My first article on B3, which was about Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra, really opened my eyes to the wonders of board gaming, and the process of doing a proper review. I had a lot of fun, and I picked up skills that would better my writing. Now I’m coming full circle with my twenty-first piece about the digital adaptation of Sagrada, where stained glass windows take on a more calculated form.
Sagrada plays with the wonderful colours and numbers of the die that are to adorn its facade. With restricted placement patterns, one must figure out the right placement for each die. Be careful where you lay each die, for once in the window it can no longer be removed. There are exceptions to these, and they come in the form of power cards.
You are given three Favor Tokens, which represent the number of available chances you have to play any of the Tool Cards in the playable area. After each Tool Card is used, its cost goes up by one and any remaining plays with it cost two tokens to play. Favor Tokens can be earned throughout the course of the campaign.
The dice placement itself in Sagrada obeys a strict set of rules: when players begin drafting their first die, it must be in a corner or edge space. From there, every following die must be placed adjacent to a previously placed die, with it touching diagonally or orthogonally. However, you cannot place two dice of similar colour/value side by side.
I found these restrictions simple, yet challenging enough. Playing in Campaign mode, I competed against two AI players in ten rounds of dice-rolling and placement. There would be six dice at the start of each round, and by taking turns to fill up our windows, I slowly began to appreciate the inherent beauty of Sagrada. Even so, I had to keep track of my opponents’ moves and use that to figure out ways to score more points or restrict their movement in play.
What’s more is that I ended up piecing together a lovely stained glass window, and using my tools to assist me in tight situations. As the tools are varied, each game was a new challenge in itself, as I had to balance between using the tools early for a cost advantage, versus keeping my Favor Tokens to score bonus points at the end.
I also had public and private objectives, which pushed me even harder to decide which die went where. Sometimes I skipped turns, and other times I learned that offence is the best defence. Sagrada is a game of its own that portrays the beauty of stained-glass windows in its own unique way.