Play Time: 30 minutes
Age Recommendation: 10+
Difficulty to Learn: 3/10
Mastery Curve: 3/10
Luck Variance: 6/10
Publisher: Floodgate Games
Awards & Honors:
Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee (2017)
Theme and Overview
In Sagrada, players take turns drafting dice to be placed in the frames of their window card with unique building stipulations. Placement of dice is restricted by the color and “shade” (number value on it’s face-up side) and no two dice with similar traits can be placed side-by-side without the help of some useful tools that are available to all players at the cost of gems that are dolled out at the start of each game.
Besides having one secret color bonus objective card, three public objective cards are dealt to the center of the table at the onset of each game. These objectives grant points at the end of the game to each player for each time that player was able to meet that objective. These objectives might include goals such as accumulating sets of all five colored dice or columns with no repetition of those colors. Players are able to earn points for the same objective as many times as they can meet them.
The game ends at the end of the tenth round and scores are tabulated using a score card that is located on the back side of the round track.
Thematically, the game is inspired by the beautiful Basílica de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain that was designed by famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. The game uses translucent colored dice to represent panes of stained glass that players are to assemble piece-by-piece into the frame of their own basilica window. In fact, the rules fittingly state that your first die placement must be on the outer rim of your window and you must build from that point outward.
Corey: Sagrada is a simple yet entertaining game that is easy to learn but tricky to master. I enjoy playing the game with a more casual approach to my draft choices each round, however, if I really wanted to play Sagrada competitively, it would require a constant monitoring of my opponent’s window frames, die number needs, and color needs, and could lead to some very obsessive decision making. That said, in order for this game to be interactive rather than just a solitaire-like experience in which players just build their own windows regardless of what their opponent is doing, some consideration for your opponent must be given as your interaction with your opponents is primarily limited to the choice of dice from the initial rolls each round.
There’s something about placing dice in your window frame that just feels kinesthetically appealing, however, and those who have played the game of Tetris can relate to the simple pleasures of fitting the perfect block into their form. You won’t always be able to fill every panel of your window but when everything falls into place and you manage to find the perfect dice in that last round…*chef’s kiss*.
COREY POINTS: 7.5/10
Nikki: This game gives me the satisfaction of frequently rolling dice akin to the classic game Yahtzee combined with the good strategic decision making required to be successful in any game that uses drafting. I thoroughly enjoy making patterns with the dice and there is something particularly euphoric about getting a dice roll that contains combinations of dice colors and numbers that will slot perfectly into your window.
NIKKI POINTS: 8.5/10
Corey: This has been a good one to go back to with friends as it’s such an easy game to get into for those who don’t play a lot of board games while still appealing to those who enjoy the more involved euro-style games. It’s quick to set up and doesn’t take long to play so it’s rather accessible when we don’t have a ton of time but want to get a quick game in, too.
Each game experience is made unique by a rotation of window tile cards that determine die placement requirements within players’ window frames (two double-sided cards dealt to the players at the start of the game to choose from), tool cards that allow players to manipulate die as they are drafted (three face-up in the center of the table), and objective cards (three face-up in the center of the table). These elements each do their part to contribute to the uniqueness of each playthrough, however, the overall goal remains the same; find the most efficient way to place dice in your frame to score the most points, typically via varieties of shades or colors, vertically or horizontally.
COREY POINTS: 7.5/10
Nikki: This game has many parameters that can be changed each time the game is set up which keeps each match fresh. I have never felt like we are playing a repeat match: The changing parameters bring new challenges and require developing new strategies to stay competitive. The game also changes quite a bit when playing with more opponents (the original game is for 2-4 players, but there is an expansion available for up to 6 players) which requires more involved strategies to ensure that you get the dice you need each round. If the game is getting stale there are two expansions available: ‘The Great Facades #1: Passion’ and ‘The Great Facades #2: Life’. There is even a third ‘The Great Facades #3’ expansion, ‘Glory’, that will be released soon.
NIKKI POINTS: 8/10
Corey: I think this is actually a strong suit for this game by nature of its mechanics. Its easy to imagine yourself placing the pieces of colored glass (transparent colored dice) into the slots of the frame of the window that you are creating in your basilica. Beyond that, the developers didn’t seem to push this concept too much further. Including ‘tools’ is a nice touch but the cards that represent them don’t even include art specific to that tool.
COREY POINTS: 8/10
Nikki: As someone who appreciates stained glass masterpieces in churches, basilicas and cathedrals all over the world and has been a creator of my very own stained glass using those kits for kids where you melt plastic pellets in the stove, this game allows me to imagine that once again I am a great stained glass window artist.
NIKKI POINTS: 9/10
Quality of Components
Corey: The window frames and window frame cards fit really nicely together and the dice will seat really nicely within them. The game includes a whopping 90 colored dice and a bag to hold them. The cards have a bit of a cheaper glossy feel to them and curl rather easily because of it.
COREY POINTS: 7.5/10
Nikki: The transparent dice in this game are beautiful, the window frames appear to be made of a very durable, thick material, and the cards seem to be made of standard card deck coated paper. The majority of the components (window frames and cards) are only really handled during set up so hopefully they will last longer than other card based games.
NIKKI POINTS: 7.75/10
Corey: Aside from the colorful stained glass imagery on the box and window frame pieces (which is awesome, by the way), the art is rather simplistic in Sagrada. The cards primarily follow a template rather than including any art specific to each. For a game like Sagrada, this seems appropriate. In some respects, the concept of the game is that you are creating art by placing the dice as the pieces of your masterpiece, so perhaps it is fitting that the tool and goal cards remain information-focused to keep the attention on the art that you are constructing.
COREY POINTS: 7.5/10
Nikki: I think this game is beautiful from the colorful window frames to the stained glass designs on the backs of all the cards and the box. While playing the game, seeing all the colors makes me happy. The designs used on the cards and box might not be the most complicated or may be considered repetitive, but this game has a very narrow focus so I think having very focused, cohesive game art makes sense.
NIKKI POINTS: 8/10
Our overall score based on the responses of both reviewers in five different categories (10 points possible for each).