Sandcastles is a one to seven player hand management, press you luck card game from Yay games. It plays in about 30 minutes and has a fair amount of take that in the game.

In Sandcastles players will be trying to complete as many sandcastles as they can on their own selection of beach before the big wave comes and ends the game. Any sandcastles completed earn points at the end of the game and possibly score extra bonuses. But not all is fair in the world of sandcastles as other players can steal parts of your Sandcastles for themselves.

Buckets, Crabs and Seagulls

Sandcastles is a fun, quick playing card laying game. One thing that I want to mention is that there is a fair amount of player interaction in the game. You will be stealing Sandcastle pieces and bonus cards from your opponents. If you don’t like these type of games then Sandcastles is not for you. I took great pleasure in continually stealing a sandcastle piece during a two player game which made it difficult for my opponent to complete their Sandcastle. The attacking/defending and counter attacking can be great fun and can offer some interesting back and forth.

You can also build some impressive looking sandcastles to score big points or build multiple smaller sandcastles to go for quicker and easier point scoring. The bonus tiles offer some variability in the set up and bonuses to fight for which might change your tactics.

Overall, Sandcastles is a fun, quick playing tile laying game with an interesting theme and one that is worth checking out.

Overview

Set up is fairly simple. The main deck of cards are shuffled and three are dealt face down to each player. Three cards are dealt face up to from the beach. Ten cards are removed from the bottom of the stack and the “big wave” card is shuffled in to these, then placed back at the bottom of the stack. A certain number of bonus cards are dealt depending on player count with the biggest sandcastle and the tallest tower bonus always being used.

Players will begin the game with a hand of three sandcastle cards. There are three possible actions a player can take.

Build a Sandcastle – A card is played from a player’s hand to start a sandcastle or add to a previously started sandcastle. Once a piece of a sandcastle is placed it can’t be moved or rotated. Player’s can have more than one sandcastle on the go at any one time. When placing a sandcastle piece the walls of the sandcastles must join. Sandcastle pieces come in three types crabs, buckets and seagulls. Crabs and buckets can only be placed in a single layer. Whereas seagulls can be placed on top of other seagulls to form towers. As soon as all the walls of a sandcastle are join up then the sandcastle is complete. The player’s must check to see if they have scored any bonuses (including those rom other players). All the pieces of the sandcastle are added facedown in the sandbank for scoring at the end of the game.

Attack another player’s Sandcastle – There are three types of attack cards, crabs, seagulls and buckets and these work in a rock , paper, scissors style of play. An attack card is placed on an opponents sandcastle piece to attempt to steal it. The defending player can place an attack card to defend against it.
A carb will always beat a bucket (by tearing a hole in it)
A bucket will always beat a seagull (when it is thrown at it)
A seagull will always beat a crab (by grabbing it and flying off)

Exchanging a card – A player can exchange a face up card (or one from the stack) with one from their hand.

Bonus Cards – When a player completes a sandcastle they check to see if they have achieved any of the displayed bonuses, including ones that might have already been claimed by another player. If the new sandcastles matches or beats the value of any other players claimed bonus then the new players gets to claim it for themselves.

Game End

The game ends when the big wave card is revealed from the deck. Each other player has one more turn. At this point all players count the number of pieces in their sandbank and add any additional points for bonuses. The player with the most points wins.