Sagrada: Life – New Shades, Same Window

  • Designers: Adrian Adamescu and Daryl Andrews
  • Artist: Matt Paquette
  • Publisher: Floodgate Games
  • Release Date: August 2020 (Pre-Orders Open Here)

Disclaimer: This expansion was provided to us for review by Floodgate Games.

Luke: Sagrada has been a mainstay in my personal board game collection for years now, which is saying a lot. When only keeping 30 titles on the shelf, you see a lot of boxes come and go.

Phil: I don’t know how you do it, dude.

Luke: It’s just how I am. I’m a minimalist, and I hate having a lot of stuff I don’t use hanging around the house. Also, it makes moving way less of a hassle.

Phil: Oh, I’m sure.

Luke: Throughout the game’s lifetime, I’ve gone out of my way to pick up each expansion as it releases. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the 5- and 6-player addition, I found Passion to be a phenomenal little box that added just enough to keep the game fresh without becoming too distracting form the core experience.

Phil: Naturally, we were excited to give the 2nd entrant into this series of mini-expansions a go, boasting the inclusion of 3 new modules.

Luke: The first is by far the easiest to explain; more Public Objectives. These are always a nice bonus, and some of them are incredibly clever. Scoring points for alternating color or number patterns, the column with the highest total value, or for pairs of dice that match number and color are tricking but very rewarding.

Phil: All 6 of the included options are smart and interesting; an easy recommendation on that front.

Luke: The 2nd of these modules was by far less successful for us, but that was to be expected; the Apprentice cards adds variable player powers that you can draw into mid-game.

Phil: As we talked about with Passion, we’re not a huge fan of what player powers “adds” to the overall experience, but at least with those, you got 1 power at the start and kept it throughout. Here, you’ll get 2+ abilities from a deck of 22 which can vary in usefulness greatly.

Luke: New board layouts are provided, copies of the original 12 released boards but with Apprentice icons sprinkled on them. Whenever placing a die on one of these symbols, you either draw 2 Apprentice cards and keep 1 or draw the top card from the discard pile.

Phil: Abilities may give you 1-time buffs, be passive bonuses you’ll get multiple times, or scoring bonuses at the end of the game.

Luke: I’ve literally won games solely because I had one of said bonus cards, which can leave you with a slightly bitter taste in your mouth. I pride my wins in Sagrada because they feel earned, but having this random element earn me an extra 8 points or so feels against the spirit of what the game is.

Phil: Additionally, drawing cards, reading them, and picking one seriously slows down the flow of the game to a snail’s pace, rusting the well-oiled drafting that normally keeps Sagrada moving so quickly.

Luke: Agreed. I’d say this module gets a pass from us.

Phil: And that leaves us with the 3rd and biggest addition to this expansion; the Masterworks dice.

Luke: These are pretty neat. At the start of the game, various orange dice with different sets of arrows are set out to the side along with a purchasing board. When drafting a die, instead of placing it, you can always “sell” it to this board, either using its value or its color, to get one of these orange dice, placing it anywhere on your board.

Phil: This can be a good way of covering up some of those pesky color- or number-restriction spaces.

Luke: At the end of the game, you could score 5 points for completing the requirements of the die, usually that the dice the arrows are pointing at are either the same value or the same color.

Phil: If you fail to do this, though, you’ll lose 2 points.

Luke: And you can pull as many orange dice as you want, assuming there’s more available, pressing your luck to the brink.

Phil: It can be a little wonky to explain the nuances of this one the first time, but it quickly feels fairly straightforward, and it makes for a nice way to spice up the Sagrada experience, similar to the clear dice in Passion.

Luke: You also get a couple of Tool cards specific to the Masterworks dice, allowing for a little extra variability there too.

Phil: This is definitely a module worth checking out, but you won’t want to use it every game, switching it out for other modules every few games.

Verdict: Overall, we really loved 2/3rds of this expansion, especially the Masterworks dice, which is the most important element of what’s on display here. We won’t be using the Apprentice cards again down the road, but we can still heartily recommend picking Life up. This is the game that keeps on giving.

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  1. Pingback: Behind the Board: Daryl Andrews and Sagrada: Life – 1-2-Punchboard

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