A to Z Gaming: Santorini


We built up houses in an effort to end up on top in Santorini, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.

Basic Info: Santorini
Players: 2-4
Time: 20 Minutes
Designers: Gord!
Artists: Lina Cossette, David Forest
Publisher: Roxley

Santorini is a beautiful abstract strategy game where players move their workers, construct buildings, and attempt to either hem in their opponent or get their worker to the third level of one of the buildings.

Game play

The game is set up with the board in the center of the table and the building pieces placed within reach of all players. Each player gets two builders. In turn order, the players place their two builders on the board.

On their turn, the player will first choose one builder and move it one space orthogonally or diagonally. The move can take the builder up one level or down any number of levels.

Then that builder will build one level of a building, again on any space surrounding them orthogonally or diagonally. The buildings come in three levels plus a dome. Once a dome is on a building, it is finished and a builder cannot move onto that building anymore.

If any player’s builder moves to the third level of a building, that player wins. If a player is not able to first move and then build with one of their builders on their turn, they lose.

My Thoughts

My spouse picked this one up when it was on Kickstarter because it looked so beautiful. And I do love how this game looks on the table. However, it really is an abstract strategy game, which is just not my kind of game.

There is an expansion to the game that adds “god powers” that players choose (or is dealt) at the beginning of the game. These do add some interest to the game for me, but not enough to make me want to get it to the table very often.

Three Quick Questions

How is it as a 2-player game? Santorini was designed as a 2-player game — it works great for 2 players. I haven’t tried this with any other player counts, so no idea if it works better or worse for those.

How about the art and component quality? This is a gorgeous game. The plastic building pieces are high quality and stack together beautifully on the board.

Will this stay in my collection? No, we have decided to pass this one along. We have so many other games that work well at 2 players, that this one doesn’t make it to the table very often.

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