At a Glance: 7 Wonders makes civilization-building more fun and engaging than ever. Will you focus on military, science, or grand architecture as you build an empire from the ground up?
7 Wonders is a civilization-building card-drafting game for 2-7 players where everyone takes control of one ancient civilization as it develops over three Ages. The game uses a card-drafting mechanic for each Age. 7 cards are dealt to each player. Everyone chooses one card, then passes the rest to the player beside them. Everyone reveals theirs simultaneously, contributing the resource cost or trading with neighboring cities. Some cards provide resources so you can more easily pay for future cards. Some cards only score at the end of the game. Some cards create trading routes making it cheaper to use neighboring resources. The drafting & passing continues until the cards are gone, then the next Age begins. After each Age, you check the military strength between all the neighboring cities. Basically, you either get points for having a stronger military than either of your two neighbors or a penalty for losing. As you progress through the Ages, some cards may be paid for through previously built structures in lieu of their resource cost. For instance, if you build the Altar in the 1st Age, then you may build the Temple for free later on. In addition to placing cards in your area, you may discard them under your wonder board and attempt to build the seventh wonder of the ancient world that corresponds to your civilization. After the 3rd Age ends, you count up all your victory points and whoever has the most is the winner.
7 Wonders is an incredibly well-designed civilization-building game. It is nearly impossible to create a 100% balanced civilization, so there is quite an interesting strategic dynamic in selecting your pathway to victory: will you build up your military at the expense of science? Will you be ruler of the marketplace at the expense of your strength in battle? I definitely recommend this with 4+ players if you can, because this just adds to the depth of strategy. However, some of my games have been with just the 2 player variant too, and it still has engaging gameplay. Because everything is done simultaneously, this is one of those rare games that work well with 7 players with very little downtime. Also, the trading aspect is really great, as you can only purchase resources from the 2 people sitting on either side of you. It provides a cool level of interaction, but because it is only your neighbors, it is not overwhelming.
The components are very nice, especially the wonder boards, which are large and thick and the artwork is very well done which is a nice visual bonus. The Wonders boards are also double-sided with a more complex B-side you can play with. 7 Wonders plays quick but feels grandiose. It accommodates a larger group with little downtime. It just wins on a lot of different levels.
Check it out: https://amzn.to/2SieCLc