Gnome Place like Home: Tips and tricks for playing Village

Our newest game, Sago Mini Village, gives kids the tools to build a magical gnome village all on their own. I had so much fun creating the artwork for this game, and tried to cram in as many surprises and delights as humanly possible. Below are a few of my favourite tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your new neighbourhood! Katherine Diemert, Illustrator

Know you want to create a certain type of building but not sure where to start? The drawers at the bottom are organized by colour for easy sorting, dragging & dropping. Scroll over to red to build your perfect country cottage, yellow for your stone masonry needs, blue for your essential log cabin materials, and teal for natural blocks like grass and dirt. Tip: You’ll find a “decoration drawer” at the beginning of each colour where you can discover fun items like veggies for your garden, sidewalk signs to advertise your bakery and potions for your apothecary.

We just had to include a fun mini treasure hunt in Village! Try to put together the giant pencil by hunting down the eraser, middle section and sharpened tip. Once you’ve found all the pieces, display your giant pencil out front of your bookshop or schoolhouse.

Sure, regular ol’ shrubbery serves its place in a quiet town – and we’ve got lots of it – but what would a magical, fantastical village be without the odd ice cream tree? Find the wafer cone (or use a tree trunk) as a base, then get to stacking scoops of the cold stuff. Want to advertise your Magical Melt-Free Ice Cream Tree? Find a corresponding sidewalk sign in the decoration drawer!

We’ve hidden special themed building blocks in amongst the regular block dispensers. My favourite has to be the ghost shop (found with the tall stone blocks in the yellow section). Use it alongside the broomstick and spooky sidewalk sign found in the blue section to build a supernatural superstore!

It’s fun to stack the grass blocks (found in the teal section) on top of low buildings to create tunnels that gnomes can play hide and seek in. Gnomes will also happily walk across the top of all blocks, so you can build bridges between buildings with a bit of crafty city planning!

In honour of Sago Mini’s Toronto roots, I love building a few high-rise condos in my villages (though the rent is much lower than in real life!). Stack three door or window blocks on top of one another to create an apartment building with lots of friendly neighbours.

Everyone on the Village team got to name a gnome or two – mine is Hilde (the one with the curly bob haircut), our developer Nik named the neck-bearded gentleman Elmer and our play designer Davin named the gal with the flowing mane Hedwig.

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