In this deceptively simple game players compete as Gods trying to build up the Greek city of Santorini. Each player controls 2 workers and on their turn moves one worker and then builds with it. Workers can move one space in any direction and up one level; if they ever move up from the 2nd level to the 3rd level of a tower, they win!
Pro Easy to understand yet deep gameplay
The basic premise of Santorini is simple; players use their workers to move around the map, build towers, and attempt to be the first to ascend to the 3rd level of one of these towers. However, much like its more serious counterpart, Chess, Santorini has an astounding amount of depth as players move to block and trap one another all while positioning for that one winning move. Adding in the God Powers further opens up the options for interesting gameplay and in-depth strategy as players make use of one of these unique cards to give their workers special powers like building twice, moving opponents, or even removing buildings.
Pro A ton of replayability
The base game of Santorini will almost always play out differently as players try different techniques and strategies for besting their opponent - different starting points, different routes, trying to build up yourself or trying to disturb the opponent. However, the game gets really interesting with the introduction of God Power cards.
Adding in the 30 God Powers from the base set adds a whole new layer of variable conditions for each game and allow for a huge variety of potential combinations. Each God Card adds some sort of different rule to the game, and you must follow this instruction for the whole game. Otherwise, you lose. Some God Cards give you specialized win conditions, some allow the removing of opposing workers, and others make you specifically alternate your movement patterns. For example, the Apollo card allows a player to swap positions with the opponent.
If that isn't enough, the Golden Fleece expansion adds another 15 God Cards, 10 Hero Cards, and an entirely new variant to the game.
Pro Excellent component quality
From the raised, three-dimensional board to the high quality building blocks, all of the components in Santorini are top-notch. The tarot sized cards are beautifully illustrated and contain easy to recognize iconography, the main game board is made up of 3 parts that raise it up off the table and give it an excellent sense of scale, and the building pieces are fantastically modeled so that they stack together easily and look great as the city is built from the ground up!