Sagrada – A Review

La Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a work of art in progress. The church’s construction began in 1882 led by architect Antoni Gaudi, and is still only 70% completed. I do not have the words to give it justice. Instead I give you a picture.

Sagrada Familia

Feel free to check out even more amazing pictures of the beautiful stained glass and architecture of the Sagrada Familia. Once you’ve seen enough to want to book your flight to Spain, come back and read about Sagrada, a game inspired by the stained glass windows in the Sagrada Familia.

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Sagrada


Sagrada

Designer: Adrian Adamescu, Daryl Andrews
Artist: Peter Wocken
Publisher: Floodgate Games

On box:
1-4 players, 30-45 minutes, ages 13+

Our experience:
2-4 players, 45 minutes, ages 7+

Determination: Recommended!


Sagrada may not have quite the majesty of the church that inspired it, but it definitely is one of the most beautiful games I have played. In it you are an artist creating stained glass windows using your dice as glass. By drafting dice and using publicly available tools, you attempt to complete a pattern while simultaneously completing objectives that give you points.

In the Box

  • 4 window frame picture boards
  • 12 window pattern cards
  • 12 tool cards
  • 10 public objective cards
  • 5 private objective cards
  • 24 favor tokens
  • round track which flips to a score track
  • 4 score markers
  • 90 dice (18 each of 5 colors)
  • dice bag

The first impression when opening the box is wow. It is absolutely gorgeous. From the translucent dice to the little score markers, everything is touched with beauty. The quality of the components are also very good, leaving me feeling like I had spent my money well on this game.

Sagrada Components

The window pattern cards slide into the window boards, giving you a pattern you must follow. The dots in the lower right corner signify both the difficulty of the pattern as well as how many favor tokens you will receive for the game. The more difficult the pattern, the more favor tokens you will get to use on tools to helps you. White spaces on the pattern boards are free spaces.

Sagrada cards

Each person will get a secret personal objective of a single color. The sum of the numbers on that color dice on your board at the end of the game will be the number of victory points you get for your personal objective.

Sagrada personal objectives

Three public objectives will be placed out as well. The victory points are found on the lower left corner of the cards. You get those points each time you complete that objective.Sagrada public objectives

Three tools will also be placed out at random for public use. These tools give you helps throughout the game.

Sagrada tools

 

Gameplay

The players take turns drafting dice over ten rounds, placing the dice on their window board according to placement restrictions (can not be adjacent to same color or value) as well as matching color or shade restrictions on the pattern card. On a drafting turn you may also spend favor tokens on the tools to help you along. You continue placing dice, keeping personal and public objectives in mind. The person with the most victory points after ten rounds wins.Sagrada player setup

Experience

Sagrada offers a pretty satisfying puzzle experience. If you enjoy Sudoku and rolling dice, you will probably enjoy Sagrada as well.

Rules are quick to learn (instructions are only four pages long) and gameplay is fast. It is easy to stay engaged during the game because of the snappy turns.

There is little direct interaction between players, other than minor conflict when someone takes the one die you needed before your turn to draft. I found myself getting absorbed into my personal window, trying to solve how best to complete it. This did not lessen my enjoyment of the game, however. If anything it increased it. Having a personal investment in the window makes it that much more satisfying at the end to see your own creation come to completion, or near at least near completion. At the end you end up with a work of art to be proud of.Sagrada completed window

The box says ages 13 and up, but we had 7 and 9 year olds playing and enjoying it. Because turns are quick it allows for those with shorter attention spans. If a child has the ability to work logic problems, they are old enough for this game.

Final Thoughts

As a person who has an embarrassing number of dice (just kidding, I’m proud of my hoard), this game called to me immediately. I was not disappointed after playing, either. The puzzles are fun to complete and I always have a sense of satisfaction at the end of the game when I get to admire my work, even if I end up having a few spots left open.Sagrada close

Its length lends itself well to the filler category, and the art is sure to draw in a wide variety of people. Short rules and simple mechanics makes this a great gateway game, and a perfect introduction to drafting for kids and beginners.

The potential negative I see is the small number of objectives and pattern cards. I have yet to tire of the game, but a larger offering of these cards would greatly improve the game’s lifespan. An expansion would easily fix this relatively minor issue.

As of this posting Sagrada is hard to come by. A second printing is on the horizon. Be sure to keep an eye on it so you don’t miss out on it the next time around.

 

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