Sagrada App – Early Access on Steam – First Look

(Edit 3/31/20) – Sagrada is now out on full release, iOS & Android! It’s $9.99 CDN for me, so maybe $7.99 US? Not sure. It requires you to be in Portrait mode, which I guess makes sense. 

Here’s hoping that notifications work on the mobile platforms (it did ask me if I wanted them enabled, but I’ve been asked that before and still not received them). Dire Wolf told me that Steam notifications would be coming soon. Other Dire Wolf games have great notifications, so I’m confident that this one will too.

It’s unclear if the multiplayer bugs I mention below have been fixed or not. I’ll keep updating this post once I know more.

(original “first look” below)

Dire Wolf Digital has a great history of digital games, from the wonderful Raiders of the North Sea (hey, I should probably review that sometime, eh?) to the very good adaptation of Yellow & Yangtze (I’m not a huge fan of the game itself but the digital adaptation is great!). They’ve also done Lotus (something I’ve reviewed!) and Lanterns (another good app I should probably review at some point)

Recently, Dire Wolf released Floodgate Games‘ excellent stained glass window dice-placement game, Sagrada, on Steam Early Access.

I did a review of the boardgame so I’m not going to go into great detail on how the game plays.

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Basically, though, a number of coloured dice are randomly taken from a bag and rolled (2 x the number of players plus one more die). Then, in turn order each player drafts a die to put into their stained glass window pane, following a few rules:

  1. No dice of the same colour or the same number can be placed next to each other.
  2. You must place the die adjacent (even diagonally) to a die that’s already in your window.
  3. You must follow any placement restrictions on your window (if a square has a colour, the die placed there must be of that colour; same with a number)

Once each player has chosen, then players choose again in reverse order (so the last player chooses two dice in a row).

Do that for 10 rounds and score.

Go to the review for more detail on how to play.

How is the app?

Let’s take a look.

Keep in mind that this is an Early Access release on Steam, so things will change and improve.

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The implementation of Sagrada is already pretty great. The colours are bright, the display is very user-friendly (In the two little windows framing your window, you can see your personal goal on the top left and then the three public goals, with the available tools down below).

It shows you the round you’re in at the top along with the die (or dice if that happened) placed there on each turn. It shows you the turn order for choosing dice at the very top of the screen.

You can also use your mouse to drag the screen to look at your opponents’ windows.

When you choose a die, you can undo the choice or click “continue” to go on to the next turn.

The windows are very pretty and clearly show the dice you already have there as well as the restricted spaces (either by number or colour).

Even the Main Menu is bright and gorgeous!

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The tutorial is very good too. This is not a hard game to learn, but the tutorial doesn’t get in your way. It does a good job of explaining everything.

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Finally, I love the “colourblind” mode! I don’t need it, but it is certainly nice to have for those who need it.

See the patterns behind each die in the selection row? That makes it so you don’t need to be able to tell purple from green from blue. They have the matching pattern on the board (though not in my example because I have no red dice out!) so you can match them correctly.

For online multiplayer, it has both live and asynchronous multiplayer, like all the other Dire Wolf apps, and it works really well (with a couple of bugs, which I will get into later).

As with other Dire Wolf Digital games, you have a profile code that you have to provide friends to have them add you to their friend list. You can invite friends to a game from your friends list or you can set up a password-protected game and then give everybody the password. The game will show up in the online lobby but without the password, you can’t join.

The online is as smooth as the other Dire Wolf games, with a couple of caveats.

All in all, this is a solid app implementation of Sagrada.

There are a couple of bugs currently marring the experience, though I’m sure Dire Wolf will be squashing them shortly, certainly before the game goes out into a wide release.

The first is for solo games against the AI (I haven’t tried the “campaign” yet, which sounds interesting actually.)

Sometimes, and it’s not consistent, even if you choose a three or four-player game, it will default to a two-player game.

Which can be quite surprising!

The second and third bugs we’ve found (one of which may have already been fixed) have to do with online play.

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When I first tried to play online, it wouldn’t let me join any games. I was invited to a game and also had a game where I was given the password.

After I chose my window pattern, it wouldn’t let me continue. When I entered the correct password, it wouldn’t let me join.

I reported it to Dire Wolf and they said they would look into it.

Next time I tried, they both worked! Not sure whether it was an intermittent bug or whether they fixed it.

Either way, I joined the two games (one password game and one direct friend invite).

Which brings us to the second bug.

Both games started with the wrong sequence of choosing dice in the first round.

Both of them had us choosing in a 1-2-1-2 format instead of a 1-2-2-1 format.

We have now reached the second round and the sequence is correct, so it’s only the first round that’s weird.

I think it may be more of an erroneous first player choice than an actual bug in the turn order, because the same player was the first player in the first two rounds. So in reality, if the first player in the first round had been chosen correctly, the sequence would have been correct.

This bug has also been reported and will hopefully be fixed.

Finally, and I don’t know if this is a bug or just the way that Dire Wolf games work on Steam (this is my first one, the others have been on iOS), there are no notifications of your turn whatsoever. We’re resorting to private messages on another platform to notify us when it’s our turn.

Overall, I am really enjoying the Sagrada app. I can’t really comment on the AI, though I can say that I have beaten it rather easily even on  Medium mode. I haven’t tried Hard mode yet, so we’ll see.

It’s a nice, quick game and if you went to read my review you know that I love this game anyway.

The Sagrada app is currently in Early Access for for $11.49 CDN on Steam (I think that’s usually $8.99 or so US?). I think this may be a discount from what it will be once it goes into wide release? Maybe, maybe not.

Either way, if you like dice-placement games like this, even more so if you already like the game.

And if you’re more into mobile than Steam?

I’m sure it will be coming to iOS and Android once it reaches wide release.

But why wait?

 

 

 

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