Review: 7 Wonders

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I had end of the year/graduation to worry about. I should be back on track now though.

7 wonders

What is it: 7 Wonders is a game where you play as one of the civilizations/cities/places where the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World were located and you try to become the greatest through drafting cards.

Great what does that mean:  Each player has a board that represents their wonder and the game is played out in three turns or Ages. Each turn each player receives a hand of cards, chooses to play one by either adding it to their board, discarding it for money or using to increase their Wonder and after resolving all cards they are then passed left/right/left.  This cycle is repeated until only one card is left per hand, at which point the turn ends.

Scaling: One of the great things about this game is that it goes up to 7 and isn’t terrible*. However the game is best when you have more decisions points in what you pick as cards can wheel with few players, so ideal number is 3-4. It has a 2 player variant but I haven’t tried it, so no comment.

Production quality: Acceptable, it doesn’t stand out as either notably bad or good. It would be nice if the box was designed a bit differently to make storing the bits easier but that’s not a major issue.

What’s good: It’s balanced with no one strategy being predominantly better any other as the player interactions serve as a countermeasure. It plays quickly, half hour usually. Most importantly it’s fun.

What’s not good: Everyone really needs to be on a similar playing field, or at least have a firm understanding of the game as drafting means that it’s easy for some to take advantage of others’ misplays. The card layout is rather bad in checking anything beyond what the card does, which is relevant as there are many tech trees in the game. Science as a card type is more complicated than the others, not in the same league as farmers and Carcassone for example but it is still the biggest hurdle.

Overall: 5/5, it should come as no surprise that I rate this highly. Between my like for Limited Magic and good games this is basically everything I could ask for out of a single game. What I perceive as its downsides also are not insurmountable.

7 Wonders at BGG

7 Wonders at Amazon

*Off the top of my head the only other serious game I can think of that goes up to 7 is BSG, which is not ideal to say the least.