OBJECT OF SONORA: The object of Sonora is to be the player with the highest points at the end of the game. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1 to 4 players

MATERIALS: Game Board, 20 Colored Disks, Scoresheets, Pens, and 1 First Player Token

TYPE OF GAME: Competitive Board Game



Sonora is a strategic, score driven game of intense creation. Each portion of the board represents a different desert area. Areas of gorgeous color and décor determine the points earned throughout the game. 

As the game continues, players strategically use their disk scores to obtain bonuses in given areas. If players are good, they may flick their disks and knock others away from good scoring areas. Each player must keep up with their own score, so be trustworthy and enjoy Sonora! 


To begin setup, each player will select a color and gather all five disks in that color, along with a scoresheet and a pen. The player who has most recently helped a wild animal gets to take the first player marker. 

Place the gameboard so that each corner is facing each player. There needs to be enough room so the board may be rotated throughout the course of the game. Rotate the board so that Cliff-Dweller Ruins is pointing towards the first player. 


To begin, the group must decide how many rounds they want to play. They may play five, six, or seven rounds depending on how long they want the game to be. Beginning with the first player, each player, going clockwise around the board, will alternate flicking discs onto the gameboard. Each player will take three turns each round, flipping two disks on their first two turns and only one on their last turn.

Disks must be flicked from the launch corner of the participating player. The launch corner stays the same for each player throughout the round. Players may use their flicks to knock other players’ disks into different zones. The position of the disk only matters at the end of the Flick Phase.

If a disk is flicked into the recessed hole in the middle of the board, its owner removes it and places it on their sheet. During the Write Phase, the disk can be treated like it landed in the section that the player chose. If the disk is flipped from the board, it is disqualified and does not score. If you flick another player’s disk from the board, they must immediately reflick the disk from their launch corner.

After everyone has flicked their disks, players record their disks on the scoring section of their scoresheet. Marking each section earns players points. The Write Phase must be completed in three steps.

First, players must use any Swap Bonuses that they have available to swap positions of their disks. Secondly, disks found in the Cliff-Dweller Ruins must be recorded by each player, one at a time. Finally, each player records their remaining disks. 

When assigning disks to their zone, if a disk is split halfway, a player may choose which zone it is in. If not, the zone where the majority of the disk is found is where it is assigned to. If a disk is touching a multiplier circle within a zone, it earns special bonus points, but it does not get assigned a zone. 

After each disk has been resolved, they may be gathered and placed in front of you to use the next round. Ensure that Cliff-Dweller Ruins are resolved first, then the remaining disks may be marked. There are steps that must be taken in order to resolve these.

Each player tallies their points of their disks in the Cliff-Dweller Ruins.  The player with the highest points in the Ruins records their disks first, continuing until the lowest scoring player. Cross off the number of hexes on the sheet that is equal to the total value on the disks. Whenever a player crosses all hexes of a building, they complete the building and reap the reward.

The first player to complete a building earns the top reward. Each other player earns only the bottom reward. You may distribute your Ruins value across any number of buildings. 

Each time a player records a disk assigned to the Canyon,  they must draw one shape in the Canyon section of the score sheet. The shape drawn must match the disk’s number or be lower. Each shape drawn must be drawn adjacent to another shape, beginning with the 4×4 square at the bottom. After the shape has been drawn, the disk may be removed from the board. 

Players may rotate or flip shapes, but they cannot overlap. Shapes must fit completely inside the white squares that make up the Canyon. If a shape is drawn around a bonus icon, the bonus is immediately earned. If a shape is drawn around a Cactus icon, the player may mark one matching cactus on the scoring table.

When a disk is recorded on the Creek Bed, a path is marked through the Creek Bed. Each new path must begin on a previously visited space. The number on the disk dictates the length of the path drawn. Each circular space counts as a distance of one. 

The full distance, as determined by the disk, must be traveled. The player may decide which direction to take if there is a fork in the road. If traveling the full distance would take a player beyond the last space, then that path may not be taken. If there are no available baths, the disk becomes disqualified. If the path ends on a bonus, that bonus is earned, but if the bath ends on a number, then that is the number of points earned. 

The Mudcrack section of the sheet is made up of interconnected nodes. Between the nodes are areas where bonus icons and Cacti are found. When a disk is recorded in the Mudcracks, the total value of disks is to be determined. Once that is done, mark off any number of nodes whose total value is equal to or less than the total value of the disks.

Nodes that are being marked off must be collected to at least one previously marked node. Once a node is marked, a line needs to be drawn to a previously connected node. If these lines result in a totally surrounded area, any rewards in that area are earned. Once all the nodes are marked, leftover points may be applied to the bonus columns at the bottom of the Mudcracks. Once all the boxes in a column are marked, the player earns those bonuses.

After all players have marked their sheets and removed their disks from the game board, the round is over. To begin the next round, rotate the gameboard 90 degrees clockwise, giving each player a new launch corner. Pass the first player marker to the next player in clockwise order. 

The game ends when the final round is complete. Each player determines their scores for each section and write their total score next to the animal icons. All these points are added, and the player with the highest score wins the game. 

To score The Creek Bed, a player adds up all the places they’ve circled and writes that next to the owl. To score The Canyon, count the Cacti of each type that were inside shapes drawn. A player will then write their score for each type in the boxes next to the scoring table, add them up, and then write the total next to the fox. To score The Mudcracks a player should count the total number of Cacti of each type that has been surrounded. Multiply each count by the value of the Cactus type, write the scores in the boxes, add them up, and write the total next to the rabbit. 

Once points are added, a winner may be determined. 


The game ends when the final round has been completed. After the final round, all players tally their points. The player with the highest score wins the game!

Nakoa Davis