Dale Yu: First Impressions of Sagrada Artisans  (mostly spoiler free)

Sagrada Artisans

  • Designers: Daryl Andrews and Adrian Adamescu
  • Publisher: Floodgate Games
  • Players: 2-4
  • Age: 13+
  • Time: 40-60 minutes per game, in a 10 game campaign
  • Played with review copy provided by Floodgate Games

“Will your family’s stained-glass legacy stand the test of time? In Sagrada: Artisans you’ll compete as rival families, each chronicling your construction of the cathedral’s windows over a campaign spanning generations.  Gain powerful abilities and unlock wondrous new tools that you’ll carry through the campaign…and beyond. By carefully drafting dice and coloring in spaces to most cleverly meet each window’s restrictions and objectives, you will be victorious!”

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Dale Yu: Review of Spellbook


  • Designer: Phil Walker-Harding
  • Publisher: Space Cowboys
  • Players: 1-4
  • Age: 12+
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by Asmodee North America

Says the publisher: Become the greatest wizard of the Annual Grand Rite by collecting and managing your Materia to feed your familiar and learn your spells. Act quickly to use your powers early…or wait to unleash them at full strength. Your path to victory is full of choices and combined tactics!  In SpellBook, each player, accompanied by a familiar, possesses a grimoire and collects Materia to master spells and feed their familiar. The game provides pre-drawn spell sets for use in the early rounds, but soon players start drawing spells randomly or create their own spell combinations that are common to all players. Each spell combination gives an effect that lasts the rest of the game, and the more ingenious the combination, the more powerful the effect. As the rounds progress, the game becomes a different experience every time, with more than 2,100 spell combinations being possible. The game ends as soon as a magician’s grimoire is complete or a familiar is fully fed, then the player with the most points wins.

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Dale Yu: First Impressions of Catch Sketch / Doodly Quickly

Catch Sketch / Doodly Quickly

  • Designer: Chris Choi
  • Publisher: Mandoo Games
  • Players: 3-6
  • Age: 8+
  • Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by Mandoo Games

Each year, I get a care package from the great folks at Mandoo Games with some of their newest offerings. This year, 5 games arrived on my doorstep, and they arrived late on a Saturday afternoon.  We were just about to have some friends over, and it looked like a few of the games would be suitable for that casual event.

I looked one of the games up on BGG, and the description of this game is: “Catch Sketch is a speed drawing game. You have to draw images to explain a keyword as quick as possible. The active player will guess the keyword by looking at the images of the fastest player. But, if he makes a wrong guess, the chance to get a score will passed to the next fastest player. So be quick, but draw recognizable images to win.”

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Dale Yu: Review of War & Write

War & Write

  • Designers: Jay Bernardo, Jerry Lee, Wei-Cheng Cheng
  • Players: 2-5
  • Age: 8+
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Played with copy provided by Taiwan Boardgame Design

Description from the publisher

War & Write is a light, strategic, “pen & paper”, World War II wargame, simulating not only the European and Pacific theaters but also an alternate-history North and South American theater! 2 to 5 players lead Allied and Axis factions on 6 map configurations including an epic world map, where players play all the theaters at once!

Each of the 6 rounds represents a year in the war. Players secretly write down commands for their faction and then simultaneously reveal their plans. Did they reinforce more units, form diplomatic ties with neural countries, or move to a decisive battleground? While factions can fight over any territory, each game offers players decisive historical battlegrounds where the victor can win not only more units but more influence in the League of Nations.

Key locations have flags (such as Berlin, Tokyo, San Francisco, and London). Control a territory with flags and gain influence in the League of Nations. At the end of each round, the faction with the most influence in the League of Nations can swing victory in their favor.

Can the Allies survive the heavy assault of the Axis, push back hard enough in the last two years, and gain enough influence in the League of Nations to secure a victory for the Allies? Or can the Axis players alter history and lead their forces to global domination?

Advanced play includes unique technologies for each faction to explore. Use your Soviet spy network to assassinate diplomats. Unleash the wrath of V-rockets upon your enemies. Fly your squadron of Spitfires to victory. Or drop the bomb on a territory, wiping out all units and flags from the area.

Choose your tech. Write your orders. Prepare for war.

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Dale Yu: Review of Helsinki


  • Designers: Daniel Skjold Pedersen and Asger Harding Granerud
  • Publisher: Queen Games
  • Players: 2-4
  • Age: 10+
  • Time: 40-60 minutes
  • Played with copy provided by Queen Games

Says the publisher: “The famous Senate Square in the center of the Finnish capital is surrounded by government buildings, the university, the cathedral and the Sederholm House. The players ́ task is to design pavilions across the square to protect pedestrians in the rain. Helsinki is based on the design of Copenhagen by the same design team, but with some added complexity. The center board depicts the Senate Square with 8 spaces (two per side) and 8 cards, with each card connected to two spaces. The player on their turn advances their pawn 1-3 spaces, then must choose to take cards or build a pavilion. Each space is connected to two face up cards, and the player may choose to draw these into their hand (making sure to respect the 7 card hand limit, a key challenge in the game). The cards are in one of 5 colors and show a shape of size 2 to 5. To build a pavilion, the player plays a card showing the piece they want to play, and then must play an additional number of cards of the same color to match the size of the piece. Finally, the piece must be “slid” onto their game board (which also represents the Senate Square) from the side of the Square their pawn is on on the main board. Covering certain spaces earns a coat of arms, which may be spent to use one of the 15 one-time special actions. Players score points for completing rows and columns, and the player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

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Dale Yu: Review of Inheritors

  • Inheritors
  • Designers: Jeffrey CCH and Kenneth YWN
  • Publisher: North Star Game Studio
  • Players: 2-4
  • Age: 10+
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by North Star Games

Per the publisher: In the dark of the night, whispers spread throughout the court: “The King is dead!”  Inheritors is a 2-4 player open drafting, hand management card game. As one of the King’s Inheritors, you will seek influence among five clans, spy on your competitors, and tip the courts in your favor to win your rightful place on the throne.

  • Build Influence in the 5 Realms.
  • Gain the support of Clan leaders – each with unique abilities.
  • Use Advocates to outthink your opponents.
  • Race to claim Honors.
  • Journey on Quests to prove yourself to the Realms.

Inheritors provides a big game experience in a small box you can take with you anywhere.
Let the games begin!

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