Sagrada – A Game of Dice Drafting and Window Crafting
I missed the original Kickstarter campaign and only found out about Sagrada just before the official launch. Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to find a copy here in the UK so I had to go the long way and grab one of the few available copies directly from the US. All that hassle for a game with some cardboard windows and a handful of coloured dice? Yes, and it was worth it.
In Sagrada you play a skilled craftsman or woman, who wants to create the most beautiful stain-glass window. To do so, you pick coloured dice and place them in a previously picked window frame. Which sounds very easy and actually not much like a board game at all, turns out to be a very strategic and fun game for 2 – 4 creative players (a 5-6 player expansion has been announced, but is not yet available).
After opening the beautifully designed box, you will find 4 window boards, 90! translucent mini-dice, some glass tokens, pattern, tool and objective cards and a turn tracker board. The window boards with a pre-made pattern to place the dice in, are made of thick cardboard and feel sturdy and robust enough for countless game sessions. The dice, definitely the star of the whole game, are translucent and feel a bit light and at least in my version some white colour, used for the pips, is in places where it shouldn’t be. But this is the exception and doesn’t affect the game/feel. The glass tokens, used to pay for the tools, are great and the cards could have been a little bit on the thicker side, but again they do their job.
The basic rules are pretty simple – draw two dice for each player and add one additional one on top from the dice bag. E.g. if you play with 3 players, draw 7 dice – 2 x 3 + 1 = 7. Now roll all of them and pick one die that fits best into your window pattern. After you placed the die, the player to your left picks one and so forth. The last player picks 2 dice and it goes back to the starting player. The last die is placed on the round tracker.
Dice can place in any white square of your selected pattern or in a square matching the colour or shade (number of pips). A new die must also be adjacent to a previously placed die or next to the left or right border. Sounds easy? It is if there wasn’t the rule that you must not place a die with the same colour or value orthogonally adjacent to another die. The further you get, the more difficult it will be to find the required colour/value die. But lucky enough you can use your glass tokens to pay for extra services and tools which allow you to alter the value, re-roll or swap a selected die.
After ten rounds, all players count their result based on private and public objectives and the player with the highest number wins.
After building enough windows for a whole cathedral, Sagrada is still one of my favourite games of 2017! The two main reasons are the simplicity of drawing and placing coloured dice into a pre-made pattern and the re-playability with always different results. Your stain-glass dice-windows always look different and depending on the difficulty level you picked, it could have been a real brain-buster to get to the final result. Sagrada is a great game to introduce friends and family to board games and even my youngest one (5 yo) had a fun time playing. The only letdown for me is the dice quality. I would have loved to have heavier dice which don’t feel like plastic but more like proper glass. And the white paint marks on some of the dice are a bummer, too. Having said that, if you have a chance to grab one of the rare copies of the game, don’t hesitate too long. It’s a great addition to your collection and fun for the whole family!
“Probably the most beautiful game of 2017”
Value for Money8.0/10
- Easy to learn, hard to master
- A great game for the whole family
- Adjustable difficulty
- 90 (ninety) colourful dice
- The dice quality could be better
- Hard to get hold off