Preview: Sectre – diagonally is the only right way!
Drawing from pixels is not easy at all. Lines are not the most important weapon you can use in this type of painting. On the contrary squares, that adjoin only in their corners are the right way for every graphic, that is doing it the old traditional and pixely way.
But this time, it will not be about any sophisticated pictures. In Sectre, players will only be interested in simple symbols. Peter Mariutto, designer of the game, is preparing the game for us in cooperation with Hannah and Peter from Freshwater Game Company. Their joint work is coming to Kickstarter. And it’s time to take advantage of the preview version and look together, why this game might be of interest to you.
Its an abstract game, where players will struggle to create shapes on a seven-square-size game board. This is a very popular gameplay generally, but at the same time it means, there is a lot of similar games already. So what does Sectre do differently?
In the beginning, players have a blank board in front of them and scatter sets of scoring cards near them into piles. These cards come with different colors and shapes, that create offer and their creation will be rewarded with points. Then, everyone’s attention goes to two-color tiles. There is more than seventy of these. Each is always a combination of two colorful squares. In the center, there is a printed symbol to distinguish sets, when dealing them out to players at start. Each player gets three to five (depending on the number of players) of each of three types and will be holding from nine to fifteen pieces in his hand.
Players have really easy task in the game. They just have to place one of tiles from hand anywhere on the board. Only one rule must be observed – there must never be two squares of the same color adjacent to each other. And it does not really matter, because everything important is happening in the diagonals.
Players then alternate in turns. After first few rounds are completed, they will also get opportunity to overlap the already placed tiles to block others. This means, that colors on the plan are constantly changing and sooner or later it happens, that the players manage to fulfill one of the tasks, that are printed on a separate help card. For this achievement, player will get cards with points – one of each type, that he has managed to accomplish by his shape. However, same color or number can no longer be retrieved, because there is always only one point card of every type.
Everybody collects points and cards are left visible in front of each player, who received it. Everyone therefore has an idea about which values and shapes are still available to score in future turns. Once a complete set of pieces has been played, points must be added. The one who has most points is the winner.
Sectre is already a simple, but interesting, abstract game. Its participants must place tiles cleverly. Tiles do not belong to anyone, after they are placed and anybody can create a combination with its use. This is not just about the right placement, but also about timing.
You also need to have a good eye. In a matter of moments, a plan is filled with colorful squares and seeing all possible combinations in them is very difficult. It is not even an exception for a player to overlook his own success.
Very crucial for the entire game is the rule, that any combination of color and shape can only be scored once. In addition, there are still cards, that carry only numbers. There is really a few of those and they are always awarded, when shape of that amount of squares is first scored (resulting in five, ten or fifteen points).
Gameplay is smart and fast. Matches always count on playing final number of cards and they only last for twenty minutes, even counting some thinking. And that’s all fun, no matter how many opponents the board will host.
Shapes get bigger and reward their creator with higher score as the grow more difficult to complete. The whole game has components big enough and you do not have to worry about zooming on some small squares. All components are manipulated well. But we remind you, that we have only a prototype and not a final product, so this might change (to better, I suppose).
Sectre is an abstract game from a sloping world. Fortunately, it does not slip into boredom, but instead offers an interesting and clever gameplay. In addition, it brings new ideas – especially that everything happens in diagonals. It is precisely because of this, that the colors are really chaotic at first glance, and players have to concentrate a lot to identify patterns on the plan. But once you play it more, you start to see the patterns clearly . The more we play Sectre, the more we enjoy its clever options and if you like abstract games, then you should definitely pay attention to it too.
If you are interested in this game, then you will be interested in buying a copy for twenty five dollars. You can support it on Kickstarter to secure a copy of the game, that will be printed in the US. Authors are focused on sustainability, so no component will be made of plastic. Foreign bidders will surely like to hear, that international postage is set at five dollars.