48 hour turnaround time for Prototypes!
Pressure Matrix is another game by Jonathan Lekisto published by AEG. In this game you maneuver around a grid of tiles and try to earn points.
You get large matrix tiles, and 5 colors of player pieces, with scoring tokens and control markers in those colors, a score board and 3 dice. The matrix tiles are nice and thick and punch out very easily from the punchboards.
The light yellow and darker yellow are pretty close in color:
First you set up a grid of tiles. All the tiles are double sided, so there is a large number of possible grids. The grid gets bigger when there are more players playing.
Each player then puts his piece in the center of one of the corner tiles.
On your turn
Roll the 3 dice. There are 3 pressure levels (green, yellow, red), and the game starts off at green. This means you move your player the lowest number showing. If the pressure level is red, then it's the highest number. You move between the large matrix tiles, you don't move on the little squares - those get activated. When you finish your movement, you put a blackout marker on one of the "nodes" and activate it. These do a variety of different things. Many of them have to do with "coins", which are the victory points in this game. You might have to pay coins or just get coins. You might have to roll and see if you get to do something. You can steal from other players, move other players, change the matrix tiles, change the blackout markers on the tiles - just about anything in fact.
Moving around on the grid - You can never entire a matrix tile with another player or that is filled in with blackout markers or one that you've already moved through. So during the end game you might not be able to move your full amount. If so you lose one of your control markers. The game ends when one player is frozen and can't move and doesn't have any more control markers. Then whoever has the most points wins.
The interesting parts
You can use your control markers on the grid. There are certain nodes which allow you to place your control markers on them. Then you can pull them off at later times to activate them. These usually allow for bigger scoring opportunities or allow you to strategically do something without having to land on a particular space.
So with all the squares on the map, you kind of don't really know what to do in the beginning. And after you roll, you can hit maybe half of the squares on the map. So you have a ton of options.
Some of the things you can do are pretty crazy. One allows you to switch scores with another player.
You can try to block other people if you want. But in the beginning, you can only block the matrix tile you are on. And during the end game, it's hard to block other people because usually you are just trying to find one of the few places where you can actually move yourself.
This game was too random and chaotic for me. If those two words describe the type of games you like, then this might be a good choice.
We demoed this at Gencon, and got a very entertaining demo.
The game plays better than the components look. It is random and chaotic, but on some turns there are opportunities to do clever things, and finding those windows can be rewarding.
I certainly didn't buy it, but I would play it again.
I really want to like this game beacuse of the theme alone
but I see that your reservations with this game are valid.
It seems to me that what bother you the most is the randomness
of movement. Could you possibly make this more interesting with
movement points, that you gather instead of coins, to be able to