My fiance and I love playing games, but we can have different tastes so it can be hard to find a game we both enjoy. He enjoys very strategic games that can require a long time and a lot of thought. I enjoy games where you can still have a conversation with each other. We have a few standards that we both love to play that fall in a middle ground (challenging, but not too much, and usually somewhat faster gameplay) but we needed to get some variety. My fiance went to a local game store and one of the employees HIGHLY recommended Santorini. My fiance bought it, but was highly skeptical because it looks very childish. We sat down and played it and fell in love and it has become out go-to game.
First, the written instructions are a little confusing. Thankfully there are videos on YouTube to help illustrate. We had to look a few up before we could play our first round. You should play a few rounds without the god cards to get a feel for it. Then add in the god cards when it starts to get a little to easy to be enjoyable. Sometimes when we're wanting to play but are just brain-tired we'll play without the god cards then too. It's nice that you can adjust the complexity of the game. I haven't played this game with children, but it seems like a game that would have broad appeal. For reference we are 30 and 36 and we still really enjoy this game, so it's not just for families.
Game play seems to be somewhat quick, but can vary. Some of our games are done in a few minutes, some take a little longer. But they are quick enough to play a few rounds. I like games that have quicker play because you don't get too emotionally invested in the outcome and it gives you freedom to test out and hone new strategies, plus it makes the players move faster because they know it isn't the end of the world if you lose because you can always play a new round. Nothing is worse than sitting across from your opponent waiting and waiting for them to think through their move. My fiance does have a habit of that, but when he knows we're playing a few rounds and the rounds are quick it helps him make moves quicker.
Set up is easy and fast.
We're still getting a hang on the god cards and which ones work well with each other. But that's another reason that faster rounds is nice. If you pair two god cards together that don't make for a good game it's not the end of the world. Just try another pairing the next time. They can totally change the feel of the game and I love that.
We haven't tried playing with more than two people yet, but I think it would be really fun.
Overall this is now one of our favorite games for two people. Don't let the artwork fool you, it is great for adults as well.
Santorini is a non-abstract re-imagining of the 2004 edition. Since its original inception over 30 years ago, Santorini has been endlessly developed, enhanced and refined by mathematician and educator, Dr. Gordon Hamilton. 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.