Gain enlightenment during the Qin dynasty to become a Xian, an immortal “godly spirit” or manipulate tiles to gather cubes and create artifacts. In Sorcerer & Stones players try to create artifacts by using cards that manipulate the tiles on the board.
What is Sorcerer & Stones like like?
In the Sorcerer & Stones there is an introduction game and an advanced game, however the cooperative/solo version does not allow you to play with the advanced rules.
The goal of the solo game is to complete at least 6 of the 14 artifact cards. The board consists of five tiles in the shape of a cross with 4 cubes on each tile. To start the game each character (you can play solo with multiple characters if desired) gets a deck of magic cards which allow manipulation of the game components including the tiles, meeples and cubes. They also place a meeple on a tile of their choice to begin the game and lay out 4 artifact cards.
Each turn each character will play one or two magic cards and resolve their effect. The cards do a variety of different things including moving tiles, cubes and meeples. After playing the cards they activate the tile on which their meeple stands. When activating the tile you look to see if any of the cubes on that tile are next to a cube of the same color on a different tile. If so, then you take the cube from your current tile and place it on the leftmost artifact card if it matches the first color on that card. If it doesn’t the cube goes away. Once all needed cubes have been placed on the artifact card you collect the card and move to the next artifact.
Play continues until each character has used all of their magic cards. If you have completed at least 6 artifacts you win.
Let me start by saying that I am only reviewing the solo variant for this game. I haven’t played the standard multiplayer version. The game mechanics intrigue me so I wanted to see how it worked as a solo game. That being said, the box says it is a 2-4 player game even though a cooperative variant is included which allows the game to be played solo.
As a solo game, playing only one character, I find this game way too difficult. I love the idea of the cards manipulating the tiles and cubes allowing you to get cubes where you need them to be, but as a solo experience it is very difficult to have a big turn and you kind of need those to complete 6 or more artifacts. I played the cooperative game with two characters as well and it was better, but I personally do not like having to control two characters in order for a game to be a good solo game. I gave it a 3 because it can be played as multiple characters, but would have given it a lower score if reviewing it purely as a single character game.
That being said, I do love the puzzle aspect of this game. I like trying to find the best ways to get my meeple where it needs to be to collect the cubes I need for the current artifact. With the second character it is even better. I could see playing this as a cooperative game with 2 or 3 others and enjoying it quite a bit.
- Manipulating the tiles and cubes makes for a fun puzzle
- Plays quickly which allows for multiple plays in one sitting
- The game is too difficult with only one character
- The theme is lacking and doesn’t add anything to the game
- Not having advanced options for the cooperative game seems lacking
The game is not difficult to learn or play. The magic cards are easily understood and you can pick up the basic structure of the game rather quickly.
- Players: 1 – 4
- Playing time: 30 – 60 minutes
- Suggested age: 8+
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