Benjamin Cope, the creator, has worked to capture the beauty and simplicity of Japanese games in the development of Sakura: The Board Game.
Players: 2 – 4
Time: Under 30 minutes
Estimated Delivery: May – December 2014
Location: Provo, UT
Forum: Sakura: The Board Game
Let me start out by saying that I am a huge fan of Japanese games like Go and Shogi, so I may be a little biased in regards to this game, which in many ways shows similarities with those games. Some of the best games are very easy to learn and to play, but are nearly impossible to master. It is the complexity that arises from simplicity, that makes games like these more or less uniquely Asian.
I believe this is the second game that I’ve reviewed related to Japanese culture. The first was Japanese: The Game and it seems like another good one.
About the Game
Despite the elegantly simple design, Sakura offers a wide range of strategic options as you build the map, collect resources, recruit an army and attack other cities. There are elements of modular map building, dice-based attacks, and modifier cards. Fans of Japanese culture will notice the historical setting and the custom kanji calligraphy. You will love the organic, wooden soldier pieces which in themselves pay homage to the traditional Japanese game Shogi.
Sakura, meaning “cherry blossom”, is an important symbol in Japanese culture. Poets have sometimes compared cherry blossoms to soldiers within vast armies. These ethereal blossoms can also represent the souls of the fallen.
Pledge Tiers: 9 tiers ranging from $5 to $1,000
End Date: Tue, Apr 29 2014 12:00 AM EDT
Chances of success
Benjamin has already done a lot of work in trying to promote his campaign. He’s been generating interest among his Facebook fans and asking various people to review the campaign and the game itself. My one concern is the price. It’s a bit on the high side, but given that this is Benjamin’s first game from what I can tell, he can’t ride on the coattails of his previous sales like some other game creators, which have had multiple successful campaigns, can do.