Full Report for Santorini (Man vs Man) by Gord!

Full Report for Santorini (Man vs Man) by Gord!

Climb to level 3 to win.



Move one of your workers to the third level to win; you also win if your opponent has no legal moves. God powers may introduce additional win/loss conditions.


Players alternate placing all of their pieces in any vacant space.

Player Turns

A turn consists of these steps:

  1. Move a worker.
  2. Build a block in an adjacent space to the worker that moved.
Pieces move to unobstructed adjacent spaces at most one level higher. The fourth block on a space is a cap, obstructing the space and preventing further building there. Pieces are also obstructions.


General comments:

Play: Combinatorial,Asymmetric,Themed

Family: Kickstarter

Mechanism(s): Stalemate,Variable Powers,Stacking,Movement,King of the Hill

Components: Board

BGG Stats

BGG EntrySantorini (Man vs Man)
BGG Rating7.56307
BGG Weight1.7328

BGG Ratings and Comments

ianos110Must have for a Greek.Production is of the chain.Beautiful components make this abstract game dripping with theme.Artwork is childish but excellent.Strategy is definitely present in this game with plethora of choices in each round.Replayability is infinite with 30 god cards.Buy the expansion to reach "beyond infinity" :P.
adanryd6Overall beautiful game with so much thought. I just don’t like chess style games
airheartN/AInitial thoughts. Played base game with God cards. Overproduced but very good abstract game. Spatial movement is interesting. The variable powers from the God cards adds an interesting tactical element as it allows easier alternate victory conditions. It was funny to catch myself playing with the little figures and plastic blocks in the shape of this Greek island's homes with the intensity of chess.
Al Capwnd You6.5Chess/checkers like abstract that combines elements of Connect-4. The special powers change up the gameplay significantly though. Binary win/lose condition, but a simple strategy dueling game.
Aeren10Best 2 player "chess-like" game i played so far.
adzimshahabudin8Its elegant.
Shoitaan10Almost the best game I own. Very easy to teach, very easy to setup and play. The strategic depth and variability will get you years of gameplay from just the corebox alone. Very impressed. Best value for money I've had in ages.
Aiken Drum102019 In my top 50: 2nd
alenen81st play: Beautiful production, clean abstract game with a good theme and tons of replay ability. The basic game of trying to get to the top floor without getting blocked is interesting enough and the god powers ramp it up. A little of the 'Glory to Rome' feeling where it seems like every power is too strong. Like any good abstract you have to balance defensive blocking with trying to win and not get yourself boxed in. 2nd play: Played 3p and the game continues to shine. Looks amazing on the table with fun variable player powers which shake up the game without making it chaotic. Not much else to say except that it's an excellent abstract game that I'm happy to play anytime.
LordOrin10Probably my favorite abstract game.
alanbyrne7Lovely 2-player chess like strategy game. Another game that looks great on the table and is simple to teach and play. Recommend to only play 2-player and include the powerful god cards for extra complexity.
2d208KS. Great production, great game!
Lv20Commoner10Kickstarter version, have Golden Fleece expansion Gorgeous presentation, simple to teach, infinite replayability with god powers. My perfect game.
alexanderbanningN/AABSTRACT, FAMILY Recommended with 2-4 players (best 2). 20 mins.
Kwenami10Plays best at 2 (or 4, teams). simple to learn, lots of strategy.
AcaedysN/A57 UG Tarot: Premium UGD010281
Necroblaster300010Santorini is a delightful chuckle among rivals at an engaging battle of wits.
adamdynris7Kickstarter janvier 2017
1CHNUP8Such a cute little game! And really fun too. I think the appeal of this game is the god powers and trying to outmaneuver your opponent. 3-player games have been prone to kingmaking.
acorns20098Short, simple, and fun for 2 players! I would personally equate it to a variation of three-dimensional chess, but quicker. Each player's God gives them a unique power with which they can form their winning strategy. Santorini does start out slow for the first few turns, however, the pace quickly picks up as levels begin growing and players race to the top or place dome's on buildings, blocking the potential winner.
AdamCarney8(IN MY EXPERIENCE) Women seem to dislike this, and men seem to really, really like this. There is simultaneously simplicity and depth.
adamisclassy8A very clean abstract game. Easy to teach with a good deal of strategy. The variable player powers are neat and the cherubic gods are cute. The game has a good presence on the board and is fairly flashy for an abstract. Also doesn't hurt to find this one on sale. A great addition to the collection.
