Theme and What is it?
Sagrada: The Great Facades series first game Passion is an excellent expansion to the base game. Passion introduces new public objectives, a private objective type, and variable player powers. It does not deviate from the theme of constructing a stained glass window. It just introduces a new frosted glass rare die that each player can only acquire once. The cost of the new die depends on a variable setup board and some condition for how constructed your window is thus far.
The new private objectives each player gets at the start of the game have a special scoring condition for what surrounds the Rare glass die. These conditions could be each unique number, highest number on each unique color, sum of the row, etc. These new objectives will be likely to score upwards of 20 points each game so they give players a strong incentive to maximize their usefulness.
Players can choose to use inspiration cards by dealing one face up to each player at the start of the game. The inspiration cards add a variable player power aspect to the game. They mostly have powers similar to tool cards but can be used by that specific player for just 1 favor token all game. Other inspiration cards have very powerful one time use abilities that go away once taken during the game.
I instantly loved everything about the new private objectives centered around the rare glass dice. The rare glass dice board gives a condition for how expensive the rare glass die will be to draft. Players see what the current value of the die available is and might intentionally wait for someone else to pick it up and attempt to end up with a better value for their objectives or pattern.
But don’t wait too long, if you get locked out of being able to place your rare die at all the private objective you miss out on will almost certainly put you out of the running for first. The rare die ignores all color requirements including the pattern board but still obeys number restrictions.
Game Build Quality
Passion is a small expansion box and its components fit easily inside the base game. It includes more public objectives, a new set of private objectives, inspiration cards… really just a lot of cards. Oh, it also has the frosted, rare glass dice and the rare dice drafting boards. There are several rare dice boards all with different cost conditions and even one that offers 3 rare dice at a time so there are options for values. I am thrilled with the amount of game that comes with few enough components for everything to easily fit in the base game box.
Sagrada has always been a pretty game. The new components in Passion are just more of the same. Stained glass patterns and color schemes on the objective and inspiration cards look great. The rare dice add some more variety into the final windows at the end of the game. This game will never cease to be visually appealing.
Using your unique player powers to your advantage and maximizing how well you score on the rare dice private objective are where all the added fun comes from. Each of us scored upwards of 20 points on our rare dice objectives and got to do some personal shenanigans with our inspiration cards. Passion has left us wanting more. More time to play it again and again that is.
Age Range & Weight
Passion says 14+ age rating. I have absolutely no idea why. The simple dice drafting and placement rules of Sagrada do not strike me as so weighty a game mechanic as to recommend an older audience. I would expect these to play well with children 10 and up.
Passion adds a few more layers to the base game and using it when teaching a new player will still work out okay. Otherwise, it wont be more than a minute or two for an experienced Sagrada player to pick up and start using the Passion expansion.
Sagrada is a game I will always recommend. Pattern matching and the debate between getting your own best case dice or hate drafting will always keep me entertained. It is a visually appealing game and one that can be taught in only a few minutes. This sits high on my shelf of gateway games to teach strategy gamers and non-gamers alike.
Passion doesn’t add much complexity while delivering several new decision making kinks. Overall those kinks seem a little more freeing than they do restrictive. The inspiration cards make life easier on every player. The rare die being an extra achievable die gives that one extra die wasted during a draft of freedom to the player.