If you follow me on Instagram you know that earlier this month I took some time off to head up to the sunny – but very chilly – shores of Lake Superior. It was even more relaxing after I found out that my Wi-Fi antenna in my phone was busted leaving me with less internet access than I anticipated, but I completely appreciated it! The night before I left I was packing up some games and had the intense desire to play something new, so I ran out to Cat & Mouse Games and thankfully they were still open and had a copy of Sagrada. I’d seen pictures and I have a weird love of dice games and I’m so glad I took this game I would normally deem too large to travel with. (Note: it’s not that big… I just have to limit myself on game space or it spirals out of control!)
If you haven’t heard about Sagrada yet, it’s a beautifully colorful game about stained glass windows where you’re using colored dice to “create” your masterpiece in exactly 10 rounds of play. Each player has their own window to complete and they get a board with a grid and you start the game by selecting a card to insert. This will show what color or number die you need to place in your grid. Not all grid cards are equal, some are tougher than others (they may have fewer free spaces or limit the dice choices you’ll have during the game). Each grid has a value and harder cards get you more “Favor Tokens” and I’ll get to that in a little bit.
In addition to setting up your grid before you can start the game, you’ll also need to give everyone a “private objective card” (which is really just a die color and you’ll score the total of all of the dice of that color on your board at the end), select 3 public objectives, and set out 3 tool cards. Like the private objective cards, the public objective cards show you how everyone will earn points at the end of the game. They’ll say stuff like it’s 6 points each time you get a row that has no repeated colors, or it’s 2 points for each set of 1 & 2 die on your board. There’s a nice variety and with 3 selected each time, the goal always feels a little different. The tool cards are where you use your favor tokens. The tokens act like money and you pay when you want to use a “tool” – which is really just some way to move dice on your board or change the dice in the draft. (examples of cards pictured at right: top row are private objectives, middle row are public objectives, bottom row are tool cards)
Setup is done and then the game is easy – one person rolls dice based on the number of players. They select a die to add to their board and then the next person goes (using tools along the way if you want to). Once it goes around the table once, the last player to go gets to go again and then it reverses around the table ending with the roller. They get to choose between the last 2 dice on the table and they select 1 and the other is moved to the board to count the round. When placing a die on your board, you cannot be all willy-nilly about it – no, there are rules! 1. You must start at the edge of your board and all dice must be placed adjacent to a previously placed die. 2. The die must obey any shade or color restrictions on your grid (duh). 3. You can never place dice of the same number or color next to each other. Diagonals are cool, but the dice above/below, to the right/left of your die must have different numbers and colors – and this is why this game is so awesome! You need to plan some of your moves. Your grid will limit where you can place things, you want to score as many points as you can, but those darn dice may never come up with the right color/number combination. It’s beautifully frustrating and fun at the same time.
Overall I really enjoyed Sagrada! I was able to play it a couple dozen times while I was gone and I never felt that one person was dominating play. And once you got through setup and could explain the dice placement it was smooth sailing for new players after a round or two. The theme is also approachable – maybe dull for some, but it’s colorful and the game components are incredibly nice! Really glad this one is in my collection!
~$40 Amazon, local game stores <– much easier to find here right now!
1-4 players (never played solo, but 2 player was just fine!)
~30-40 minutes (this hugely depends on how quick people make decisions!)
Ages 13+ (I think 10+)
Side Note: If you don’t know anything about the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia check out their website for some lovely pictures of their beautiful windows: http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/light-and-colour/