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Board GameSantorini Review
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Posted: 5 months ago, last updated 11 days ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Santorini is a strategy game where you place buildings on a Greek island in an effort to get your character to the top. This creates a chess-like three-dimensional competitive puzzle that changes as each player adds pieces to the village. It's unusual not only because of this tactical play, but through the varied Greek Gods you play as, each with brilliant abilities that lead to very different strategies and win states.

Play involves choosing one of the Gods to determine your powers then placing two workers on the board. Players take it in turn to move and then build (add a building piece to the city). This creates growing city scapes that you can move your characters up and down one level at a time. Getting one of yours to the top of a three-high building wins the game.

This simple gameplay is extended by the God powers which change the mechanics in fundamental ways. One power allows a player to win by jumping down from a two-high building. Another power enables you to move both characters any number of squares, while another lets you build an additional time.

The remarkable thing about the game is how these powers drastically alter the play, but in-spite of first impressions, are balanced to create nail biting show downs no matter the chosen combination. This not only offers variety but also gives lots of reasons to keep playing with different powers.

DetailsGame Details

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2003, updated in 2020

Genres: Brain Game, Puzzle, Strategy, Traversal and World Building

Accessibility: 37 features

Pieces: Board, Cards and Placeables

Developer: Spin Master (@SpinMaster)

Players: 2-3

 

ListsLists

View our choice of games like Santorini. This game is good if you want to:

DurationDuration

Learn to Play: This takes 20 minutes to learn. The game is quick to learn with its simple move than build mechanic, but the God powers and their implications require more time and consideration to understand. We suggest you do the following for the first time you play:
  • Play one round with two players and no God powers.
  • Play one round with two players and some of the basic God powers as outlined in the manual.

Play Time: This game will take between 15 minutes and 20 minutes to complete.
 

Play StylePlay Style

You can play with 2 to 3 players in the same room. You can play with up to three players, each controlling two builders. It works best with two players going head to head, otherwise one player can be forced into moves to stop another one from winning.

 
You can play this game in the following styles:

 
This has been enjoyed by families in the following styles:

 

BenefitsBenefits

This game has helped players develop their Belief, Disposition and Experience as part of the following pathways:

This game has been the inspiration for the following activities:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Rating

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Although you can understand how to move characters and place buildings, you do need some skill to think ahead and plan ways to construct situations that lead to winning.

Our Game Pathways reveal how 8-year-olds play this game:

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.

CostsCosts

There are expansions you can purchase to add new elements to the gameplay:
  • Santorini Golden Fleece adds more Gods and a Golden Ram that temporarily imbues players with an additional God's powers.
  • Santorini New York offers a modern day setting and Roles rather than God powers.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Our Santorini Accessibility Report documents 37 accessibility features:
This report applies to the latest version of Santorini. Older versions may have different accessibility profiles.

The game is very nearly playable by the fully blind, although it would be necessary to replace the player tokens with an alternative that allows ownership to be determined by touch. That would have no impact on the playability of the game. Everything else is very tactile.

Although the board requires placement of Building pieces on a five-by-five grid, many version of the game incorporate notches on the edge of the grid (to position on raised platform) that enable players without sight to position and orient their pieces. This becomes easier to achieve as more pieces are added to the board.

Report informed by Meeple Like Us assessment which offers an extended review.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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