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It would be nearly impossible to work at a game store and not find a few favorites throughout the year! Here are the Gnome Staff Picks (Part 2) of some favorites we have for the holidays. All of our stores have days where we pick a fun game to teach each week – check out our calendar and come learn some new ones!
Robin’s Staff Pick – Sagrada
As someone who has always admired the art and craftsmanship of stained glass, I was instantly intrigued when Sagrada hit the shelf! Sagrada is a dice based strategy game where you take turns picking transparent dice to fill in your stained glass window to earn points at the end of the game. Each game will have different templates, goals and tools available for use to make each playthrough unique!
Sagrada is played over ten rounds in which players will choose dice that will fit into their window respecting placement rules (no dice of the same color or numeric value may be placed next to each other) and marked spaces on their template where certain colors or values must fill. After the end of the tenth round, players reveal a secret point objective and tally their total from that and the public objectives dealt out at the beginning of the game.
The base Sagrada game plays 1 to 4 players, but you can go up to 6 with a separate expansion if you have a larger group. Play time is usually around 30 to 45 minutes. Recommended age is 13+.
Want to try Sagrada for yourself? Stop by Gnome Games and play our demo copy!
Kari’s Staff Pick – Pandemic
Pandemic is a two to four player cooperative game where you and your friends attempt to save the world from four diseases ravaging the world. Play as scientists with different abilities and race against the clock to keep the four diseases from causing outbreaks in the world’s major cities.
Each player has four actions on their turn: move, remove a cube, move to a city, or trade a city card with another player. You must work together to strategically contain the diseases while assembling in your hand five city cards of the same color. Once you have the cure, race to a research station to cure the disease and stop the infection from spreading!
But at every turn, new infections appear and outbreaks might occur if a city becomes too infection, spreading the disease to all cities around it. Epidemics occur throughout your game, spreading diseases and causing your infection card pile to reset, meaning the cities you may have cleared are going to facing infection yet again.
Pandemic takes approximately 45 minutes to play and is suitable for ages eight and up. There are different difficulty levels to suit your style, and your win is not guaranteed. Can you find all four cures in time? The fate of humanity is in your hands!
If you and your friends have mastered the base game, there are many expansions to spice up your play! Or, if you enjoy Legacy games where previous playthroughs affect your current game, Pandemic has several Legacy versions for you to play.
Josiah’s Staff Pick – Citadels
Citadels is a game that can fit nearly every playgroup. The game lends itself to both strategic or casual gameplay, can be played (and is still fun) with as few as 2 players and as many as 8, and feels different every game.
The original game was released with only eight “characters,” which players select each round, but most boxes now include at least 16 (sometimes much more) which means the game is very replayable.
Being able to construct your citadel one structure at a time allows you to shape a unique strategy for each round, and changes how your character selection process for each round will unfold.
For anyone looking for a flexible game that can be played with anyone, and can be replayed over and over, I would highly recommend Citadels.
Will’s Staff Pick – Star Trek Adventures Role-Playing Game
Have you ever wanted to join Starfleet and explore the galaxy? In the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game, that’s exactly what you do! Play as either famous Star Trek characters or make up your own using the Lifepath creation system, and boldly go into the unknown. Using the amazing 2d20 dice system included in the book, you will be able to do anything ranging from preventing warp core breaches to negotiating with Romulans at the Neutral Zone, and everything in between. So, gather up your friends and some dice, and set a course to discovery!
Number of Players: 2-8
For Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 2-4 hours
We also run Star Trek Adventures every week at Gnome Games Green Bay East on Thursday evenings – stop in if you want to try it out!