aeroguru19788Excellent abstract game that is absolutely beautiful in its new 3D implementation. Mechanics simple enough for a kid to grasp but still a lot of rich gameplay here for more experienced gamers as well. Plays in about 10-15 minutes, so multiple games easy in a single sit down. I've found enough enjoyment with the regular game that I haven't yet tried the pantheon of choices provided by the 'God' powers, but expect those will keep this fresh for a long time.
Ajax7Gorgeous abstract game. The art and production are top-notch! The rules are really quite simple, so young kids would get it too. So far, the gods add some good spice to the game.
Alchemist023N/ADad has 2nd copy
jwspiker10Current favorite game, will always play it and it's beautiful Zeus version
djayshaggy10Still my #1 strategy game by far. I love playing this with my daughter, and it's even really fun at 3 players. The god power cards really elevate this game to a new level. The variety there really makes every game different.
Akrimonious8Very good, it's one of my favorite abstract strategy games
1blindI7Jackson Birthday
alcarinque88N/ACould be interesting. I like the Greek gods theme.
Abaculo9Delightful (mainly) 2 player Abstract
alesk19787.5MARIE Ks edition Santorini: Golden Fleece (2017)
number_eight10I've played this many times, but I knew it would be an all-time favorite half way through my first game. It's so simple and deep, and the powers add so much to it. I like trying out all the combinations and taking turns with who has which power.
AbsolutelyN/A$75 Medium Light
aclif8Fun and simple abstract strategy without gods. Need to try out powers and see how it plays.
AiGang8.3 weight 1.80
DG3ntly10Soooooooooooooooo good. Usually not a fan of abstracts or games with taglines like 'learn in 30 seconds, play for life,' but this game actually comes kind of close to that descriptor. It's an excellent game with tons of replay ability.
akmalfikri9My wife loved this game, especially with God cards.
Achire803/15/19: Played it a bunch more times & loving it more and more. Not sure whether deities are all balanced, but too short a game for it to be a big deal - good strategy seems to reliably win the game regardless. Great filler. I am 50/50 on it as a gateway because the better player does win reliably. I will see if the golden fleece cards can help handicap. 03/03/19: The more I play it, the more I like it. Fast 2-player game, advanced tic-tac-toe. I find it an excellent gateway game and a great filler while waiting for people to show up.
ajgarciaN/AH1 S
ajewoN/AAbstract 2 player game with fun tactile 3D elements for building houses on a 5x5 grid. + Artwork + Components + Variable player powers (variety) + Simple rules but deep game + Quick playing time - It does not look like it but it is an abstract game
AirbnbBoardGamesN/A2019.09 Seth Cochran Owned (at his house)
Albertotower8.5Pre-order in Kickstarter (aprox Nov 2016) LABSK (Luis Techno) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/roxley/santorini-learn-it-in-30-seconds-play-it-for-life?ref=card
Selgador10Favorite 2 players game by far! Will never refuse a game, will always be ready to teach it! i have much much more gam than 18, just stopped recording games in 2016
ursusmajorca10Zeus rocks.. always get people wanting to play it at gamer nights!
bc8410Love it.
ajwill8Fast, simple rules, lots of replayability. Plenty to explore still in this.
adhicipta9Beautiful boardgame with high replaybility
Acenchious9David äger
abodi9.5Backed - playing PNP copy
aleksispi10Most played game of 2017 -- 60+ plays, yet still only scratching the surface. Only played with 2.
Alan Stern8A fun abstract! The god powers make this game.
mrraow10One of my favourite games - great to see a commercial version at last.
adrianfrancies82 players
Board Gaming Bard10
Alannamairead7first conscious modern BG purchase! Kids love it, even Daddy's hooked, God cards add real strategic interest
adamscott9The God cards make this a 9. Great replayability and presents a new 'puzzle' every time you play. I'm glad this game has achieved success. Amazing what a "re-theme", some nice pieces and some special powers can do! Now own the Golden Fleece expansion.
Alarka8Players: 2-4 (2) Time: 20 Min Category: Abstract Strategy Ancient Mythology Mechanisms: Grid Movement Tile Placement Variable Player Powers
1 Family MeepleN/A[microbadge=40047]Fall.2018 With Golden Fleece
AcemanBR7Excelente jogo para duas pessoas. Apesar de não ter sorte envolvida a quantidade de cartas de poder individuais é tão grande que a variedade não faz o jogo parecer claustrofóbico como um xadrez.
ekaiser190110Absolutely love this game. Simple setup,easy to learn. Each play is different from the last. Have played with God's and without. The god powers add a huge amount of replay ability because of the way that the differnt powers change the way you and your opponents approach the game. the expansion adds even more gods and options. Will happily share this game with friends and family. Components are amazing and durable. The art is family friendly, and each power is very unique to the god/hero. An all around amazing game. A must have for any collection
