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Having played Vitrail several times over the last year or so, I find that I enjoy it as a bit of a filler game.
The game requires very little in the area of strategy or planning.
A card with a pattern on it is revealed and each player tries to recreate that pattern with four translucent squares adorned with colored dots of red, green, purple or yellow. To recreat the pattern you are required to rearrange your squares, may be turn them over or around, hide a dot or two or five behind other dots while making sure the color dot you need is showing.
The first person to correctly recreate the pattern collects the card. Each card is worth 1, 2 or 3 points each with the 2 and threes being more difficult. As was said to me one time while playing - witht he 3 point cards its not so much getting the correct pattern, but in hiding all the dots you don't need. You see for each pattern you need to use all four of your squares.
Its an exercise in spatial orientation. It reminds me of those tests for people who are supposed to be a genious. Can they put the three dimensional puzzle together in a certain amount of time? As Vitrail is somewhat of a race to find the patten first.
As I've said, it is more of a filler. It's not Power Grid - in more ways than one.
1. You play this when you're waiting for people to show up or to finish a different game, rather than getting together for a night of Vitrail.
2. Its contained in a small box - about a 3 or 4 inch cube. The pieces only include the players squares and the pattern cards, so it is easily taken out and easily put away again.
3. As each pattern is different it is difficult to plan. Last time I played I did very well and got the pattern first for three times in a row. I found that I was doing the same thing for each of these and then consciencely tried to duplicate it for the next few patterns and failed.
All in all, I wish that I saw it around more so I could play more.