and the cards are fairly standard, but the beautiful board brings the game into “shelf-artwork status.” This alone would give a score of 5 for art. However, the 3-D aspect of the tower moves the game into a strong 6.5.
The mechanics of the game are brilliant. Moving boards have always been a troublesome aspect, as they tend to pop out of place or move on the user. The 3-D tower of this game helps alleviate this problem. The added element of the pieces and the board moving is well done. One aspect of the game that I like is that you draw back up to three cards each turn, which keeps people from being stuck. Overall, the mechanics are great for this game and earn the game a score of 8 out of 10.
Strategy and Novelty
Strategy for family games is always a tricky thing. Too little strategy, and gamers do not want to play it. Too much and the families do not want to play. I think that Centrix walks right down this fine line. The game can be played cutthroat-style, bumping your opponents down the tower. The game can also be played in a friendly manner, making a good teaching game.
This gives the game a good balance. For hardcore gamers, you have the offensive strategy, and the “Zerg rush” strategy right off the bat. Clever players can set up a massive move in large games to allow some engine building. Overall, this gives the game a 7.5 for Strategy.
Family games are great, but usually the “port” is novel but the game is the same as 1000 other games. Centrix is truly novel in play-style and concept. While it is a game that uses card-based movement to get around a board, the fact that the board is a non-static and color coded is nice. This is like what would happen if Candyland had a baby with Pandemic and this was the result. Loving the way that strategy is added to the game while keeping it family friendly and fun. 7.5 out of 10 for Novelty.
Overall, this is a great game to have to play with family or friends. Quick set-up and playtime means that it can be played quickly without taking too much time to explain. The concept is easy enough for 6 year-olds to understand, but still has enough depth for more advanced gamers.
This game is a great offering by Analog games. With a total score of 32.5 out of 50, this is a great game. Especially considering the story score. This, I believe, will bring gamers into the community through fun and learning. Bravo Analog games for another fine offering.