Here’s a new favorite of my wife and me; my daughter is less enthusiastic, but enjoys it: Santorini. Produced by Spin Master Games this is a simple, fast game for 2-3 players.

It features a basic plastic island with a playing board on the top. It’s a rule light, strategy-rich game where you take your two workers and try to build a building on the island to three stories and get one of your pieces up there before the others do. Sounds simple. Isn’t. You also randomly (or at least we do) a Greek god who gives certain abilities and sometimes special win parameters. (Hermes allows you to move a piece any number of spaces in a straight line, for instance; Ares can destroy a story because, well, he’s Ares.) These provide different challenges to work with and some are quite powerful. (We don’t use Bia — it’s a game breaker, we feel.)

You have two actions — move then build, and you have to be able to do both, or you’re out of the game. This makes planning you builds to allow your workers to mount the stories to victory. But the other players can stop you, given the opportunity by putting a dome of the third story and blocking you from advancing to the top.

The art is gorgeous (see the box top), the building pieces capture the whitewash and cerulean blue of the eponymous island. There’s a nice expansion set, The Golden Fleece, that adds heroes to the mix, instead of gods.

It think this one cost me $30 at Ettin, our local game store. So is it worth it? Absolutely! You can play a few games in 15 minutes, or find yourself playing a single game for an hour, if the players are using their gods to full effect. It’s a solid buy if you like board games.