Mrs. RMN and I were out shopping post-Christmas and passed a pop-up Christmas location for a chain with huge banners proclaiming everything on sale at 50% off. We walked in and took a look around. I found a copy of Santorini (Roxley Games, 2016) on the shelf and, having recently seen something about it, went ahead and purchased it.
Mrs. RMN was very interested in Santorini and wondered if it might be suitable for use by her elementary-age students. So that evening we tried the game. You have to understand that Mrs. RMN likes using boardgames (and other educational games) for her students but she is often very reluctant to play them socially with the family. I guessed long ago that Mrs. RMN likes abstract strategy games; she previously professed a liking of Qwirkle (Midware, 2006) and Blokus (Educational Insights, 2000) but a recent attempt to play Patchwork (Mayfair, 2014) was a failure. Late in the year she enjoyed two new-to-us games, NMBR 9 (Abacuspiele, 2017) and Layers (Happy Baobab, 2018) which was a change for her.
After a quick set up I explained the beginner game of Santorini to her. She was doubtful but played against me anyway. At one point in the game she paused and stared at the board, not talking, for a long time.
A very long time.
Several silent minutes passed.
I was very worried.
Then it clicked. Then she beat me. Then she declared a new favorite game.
After our (several) plays, I explained to her the option of using the “God Power” cards in Santorini for some asymmetrical play. She flat-out refused to use them in our games preferring to keep our plays simple straight-up matches. That’s OK; I’d rather have her comfortable playing a game than forcing her into something she does not enjoy.
BTW, when we bought Santorini there was a second copy still on the shelf. Recognizing a good game and a good deal, we went back and snagged that copy for her “Shelf of Giving.” Some lucky family will be getting a copy sometime in the future!