Congestion Zone

From Ludocity
Congestion Zone
Designer: Simon Katan
Year: 2008
Players: 5
Stuff required: Masking Tape, Paper, Plastic Pint Glasses/Yoghurt Pots, Garden Poles, Post It Notes, String.
Crew required: One traffic warden
Preparation: 2 hours.
Time required: 10 minutes per game
Place required: flat space 5 x 10 m
Activities: Deduction
This is a playable game - it's finished, tested and ready to play.
This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

You are a vehicle stuck inside the congestion zone. You must navigate your way through the zone’s poorly conceived oneway system, being careful to observe the rules of the Highway Code.

The Game

You are a vehicle stuck inside the congestion zone. You must navigate your way through the zone’s poorly conceived oneway system, being careful to observe the rules of the Highway Code. If you are caught violating these rules by a traffic warden or fare worse in a head-on collision then you must return to your starting place and receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) before continuing on with your journey. The winner is the first person to reach the exit (The big C) or the person with the least number of PCNs at the end of 10 minutes.

The Highway Code

  • No cutting corners, keep to the roads (tape lines).
  • Keep moving forwards at all times (no stopping, U-turns, three-point turns etc.)
  • Keep to the speed limit at all times (pigeon steps)
  • Observe all no-entry, no right-hand turn, no left-hand turn signs.
  • Do not knock over or move traffic signs, this will result in multiple parking tickets (at the traffic warden's discretion).
  • You may not overtake other vehicles or collide with them from the rear. You may beep your horn if they are too slow.
  • In the case of a head on collision use the rules on your bib to decide who must return to their starting spot.
  • On returning to your starting spot you must wait to receive your parking ticket from the traffic warden before proceeding.
  • The winner is the first vehicle to escape the congestion zone by getting to the big C or the player with the least number of parking tickets after 10 minutes.


Mark out a 4 x 4 grid on the floor using masking tape, grass paint, or string and pegs (depending on floor surface). Each square should be approximately 1.25m x 1.25m.

Print off the appropriate number of traffic signs according to which maze you have selected. (All the graphics and mazes are in the PDFs below). Fold and staple them then attach to garden poles using blue tack. On grass stick the poles straight into the ground but for hard surfaces I suggest up-turned plastic pint glasses with holes drilled into the bottom.

Signs should be placed to the side of the roads and equidistant between junctions. It is helpful if the big C is a little higher so that people can see what they're aiming for.

Place all the signs in accordance with the maze you have chosen. Also print off the starting mats and sellotape/pin these to the ground.

Finally print off and make the bibs. I suggest backing them with card and using some string.

Post-it notes will suffice for parking tickets.


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Download startspots.pdf
The Starting Spots.

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Play history

Congestion Zone was first played at the Stoke Newington Sandpit, and later featured at Igfest 2008.

Flickr gallery

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