A Window Into Architectural History
Tripwire’s contributing writer Simon Kennedy reviews Sagrada, out now from Floodgate Games…
1 – 4 Players
Takes about 45 minutes
Designed by Antoni Gaudi, Sagrada Catherdral in Barcelona is a marvel of architecture. 138 years after ground was broken in 1882, it is still incomplete. It has now effectively become an ongoing project. A building that is still being built. Still being formed, still being crafted. For some this is richly inspiring. Almost 100 years after Gaudi’s death, his masterwork is still being made. Weighty inspiration for many. For designers and artists Adrian Adamescu and Daryl Andrews, it inspired a dice drafting game of stained glass windows.
SAGRADA has a premise that is simple enough. Players are artisans and have been tasked with building a window. This window is effectively a grid of dice, which players draw to fill but do so only after they draw 2 unique, double sided window panels that have specific patterns (colour and dice squares) that must be adhered to. You choose you favoured one and then are granted favour tokens according to the complexity level. There are special conditions that can benefit you. Drawn from cards that outline private objectives (revealed only to you) and Public one (open to the players). You have a round tracker and a bag filled with 90 dice of various colours. Each round you draw an alloted amount (for 2 players, as we played it was 5 or 2 for each player and add 1 for the pot).
After rolling, the dice are used to construct the window. First round, you must build the outside. Subsequent rounds, you must add to this die either diagonally or orthogonally (yep it is a word). You must adhere to a few rules. Match the number or colour of the panel tile you want to play. Do not have same colour or number die next to each other (bar vertically). Then finally, try to mix up colours and get those bonuses. Simple enough.
SAGRADA has, for me at least, a variety of options for play. From its clever solo mode, which I played repeatedly. On to its jaw achingly tense 4 player game. There is something for everyone. To start with that is. The detail of the contents and the obvious work is extraordinary. But it has caused a lack of diversity. I have been given the general release to review and I must admit it excels because of its detail but falls because of this also. You get such a limited stock of cards that you effectively play the same game after 4 plays. You have the dice drafting that benefits a level of diversity in game play but soon enough, you end up repeating. Now this is the only complaint I have for SAGRADA but I believe it is a substantial one.