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Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas - Board Game Box Shot

Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas

| Published: 2008
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Hidden inside the sinners’ pit of the antique library are cursed tomes, heretical books, treatises on witchcraft and black magic, and precious volumes of Kabbalah, all of them written in strange and lost languages. Each book has been placed precisely in the pit, positioned according to exacting rituals; their function to prevent chaos from emerging from the pit. The Keeper is entrusted to stop the souls of the damned from escaping something they attempt continuously by touring the labyrinth and keeping the power contained in the books strong enough to seal the abyss. Only the Keeper knows the rituals and the exact position of every volume as he’s the sole person with access to the Sator secrets.

SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS is the seal that keeps the souls of the damned from flowing away...

But the power of the old Keeper is waning, and the sinners’ pit has felt this, using the breath of the damned to slowly shift the volumes which compose the Sator across the labyrinth in order to open a passage for their souls into our world.

Thus, the four Acolytes of the Keeper have been entrusted to recover the holy books that have been moved across the labyrinth. Each volume contains a key which lets one understand some of the arcane words of the Sator and thereby regain control of the labyrinth. The Acolyte who first recovers the four holy books that the Keeper has asked him to find will be able to access the Sator and become the new Keeper.

Each player represents an Acolyte and tries to be the first to recover the four books that the Keeper has entrusted to him (the four books in the color of his pawn). The sinners’ pit is an intricate labyrinth of Footbridges and mobile walkways that can be moved by gears and pulleys. They can be turned and pushed in order to create a safe path over which the Acolyte may safely walk the abyss.

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I Am What I Am
13 of 13 gamers found this helpful
“Just what I looked for”

If anyone remembers a Harry Potter game in which you had to move and rotate the corridors in order to get to your lessons on schedule, this game will give you nostalgic feelings. That’s almost certainly not the case though.

Either way, that description is good for describing what you in this one. Basically, you’re a greedy acolyte in a mystic library who was given the task to get four books to prove you’re awesome. The thing is: you are SLOW. So, why not use your mystic powers in order to bring the books towards you? That’s exactly it

Also, as your speed depends on how many cards you have played, you will certainly be spending some of them just to mess up with your pals. Because you’re better than them anyway!

Speaking of Replay Value, the game is very versatile. Every setup is completely different, but, as part of it depends on the players, I would say that if you keep on going with the same strategy, a little bit of your game will be alike through each time you play it. But just a bit. There’s a lot of variety introduced with the cards you get and the situations you will find yourself in. And, as it is a game that requires some spacial analysis (couldn’t find a better expression for that), there is a development of this ability through rounds, and, at least for me, that’s positive for replay.

The Components are very beautiful, and you feel like playing it when you see the game set up. The only complaint about it would be the lack of a sandglass to limit the time of player turns: it can be complex, there’s almost always a more efficient way to arrange the corridors (especially the L shaped ones), and it can be tempting to just think of all the possibilities. But it is LAME for the other players. So I would say, leave the best opportunities when you have developed a faster thinking.

And with that, the question, is it Easy to Learn? Well, the basic rules and concept are, well, basic. If you’re used to grid movement and action points, it is pretty easy, but if you’re not, you’ll get the hang of it without too much effort. But that’s about the rules themselves. The strategy is a little deeper. As I mentioned, there are times in which all those corridors seem to be just how you need them in order to be perfectly arranged in 3 or 4 actions… But you just can’t seem to find out how exactly. And that may take time to get the hang of.

But it is really worth trying and burning some neurones in the process. And the progress is visible in just a few games.


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