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Gridlock: The game Bostonians were meant to play?

Gridlock board

After fighting your way home through gridlock on Storrow Drive or in the Ted Williams Tunnel, what better way to relax than playing a game that recreates your commute?

Justin Richer, who knows those roads well, is hoping Bostonians want to crowdsource a game based on the travails of getting from A to B around here.

Each player gets to build out the road network within the city using intersections on hex tiles. On your turn, you can lay new roads anywhere there's an open space on the board. And just like a real city, the connections don't have to make any sense or go anywhere useful! But since the city is always under construction, you can also rotate existing roads to change which direction they go, or remove road pieces entirely. It doesn't even matter if you placed the tile or not. Construction cones can be placed along the way to make it more difficult to move through an area. You can try to move around them or move the construction somewhere else.

For a large enough contribution, you'll get:

An electronic buzzer loaded with authentic Boston traffic sounds. Car honks, insults, construction, and other city noises will add to the authenticity of your gameplay, and will help you get your opponents to friggin' hurry up already.

Please note: The buzzer is likely to include some salty language, and so probably shouldn't be used with kids.

Richer's ultimate goal is to customize the game for different cities.

Now all somebody has to do is come up with a similar game for getting from Braintree to Malden on the T.

H/t Michael Burstein.



i get to be mike pence!!!!


anyone can do that, just hide in a closet and hate yourself!



Don't play games.

Thank you for the hat tip! I heard of it from my wife, who heard of it from a friend.

You've been messing around.


Not for a minute!

This is incredible! Great Christmas gift for all Boston commuters. Let's add storrowing, rideshares, Uber, Lyft, texting drivers, road rage, cars smashing into storefronts, cars driving on sidewalks, etc.


an atomizer, which could spray out the smells of different parts of the city: weed in Allston/Brighton and the East Fenway, cooking aromas and rotting garbage in Chinatown, sausages grilling near the ballpark, cerebral flatulence at city hall

Hi, designer of Gridlock here! Thanks so much for the article, I hope that everyone enjoys the game.


include Storrowing! It can't be Boston gridlock without it.

Unfortunately, because the main play mechanic is building out the roads, it's impossible to include any specific streets on the map. We might be able to work something like that in with an expansion pack or extended rule set in the future, like an event that gets activated and affects everything nearby.

HA, the MBTA equivalent, you'd have to start by drawing a pairing card taking you from one end of one line to the end of another, setting your win condition. Then every turn, you draw a hazard card determining whether or not you get to move a segment. If there's a "disabled train," a "medical emergency," "traffic ahead," "shuttle bus replacement/bustitution," you lose at least one turn. Getting through a transfer station automatically takes two turns.

The advanced version would be you start at the end of a Commuter Rail line and have to get somewhere on the subway that isn't a transfer station (so not North Station, Haymarket, Government Center, State St, Park Street, DTX, South Station, Chinatown, Boylston, or Back Bay).



we're going to need angles that aren't 60 or 90 degrees... those tiles need to be able to dead-end mysteriously into buildings, even though there's another road 20 feet to the left, running in an entirely different coordinate plane.

Artist's rendition:


Also needs roads that stop at an obstruction (Rte. 9, housing development) and continue on the other side as if nothing happened.

I know you were joking, but within the constraints of having a playable system you actually end up with some of this.

There are no 90 degree angles, in any of the intersections, anywhere. The hex grid forces multiples of 60 degrees, and we've got all possible permutations of intersection within that set. And the way that you place the tiles, you end up with dead ends all over the place, even if there's a perfectly good road next to it. There's even a dead end cul de sac tile. So it's way, way more regular than the actual streets, but it can definitely get convoluted.

You support the politician, so you wave flags as s/he passes.

You still are delayed 3 turns.