You are one of the young gods, and Zeus is tired of your constant bickering, he has sent you out to play and you have found the a little Greek island that looks interesting. Ares wants to smash it, while other gods want to build it in their ideal image. Help your builder rise above all the others on the island of Santorini.

Santorini is a highly accessible pure strategy game that is simple enough for an elementary school classroom. But with enough gameplay depth and content for even hardcore gamers to explore, Santorini is truly a game for everyone. The rules are deceptively simple. Each turn consists of 2 steps:

  1. Move– move one of your builders into a neighboring space. You may move your Builder Pawn on the same level, step-up one level, or step down any number of levels.
  2.  Build – Then construct a building level adjacent to the builder you moved. When building on top of the third level, place a dome instead, removing that space from play.

Winning the game – If either of your builders reaches the third level, you win.
Now once you’ve gotten a hold of the basic play, you can bring in the gods…

Variable player powers – What makes Santorini truly special is its seamless integration of variable player powers into a pure-strategy game. Dr Hamilton has designed over 40 thematic god and hero powers, each fundamentally changing the way the game is played.

The review:

Santorini is a fun abstract game, the base game without powers is easy to teach, but I did find it harder to teach people who are unfamiliar with these types of games the God powers. The powers themselves are straightforward and easy enough to understand, however adding extra rules makes things harder for some who I introduced to the game.  For 99% of the world this won’t be a problem, so I recommend it whole heatedly.