Demo Duo – Sagrada

Editor Note: Welcome to our first Demo Duo – Marti and Sarah play a lot of 2 player games together, so sometimes, we will come together to write a review – and here it is!

Special Thanks to Brad and Amanda Scaggs of the Board Games with Panda podcast. It was so kind of them to bring Sagrada to Origins so we could play it. They are wonderful people and we greatly enjoyed hanging out and playing games with them.

Game: Sagrada
Publisher: Floodgate Games
Designer: Adrian Adamescu & Daryl Andrews
Artist: Peter Wocken
Main Game Mechanisms: Dice Drafting, Pattern Building, Set Collection
Number of Players: 1 – 4
Game Time:  20 – 40 minutes

Description: Sagrada is an elegant game with dazzling aesthetics. You are trying to construct the most visually appealing stained glass window while placing your dice within the confines of the rules. The most basic & important rule is that dice of the same color & number value (known in this game as the “shade”) may not be placed next to one another. Your window is comprised of a 5 x 4 grid & the contents of your window are determined by the window pattern card you select from multiple options that are handed out to you at the beginning of the game.

There are certain elements of the game that add to its replayability. These include the different window pattern, tools, and public & private objective cards.

Window patterns show what you should be doing to your window in terms of shade, color, or both. Some of them are more complex than others. The more complex that they are, the more gems (cheat tokens) that you get at the beginning of the game. Those gems can be used for what are referred to as the tools. The tools allow you to “cheat” a little bit – maybe you can put two dice of the same shade next to each other, or maybe the same color. Maybe you can switch things around – it all depends on what 3 tools come out at the beginning of the game.

At the beginning of the game, you get a choice between 2 private objective cards. These could be “get 2 extra points for every blue die you have on the board” (Marti had that as hers) or any other number of objectives that give you a little bonus. Then, there are three public objectives that everyone can see – they give you bonuses as well, and could be related to the patterns that show up on your window when it is completed.

You would have to play the game many times before you would get the same exact combination of these four types of cards, which makes for an interesting & different experience each time. 

To win the game, you need to have the most points, which you get from any combination of points from the above descriptions. You also get a bonus (one point each) for each gem that you don’t use.

Review:

Marti: I have always been fascinated by stained glass windows, and because of that, the theme of this game really stuck out to me from the beginning. That being said, I was concerned that it may not feel much different than other dice placement games that I’ve played (Artifacts Inc, in particular). I couldn’t be more wrong about it. 

I like thinky games, and Sagrada definitely scratched that itch. I love anything that involves chucking dice, and then using them in this sort of unique manner. It was absolutely amazing! I never thought I could like a dice placement game this much, but it definitely rocked my world.

Sarah: The mechanisms & feel of Sagrada are unique. I’ve played a couple of dice placement games but Sagrada gives off a much different vibe. It almost feels like a less constrained Sudoku but with colors in addition to numbers.

I greatly enjoyed this game & took to it fairly quickly. I must admit I accidentally fudged the rules a little. It’s quite a challenge to place all your dice correctly & not use all of your tokens on the tool cards that allow you to ignore certain parts of the rules for one die placement per tool card you utilize. I love how it felt like a puzzle & at the end you have this visually enticing stained glass window made of red, yellow, green, blue & purple dice. Even if you don’t score that many points you still have a wonderful outcome.

If I were to have one con of this game it is that it is so hot right now that it doesn’t stay in stock very long, which is actually quite an accomplishment for the designers & publisher! A couple of times when I was about to purchase it I waited too long & within 2 – 3 days it was out of stock again.

Buy, Try, Deny:  

Sarah: This game is definitely a buy! When it gets added to our collection is the part that is up in the air. I’m definitely looking forward to playing Sagrada more & getting into more of the strategy. If you enjoy any of its mechanisms, enjoy a puzzle, or appreciate the beauty of this game then I would definitely recommend it.

Marti: If you can find the darn thing, which is easier said than done, this is a buy for me too. If you are looking for something unique that really breaks against your idea of what a “dice game” should be, Sagrada is it. This beautiful little puzzle is definitely something that every gamer should have and be able to enjoy.

Game on!
Marti – The Fluffy Meeple
Sarah – The Confuzzld Meeple

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