What is it like to play 7Wonders? It’s awesome! Why is it awesome? Because the artwork is incredible. Because you get to “build” a wonder like Giza. Because of the awesome little money tokens. Because of the military tokens. Because it has multiple expansions that add to the game play and also work with each other. But mostly, because all of the players play every turn.
The basic rundown:
There are three sets of cards, each covering a different age, representing different developmental eras as you strive to build your wonder. The first age is mostly about acquiring resources to build your wonder and to build smaller structures that give you victory points. Age two is when you build even more smaller structures. Maybe you focus on science or military or get victory points by building the Pantheon. Age three is when you’d better be ready and have your wonder finished or close to finished. You also get to build guilds at this time. More victory points! You aren’t actually building, it’s cards. But you get the idea. You collect resource cards that you use to acquire other cards that will give you points.
This game takes strategy. You need to think about if you are taking a resource now will it pay off later, and if you pass on a resource you may never see it again. You know that the person you are passing your hand to is collecting certain things, but wait, it’s round two and now the cards are passed the other way. Were you paying attention to what the person on the right was collecting? Should you focus on collecting science cards? They gain points exponentially. Should you focus on he civic structures of the blue cards and see if you can pile on enough to get the most points? Maybe you should build your military as big as possible so as to take points away from adjacent players? So much to think about and so much to plan, but it is actually an easy game to get into.
Each player has a hand of cards. Each player then plays one card and passes their hand to another player. And this brings me to what I stated above: all of the players play every turn. This is great. Sure, sometimes one player may take longer than the others to figure out their move, but you all have cards and you are all making choices and it’s all happening at once. The recommended age group for 7Wonders is 10 and up, but we play this with our 6 year old as well as our 10 year old. He doesn’t get all of the strategy, but is still fun for him because there is no downtime. It’s one of the reasons we really like playing Dixit in our family too.
The expansion sets!! I mentioned them above as well. 7Wonders: Leaders adds leader cards that players recruit prior to starting game play and they grant special abilities to help you gain resources or victory points. 7Wonders: Cities adds more guilds, new wonders, and a diplomacy mechanic that effects military conflict. The Wonder Pack adds four wonders: The Great Wall Of China, Stonehenge, Abu Simbel, and, my favorite, Manneken Pis. These expansions are also very reasonably priced.
The thing I want you to take away is that this is an easy game to learn. Even with all that is going on and all of the strategizing that is required. The gameplay is simple. Mastering it can take awhile, but it is always fun. We have spent nights just playing game after game because it is easy to access and challenging to get great at. Oh, and you can play with up to 7 players! Synergy! Well, here we are at the end of the review and I don’t have an exit strategy….