Albatrocity4I wasn't too interested in this game before I played it, but once I did, I still found little interest in it. It's a glorified Connect Four. Typically, I've liked glorified versions of basic games. I hate Werewolf, but really enjoy Secret Hitler. I'm not much for Liar's Dice, but House of Borgia is great. This game it still too basic for me though. I'm also not impressed with the cheap, bland plastic building prices that remind me of something I played with as a child in the 80's. I haven't had a chance to play the game with the God powers, so I'd give it another chance, but even then, I don't think that's going to be enough to enhance my enjoyment of the game that much.
Aleahcim10 w/ expansion
aldaryn8Roxley KS edition with Golden Fleece, art book, several promos.
2niverse10Easily one of my favorite games! Gorgeous artwork and extremely polished design. A must own
AhChuckIt8Great 2 player game. Expansion adds a few good elements, but base game has plenty of roles and is fantastic. Beautiful game.
actuaryesquire6Purchased 13-Apr-2018 at going out of business sale at Toys R Us
akneipp8Very cool, easy to jump into game.
abbebN/AUsing "Want to Buy" to keep track of games I'm interested in for 2 Players
mind_ranger10This is currently my favourite game.
AAAlone7Deceptively simple game hides some rich strategic choices. Toy factor very high as is table presence. I prefer deeper more thematic games, but this is a good simple abstract.
aldebaran81010Not yet received
AKWA_VQ5Perhaps not challenged enough by opponent, but I'm almost positive that my experience stems from my personal feeling of complete disinterest. I'd play with a young child for their personal entertainment. I also beleive the game has hit the marks it's design team intended to hit hence the rating being middle of the road. It's a great game for what it is, but it's not a favorite of mine. Will keep in collection for gaming light guests or children. Probably will never put it on the table in which I've a seat. Definitely won't.
alepsycho8Fantastic! I usually enjoy abstracts very much, but this one is amazing, the game is very simple and clever by itself, and the gods powers put this game into another level with a lot of replayability. I enjoyed the quality of the components and art, and the effort to bring a theme to an abstract game that is fine and I can buy the idea.
Abulense8.5*** expansion
abyssal_Tome7.58Simple rules but very strategic. An abstract at heart, with gorgeous components. God powers recommended, as the base game is fairly bland. Best at 2 players.
adamw7Lovely to look at! It's a clean abstract with the highest production values and many varied 'powers' to create an endless series of plays in the same context and ruleset. Having said all that, I don't really have a place for a 2-player abstract. No real opponent for me to play regularly and this game would certainly favor chess-like brilliance.
adrian7548High quality components for a low price. Excellent game mainly for two players with a good playing time of just 20 minutes on average.
alexhart77Brain buster for me! Lot of situational problem solving... God cards really enhanced the game experience and made me want to explore it further
ahken0710buy from Boarders, White Box KS Edition, specially bought to play with my lovely girlfriend. Well, surprisingly this is her first board game and she had me quite well! Keep on losing to her. The artwork is super fine and the god card makes the game replayability very high. Recommended to get one for collection as well!
Tso KameL10
AbandonHope7Casual strategy game. Only tried with the basic gods so far... Rating is currently based on a couple of plays
12from18This might soon become a "chess killer" in my house. Now now, I won't get carried away. I still play a TON of chess, but this game has such a great table presence (like chess sometimes does), is easy to learn (like chess), but can be tough to master (like chess). Perhaps its a hybrid between chess and tic-tac-toe. Which, on the surface makes it sound like a simple game. And at it's heart, it is. But when you add in the variability of the god powers, it takes on a new meaning. It's like the app "very bad chess" where the board is set up with all bishops and a king, and you have to figure out how to not lose. This game has lots of replayability through the variety of god powers - that I'll bet this gets more plays than chess for the foreseeable future.
Takvorian10Zeus edition #21 Already one of my favorite no-luck abstracts.
AdaminoN/ASeems like a fun games for all ages
Mellekai10This is a classic, modern, fresh but with a ever changing gameplay. It feels like it was with me my whole life. It is something like an evergreen, once played never forgot.
