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Tabletop Game Review – Sagrada: The Great Facades – Life

Sagrada: The Great Facades – Life by Floodgate Games
Price: ~$20.00
1 to 6 (with expansion)
20 to 40 minutes
Perfect for:
Players who enjoy strategic dice-drafting and placement games.

Sagrada: Life expands the game of artistic window crafting! Building upon Sagrada (base game necessary for expansion), Life introduces three new elements to the universe by way of new public objectives, apprentice cards, and the Masterwork Dice.

The Masterwork Dice provides the biggest new addition to Sagrada through a new mechanic and dice color to the proceedings. On a player’s turn, they may place a drafted dice of corresponding color or number on the Masterwork Dice track in exchange for one of six new orange dice, and possibly some additional favor tiles. These orange dice contain arrows on them, pointing at various tiles around them (such as at a right angle). If placed on the window frame board correctly, players score additional points at the end of the game. For example, if the right-angle Masterwork Dice is positioned with the arrows pointing up and to the right, and if those two spaces contain dice that match by either color or value, that will score points later.

The new public objectives provide clever ways to score points at the end, some of which incorporate the Masterwork Dice. The apprentice cards essentially work like personal tool cards. When a player covers the corresponding symbol in their window, they have the option to use one of their apprentice cards to take an additional action, such as swapping dice, or rotating them. As such, Life also includes 12 new window pattern cards which contain these symbols.

RELATED: Tabletop Game Review – Holi: Festival of Colors

What works in Sagrada: Life are the well-balanced and clever twists that can radically change strategy and play to already exceptional game. The Masterwork Dice in particular add a dimension that keeps Sagrada fresh and interesting as a new way to conceptualize optimal point scoring. This not to say that the other modules don’t also enhance the Sagrada experience as well, but they do less to shake up the core mechanics than the Masterwork Dice. It’s high praise to say once people try playing with them, groups are unlikely to ever exclude them from future games.

This may seem a little too obvious, but really the only who people who won’t enjoy the Life expansion are those who don’t really like Sagrada to begin with (or like it just the way it is and fear change!). There’s really nothing about this expansion that lessens or diminishes the base game—so it’s more an individual preference regarding its value proposition.

Sagrada: Life is a fantastic addition to the base game. The new dice in particular fold in a novel level of complexity that only makes the gameplay more intriguing, engaging, and fun. Highly recommended.

Recommended if you like: Sagrada, Bosk, Holi

Final Grade: A

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