Marvelous Light--A Double-Take Review of Sagrada

A few weeks ago our Instagram feeds were swamped with images of a beautiful dice game with gorgeous components. We found out the game was called Sagrada, from Floodgate Games. We soon had our own copies, and we were eager to see if this game played as great as it looks.

Sagrada is a dice-rolling, puzzly, thinker of a filler game. It plays 1-4 players in 30 minutes. (The time goes down with fewer players.) Players are competing to be the best stained glass artisan.

So, is Sagrada all it’s cracked up to be? Or is it a...pane? Let's find out!

The Components

  • 4 Window Pane player boards
  • Player board inserts 

  • Tool cards 

  • Public Objective cards

  • Private Objective cards

  • Favor tokens

  • 90 multicolored dice and a dice bag!!

  • Round/score tracker

The Setup

Setup is easy and quick. Each player takes a player board and is dealt a Private Objective card. There's a different card for each of the five colors of dice in the game, and a player gets VPs based on the dice value of any dice that match that Private Objective card. Then each player is dealt two Insert cards, and players pick which card and which side of that card they will use. Then they'll take the number of Favor tokens awarded by that card based on its difficulty (3-6). You deal out three Public Objective cards and three Tool cards, faceup on the table. All the dice are tossed in the bag and you're ready to play.

The Gameplay

The game is played over 10 rounds. Players take turns going first, and it's a snaking turn order, which means the last players goes twice, and it "snakes" back to the first player, who ends the round. 

So what do you do on your turn?

The first player for the round draws 2 dice per player, plus 1, and rolls them all. Then each player in turn order can draft a die, and/or use a Tool.

When you draft a die you place it in your window on an eligible square. Let's talk about what is a legal placement.

Your very first die has to be placed on the outside edge of your window, and you have to follow certain rules. You must match the color of a square. And if there's a number on the square, you have to match that. Further, you can't place identical colors or numbers next to each other, orthogonally. So you really have to plan things or you'll mess yourself up.

To use a Tool card you have to spend your precious Favor token. The first player to use a Tool pays one Favor token, and every person after that for the rest of the game has to pay two. So there's a constant tension about when to use a Tool card--especially if no one else has used it yet, because it's cheaper. 

The last, undrafted die is placed on the Round Track, to help...well, track rounds. After 10 rounds you score!

You get one VP for each unused Favor token. 

You get VPs for any dice that match your Private Objective card.

You get VPs for any Public Objective cards you fulfilled. And you can fulfill a card multiple times for multiple score. Some PO cards include having a column with different values of dice. Or a row with different colors of dice. Or dice of the same color diagonally connected. 

Finally, you lose a point for each space in your window that doesn't have a die in it.  

The Verdict

Jeremiah--Often I'm intrigued by a game simply because it looks great (has cool components, a sweet theme or concept, etc.) but just because a game looks great doesn't mean it is great. Fortunately for us all, Sagrada looks great AND plays great!

Firestone--Yeah, as soon as I saw those original pics, I knew it was a game to check out. And every time it hits the table, people are intrigued and stop by to see what you're playing.

The different Objectives (both private and public), different Tools, and different Panes mean Sagrada has a ton of replay in it. And the solo game is fast and fun, too. I really like Sagrada. 

Jeremiah--The boys and I cracked Sagrada open and were playing within minutes. It's easy to learn, super hard to master, and scales well. 

Firestone--It's a breeze to explain, and the mechanisms make sense thematically, which helps with the explanation. My family has really enjoyed this one, but it's also gone over well with the game group. And it's fast! My 9-year-old and I can hammer out a game in 10 minutes. Each other player adds more time, but not a significant amount. 

Jeremiah--Did I mention it's GORGEOUS!?!? The artwork is vibrant, colorful, and perfectly suits the theme! And the components are top-notch (all the way down to the well-thought-out insert!). I love that there are hints of familiar mechanisms in Sagrada but not enough to say it's a knock off. You'll see hints of Sudoku with the dice placement, hints of Kingdom Builder with the multiple (randomly selected) ways to score each game, and drafting (pick your game). It distills down many solid concepts to create something new and fun that plays in a filler length amount of time. 

Firestone--It reminds me of Rolling America, where you're rolling dice and then experiencing the tension of where to place them. They're very different games, though, and both are worth having in your collection.

Jeremiah's Final Verdict--Sagrada hits on all cylinders: awesome art/graphic design, amazing components, and a smart thinky filler that has massive replay value! Sagrada is a major win for Floodgate Games!

Firestone's Final Verdict--I was afraid Sagrada's gameplay wouldn't live up to its gorgeous components (all sizzle and no steak) but this is a steak--a fun, meaty filler! And it's great with any number of players. Great game.

What are your thoughts? Have you played Sagrada? Seen it out on a table and marveled? Let us know in the comments. And thanks for reading!

Theology of Game would like to thank Floodgate Games for providing review copies of Sagrada. This in no way affected our opinions of the game.