aldrichbN/ARoxley Version
1000rpm6Not really my kind of game, too abstract and thinky
aleksandarN/A2 Players
Faldum10I already loved the original game, but the new edition has expanded it almost beyond reason. Replayable basically forever. Fast, simple, elegant. Beautiful to look at (if, in this version, a little fiddly to set up and play, though that's the price you pay for all that visual appeal). Has finally taken its place as one of the top abstract games, as ranked here on BGG, anyhow.
ahalm8.11A good 2 player abstract game. Goods add nice elements to the game. Never again with 3 (or 4) though.
boufalaxx10I was completely surprised by Santorini. It really ticks the box for me as a thinky abstract with heaps of theme. But once I got it to the table I knew it was a 10! The strategy in here is over the top as you get your head around the core rules and the balance between offensive play and defensive play. It's a must play, accessible for families and HEAPS of re-playability for Gamer types.
agentwoof5Can be fun in the right setting. Too simple for its own good sometimes.
Alex the Pretty Good7Surprisingly tactical for a game with such simple basic rules. Not yet 3D chess but a step above 3D checkers.
Albin_AngerN/A+ Golden Fleece
ahwood238Dad owns Beautiful game that so far I've only played twice, without any special powers, and 3 players, which I think is all "suboptimal" way to play, but we greatly enjoyed it!
adrianliew937A cool puzzle and chess-like game. Lack of theme but it is still a quick clever game. The set up is fast and it plays within 20minutes too.
Prince of Guelph10
Ag0n1st7Cost: $30 $5.00/play GOAL REACHED
Ayanami77Ivy10Elevates the game that I already love with it's production quality. Absolutely fantastic.
Aberdeen1977708-12-2018 (111)
alek23Abstract. Didn't get me.
1point21gigawatts7Kickstarted - Available [-]November 2016[/-] January 2017
afafard6Surprisingly good for a light abstract game.
adebisi5Cannot believe this game has been released in 2016. Santorini is a pure abstract with mechanics as innovative as any abtract in 80's or 90's. Reminds me of Torres quite a bit except for that Torres has an interesting scoring mechanic with a lot to ponder whereas Santorini is very straightforward sporting a dull sudden death winning criteria. Folks admire the looks but personally I dislike the polished and childish art although I have to admit the plastic components look nice. But they are not exceptional (compared to e.g. aforementioned Torres) and actually the first and second tier building blocks are easy to mix up. Ok, Santorini is not a bad game but very outdated without any innovations. Ok at best.
mopeymatt10This is hands down my favourite pure strategy game. It's interesting, dynamic, and replayable.
Akado6Neat game, but the god powers can create wild imbalances and very uneven gameplay, with some of them forcing opponents to make certain moves or play certain ways. Medusa (crush opponents with buildings) forces one player to try and hide, whereas Persephone (opponent must move up if possible) can play opponents turns for them. Definitely a lot of tactical and strategic potential, but I just can't get over the god powers that seem to pigeonhole playstyles.
agentpatman8One of the first board games we purchased. I like the board, components, theme, simplicity, basically everything.
567inc8Honestly, I wanted to give it a ten (10) simply because of the Zeus package :D.
abweins7Great filler
aebert119I have been wanting to buy this game for a while now, and I finally got it while it was on sale. To be honest, the first two games we played, I wasn't really sure if I liked it. But when we added the God cards, wow wow wow did that make it better. The games became tighter, and games where it seemed like one person was clearly going to win had surprise endings. It is quick, it is easy, and it is super duper fun! I am now many many plays in, and I now have the Golden Fleece expansion. This game is now the game I find myself wanting to play most often. I look for every chance I can to get it to the table!
Acama8Nice two player game, very strategic and very quick to play. Super cute player board makes it fun to play, who doesn't like building a little city.
absenthero7I was drawn to this game by it's unique elements. Being able to play a "3D Chess" style strategy game by building the city of Santorini is fun and with the god card abilities it provides a variety of gameplay styles. The Spin Master version (which I own) did not include the base Ocean game board and the game piece management within the box is poor. Both factors I did remedy by printing my own Ocean base and constructing inserts out of 3mm foam core to store the games many pieces. (Members on this site have provided plans for inserts) Santorini is a fun game that is easy to learn and worth checking out.

