Table Top TableTopTakes

TableTopTakes: Sonora

So, two posts today and not going to be doing Friday Night D&D, because I got a new game to the table a few days ago, and that’s the first ever flick and write game, Sonora by Pandasaurus Games.

This game is split into two parts and six rounds. The first half of each round players are flicking discs onto a board, depending on the number of the disc and where it lands, at the end of the flicking phase, you will get to use it on the second part of the round. That is where you are using the number and location to determine actions on your player/scoring board. The game has you doing a few different things, four in fact, depending on the area where you flicked your discs. The first one, the lizard, is simply filling in areas as fast as you can based off of the total number on the discs that you’ve flipped, the bigger area you fill in, the more points you get when you complete it and the better bonus you get if you’re the first person to complete it. The eagle is a bit trickier, you are using the numbers you flicked into that section to fill in cross out and then circle spots for either bonuses or scoring. Then in the fox, you are tetrising in pieces to get points by covering up cacti, and the more you get of a given type, the more points you get, plus you can circle bonuses as well. Finally with the rabbit, you are totaling up the discs in the area and using them to cross of intersections which will allow you to connect vertices which again gets you points for cacti you’ve surrounded as well as bonuses. After six rounds, the player with the most points wins.

Image Source: Pandasaurus Games

So, we know from my Top 100, which is going on now, I like roll and writes and flip and writes, so how about a flick and write, does the flicking part work for me? I’d say yes, I think I can get better at it, I got good at ICECOOL, but I think that it works for me, it’s a fun randomization aspect of the game. I almost wish there were more ways to lock in a disc once you’ve flicked it, other than hitting the middle wild spot, but there are bonus double spots on the board and I do like trying to knock other people off of them. My flicking was bad enough that I think in two games I only hit the double once. That said, I was always in the games. So while the flicking is important, utilizing the bonuses on the sections most effectively and you can really create massive combos is just as important. So I think that both parts of the game works well.

I think another thing that works well is that this game has little to no downtime. Sure, it might take a minute to get back to flicking again, but the flicking portion of the game goes fast. And then when filling in your board, you are doing that all at the same time, minus the lizard just because with the lizard the first person to complete a section gets a bonus. So everyone can go at the same time and while my scoring, if I don’t do many combos and get bonuses might go faster than yours, generally it isn’t a massive time difference and you’re not waiting for one person to do theirs, then the next, and then you. I think that’s a smart thing we’re seeing in a lot of roll and flip and write games is that they are trying to keep down time between turns to a minimum and Sonora does that as well.

Image Source: Pandasaurus Games

If I had a knock against the game, I do think that the discs you are flicking could be slightly higher quality. They are wooden, which is nice and screen printed, but they are very light, just for me, I wish they had a little bit more heft to them. And the biggest thing, I wish that they had the numbers on both sides. It’s possible for the disc to flip when you shoot it, so you are having to reach in and flip it over so everyone can see, and probably moving it slightly. I think that the extra heft too would keep them from flipping as much or flying off the board as much, but then again, they do give you reflicks for it it does fly off the board, or maybe lands where you don’t want it to stop after you’ve flicked it.

Overall, this is a really fun game. I think that I’d say it’s a bit more complex than some roll and write games, but not too complex. Once you learn what each section does the game really goes fast, and I think playing two rounds for learning rounds is about all that you need before people really start to get it. There is strategy to the game, and I think that any of the different options are going to give you a chance to win. There are a few different ways that you can play it, you can play long, regular, or short games, and you can play basic or advanced rules, and I like the advanced rules where you can’t just flick to the section in front of you, you have to bounce off of something to either stop in that section or bounce back into it, it adds in some more strategy. Really good game and something that feels similar but different in the [blank] and write genre.

Overall Grade: A
Casual Grade: A
Gamer Grade: B+

Is this a game that you like, one that sounds interesting to you?

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