About this project
Sakura is a competitive game for 2-4 players set in feudal Japan. It is easy to learn, lightning-fast to play (typically under 30 minutes), and does not have player elimination.
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.
Click here to download our rule book as a PDF document. We want you to have all possible access to Sakura before you get your copy in December. Please forgive the lack of any professional graphic design... that will come with time!
日本の: Click here to download our provisional rulebook in Japanese!
Français: Click here to download our provisional rule book in French!
This video shows an abbreviated walk-through of a 2-player game, as well as going over the very basics of the rules:
Watch this 3-player game walk-through to understand the more advanced rules and strategies... this will give you a better feel for the full game experience compared to the 2-player walk-through:
Click here to visit David's full review at Club Fantasci.
Click here to visit the full 3rd-party review of Sakura over at Indie Conquest.
We were so excited to be featured on DJ Grandpa's podcast! Be sure to skip to around 8:05 to hear Sakura's portion... check out our episode by clicking on the icon above, or clicking here!
We have been fortunate to work with the Board Game Designer's Guild of Utah for close to a year. They are a group of gamers who meet twice a month and help play-test board games as they are being developed. The Guild has put Sakura through the gauntlet. We have received praise and constructive criticism. After months of effort, Sakura has earned the Guild's coveted stamp of approval. This signifies that we have a thoroughly solid rule book and game mechanics. This is a stamp that we will proudly display on the cover of our game box.
Do you have a printer and a pair of scissors? With a little elbow grease, you can make the print-and-play version at home months before the regular production version is ready! Your pledge at any level will get you a link to a printable Sakura PDF.
For backers of the full production game, both regular and heirloom edition, we offer 2 extra, unique maps as an Add-On item for $10. We will include them with your game at no additional shipping cost. This will bring your total maps to 6, and give you that much more variety for your 2-4 player games!
We're making a limited number of beautifully hand-made Sakura games. These deluxe editions will include all stretch goals. The game is housed in a carpenter-made cherry wood box with our Sakura kanji etched onto the top. Soldier pieces are also laser etched. Game maps are backed in wood. 4 custom wooden abacuses are included to help tally resources. Coins are made of hand-forged pewter. You will be playing on a work of art. Now shipping internationally and EU friendly!
Crowdfunding is awesome. We love how Kickstarter gives the "little guy" a chance to share big ideas with the world. Sakura is my big idea, and I want as many people to enjoy it as possible.
Free shipping within the USA!
Canada, Mexico: Please add $15 to your pledge
EU: Please add $25 to your pledge
Australia: Please add $30 to your pledge
Everywhere else: Please add $35 to your pledge
We are proud to offer EU-friendly shipping! This means that Sakura will ship from within the EU, and EU backers will not have to pay additional customs, etc. on top of their pledges + shipping. Brad, our manufacturing manager, has years of experience shipping to the EU. We've got your back!
At this time, only the regular version of Sakura will be shipped internationally. If you live outside the USA, please add the correct amount on top of your pledge in order for us to ship you your game. For example, if you pledged at the SUPER EARLY BIRD level with $48, and you live in Germany, your total pledge would need to be $48 + $25 = $73.
Each international backer outside the EU is responsible for customs, etc. which may be charged upon delivery.
Risks and challenges
This is our first Kickstarter project, but that doesn't mean we are jumping into this blindfolded. On the contrary, we have spent a year in close contact with the Board Game Designer's Guild of Utah, along with several Kickstarter veterans in preparation for our own debut. We've heard horror stories and success stories, and we're committed with all we've got to be a success!
Common risks with Kickstarter board games:
Production delays - It's hard to anticipate manufacturing delays, errors and miscommunication. We have already submitted several prototype designs to our manufacturer and they have processed all costs involved and manufacturing dates. We're as prepared as we could be in this department... but rest assured that we will be incredibly open with all our loyal supporters in what our status is along the way. If we're late for any reason, you'll know why. We won't be satisfied until we have a game that matches our vision.
Shaky game mechanics - This is a huge deal for me. Sometimes a start-up company can have a great original idea, but lack the skills to bring it to its full potential. That is not us. With Sakura, we have exhaustively play-tested it with hundreds of gamers. We have earned the coveted stamp of approval from the Board Game Designer's Guild of Utah. They drag games through the gauntlet, and only approve games with solid game mechanics and rule books. We will post our rule book and video walk-throughs so you can be familiar with Sakura before you support us. We're confident you're going to love it!
Shipping problems - At first, this seems inconspicuous, but shipping issues are among the most migraine-inducing challenges for any Kickstarter. Despite being a small start-up company, we will deliver quality customer support. Yes, we're shipping internationally, and we hope our international backers will be patient with the mail carriers. We want to bring Sakura to the world, even if that means a lot more work on our end!
Thank you for your trust in us. We don't take your trust lightly!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We've worked out pricing to bundle up our pride and joy for safe shipping internationally. The pledge of $325 will get an heirloom quality version shipped free anywhere in the world.
I am personally a fan of games that have about 70%/30% strategy to luck ratio, and I believe Sakura is pretty close to that. There are dice-rolling battles between soldiers, but usually the winner is decided after several tosses. Everything else is strategy: how you place your map, where you build your city, what chikaruta (power) cards you buy, how you manage your army etc. By the way, the chikaruta cards are laid face-up at the beginning of the game, available for any player to purchase... no surprises.
We realize not everyone has $50+ to help us make our beautiful board game. Because of that, we offer a print and play version at the $5 level. Every other reward level also includes the print and play version.
It will be emailed to all backers in a PDF format. It will have the exact dimensions of the full version, as well as the same artwork.
It will include all 6 maps. You may need to provide your own tokens and coins, but you can use pebbles, beans, etc.
It will come with graphics for the soldiers, which you can paste onto cardboard for strength, or glue onto wood blocks.
First off, abacuses is an accepted plural for abacus. You could also call them abaci :)
True abacuses are used as calulators... in Sakura, they are only used to tally resources. We just like the aesthetic they bring to our theme, and we like how convenient it is to keep track of everything.
For the Heirloom Edition, I hand-make all the abacuses, just like the ones in the game play videos. For the basic version of Sakura, we have looked into mass producing our custom abacus, but it would cost as much as all other parts of the game combined. Therefor, we are including an 'abacus-style tracker' to the basic version, where you keep track of resources and life with wooden tokens on a grid of numbers.
Not at this time.
I have worked for a long time with the balance of a 5-6 player game. I couldn't get it perfect, therefore we are not releasing it at this time. Darn my OCD about game balance... but I think it's only for the best to release a game I am 100% proud of rather than throw shaky elements in. I think a 5-6 player game will eventually be worked out and released, but not in this Kickstarter.
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