Levels of Play

AIWins vs prev levelDrawsLosses#GamesWin%
Rαβ + ocqBKr (t=v0.01s)360036100.00
Rαβ + ocqBKr (t=v0.07s)360124875.00
Rαβ + ocqBKr (t=v0.20s)36054187.80

Level of Play: strong beats weak 60% of the time (lower bound with 90% confidence).

Kolomogorov Complexity Estimate

Size (bytes)171838
Reference Size10328

Ai Ai calculates the size of the implementation, and compares it to the Ai Ai implementation of the simplest possible game (which just fills the board). Note that this estimate may include some graphics and heuristics code as well as the game logic. See the wikipedia entry for more details.

Playout Complexity Estimate

Playouts per second32530.80 (30.74µs/playout)
Reference Size1923076.92 (0.52µs/playout)
Ratio (low is good)59.12

Tavener complexity: the heat generated by playing every possible instance of a game with a perfectly efficient programme. Since this is not possible to calculate, Ai Ai calculates the number of random playouts per second and compares it to the fastest non-trivial Ai Ai game (Connect 4). This ratio gives a practical indication of how complex the game is. Combine this with the computational state space, and you can get an idea of how strong the default (MCTS-based) AI will be.

Win % By Player (Bias)

1: Black (Man) win %53.50±3.10Includes draws = 50%
2: Red (Man) win %46.50±3.07Includes draws = 50%
Draw %0.00Percentage of games where all players draw.
Decisive %100.00Percentage of games with a single winner.
Samples1000Quantity of logged games played

Note: that win/loss statistics may vary depending on thinking time (horizon effect, etc.), bad heuristics, bugs, and other factors, so should be taken with a pinch of salt. (Given perfect play, any game of pure skill will always end in the same result.)

Note: Ai Ai differentiates between states where all players draw or win or lose; this is mostly to support cooperative games.

Mirroring Strategies

Rotation (Half turn) lost each game as expected.
Reflection (X axis) lost each game as expected.
Reflection (Y axis) lost each game as expected.
Copy last move lost each game as expected.

Mirroring strategies attempt to copy the previous move. On first move, they will attempt to play in the centre. If neither of these are possible, they will pick a random move. Each entry represents a different form of copying; direct copy, reflection in either the X or Y axis, half-turn rotation.


Game length65.88 
Branching factor8.75 
Complexity10^57.67Based on game length and branching factor
Samples1000Quantity of logged games played

Move Classification

Distinct actions220Number of distinct moves (e.g. "e4") regardless of position in game tree
Good moves123A good move is selected by the AI more than the average
Bad moves96A bad move is selected by the AI less than the average
Samples1000Quantity of logged games played

Change in Material Per Turn

This chart is based on a single playout, and gives a feel for the change in material over the course of a game.


This chart shows the best move value with respect to the active player; the orange line represents the value of doing nothing (null move).

The lead changed on 45% of the game turns. Ai Ai found 3 critical turns (turns with only one good option).

Overall, this playout was 71.43% hot.

Position Heatmap

This chart shows the relative temperature of all moves each turn. Colour range: black (worst), red, orange(even), yellow, white(best).


Table: branching factor per turn.

Action Types per Turn

This chart is based on a single playout, and gives a feel for the types of moves available over the course of a game.

Red: removal, Black: move, Blue: Add, Grey: pass, Purple: swap sides, Brown: other.

Positions Reachable at Depth (Includes Transpositions)


Note: most games do not take board rotation and reflection into consideration.
Multi-part turns could be treated as the same or different depth depending on the implementation.
Counts to depth N include all moves reachable at lower depths.
Zobrist hashes are not available for this game, so transpositions are included in the counts.

Shortest Game(s)

No solutions found to depth 6.





Black (Man) to win in 8 moves

Red (Man) to win in 8 moves

Red (Man) to win in 4 moves

Black (Man) to win in 4 moves

Black (Man) to win in 4 moves

Selection criteria: first move must be unique, and not forced to avoid losing. Beyond that, Puzzles will be rated by the product of [total move]/[best moves] at each step, and the best puzzles selected.