Today we are taking a look at the prototype for Sectre. This is a game coming to Kickstarter in the next week or two. It is the brainchild of Peter Mariutto and will be published by Freshwater Game Co. They would also like you to know that the game is being made completely in the US. Specifically in Minnesota only and only out of sustainable resources so no plastics. The pledge should run you about $20 dollars.
Now that we have that covered let me talk about the game. Sectre is an abstract strategy game for 2-6 players. I played with 3, 4, and 6 players and the game worked well with all player counts. You start the game by dealing the colored rectangle cards to each player. You deal a number of cards from each of the three stacks to each player. The number of cards dealt depend on player count. The game is played one card at a time until all players have exhausted their supply of cards. Your objective is to score the most points by making shapes in one of the four available colors. As you can see in the picture below there are nine possible shapes per color and a 5,10,15 point card for connecting that many of a color. Now a few notes to bear in mind. You may only play the same color diagonally they may never touch orthogonally. You may play your piece anywhere on the board so long as that rule is not violated. That includes covering up or partially covering up other pieces. You secure your score card after each card you play.
Now that you have an idea what the game is I have some insights and thoughts to share. The game is very strategic. It grows more so with additional players. I really enjoy that aspect of the game. Far too many abstract style strategy games only play two players. While Sectre comfortably does so it is the multiplayer that gives it that unique feel that I enjoy. Scoring was challenging enough until people started covering up my pieces. Then it became a real challenge to make shapes and not leave more shapes for my foes. It is difficult to state the amount of ohhh and ahhh that went around the lunch table today while playing. Soon as I thought I had it covered someone would snipe points that I didn’t even see. There is minor downtime due to strategizing but make no mistake it is a good idea to continue studying the board while they play. Aesthetically the game doesn’t really stick out to me. I don’t know that the grayscale board and the choice of square colors are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Now of course this is only my opinion and this is a prototype and may change. The other thing to be clear about is that they in no way negatively affect the gameplay. I did not happen to have any colorblind friends nearby at the time so I can not speak to whether the game is friendly or not. I only mention this because I have come to realize that it is sometimes a large issue.
This being a prototype copy I will not being giving a final score. However I greatly enjoyed my time with this game and am thoroughly excited to get my hands on a final copy. It is great fun no matter the player count and I can’t say I have played another game quite like it. It has similarities of course but at the end of the day it is a well designed and superbly fun experience with friends.