It’s time: time to finally review what is possibly our all-time favorite board game: Seven Wonders. This is the game that first got us into board games, and the one we turn to on so many of our game nights. In the game, each player works to build up one of the 7 Wonders of the World by playing resource, military, science, commerce or civilian cards. One of the reasons we love 7 Wonders is that the game has a lot of re-playability built in to it. There is no obvious strategy that will work for every single game – a lot of it comes down to which wonders you are next to and how those players are choosing to play. It usually isn’t worth getting into an arms race with Rhodes, for instance, because they get two extra military icons as part of their wonder. I often opt to collect the green science cards, and sometimes it works really well – especially when I have the science-oriented Babylon. But other times, I lose dismally, because while I have a lot of science points, I neglected to build up my military or commerce well enough. You could choose to collect a lot of resource cards to start, so you can easily build the more powerful cards in later ages, or you could focus on collecting cards with points right away. This works especially well with science or civilian cards, which often build off each other and let you build later cards for free. But if neither you nor your neighbors are building resource cards, you’re all going to be stuck later in the game. You constantly need to balance what you are playing against what your opponents are building up. We really like that the game allows for 6 or 7 players. So many games cut off at 5, which means someone has to team up or sit out when you have a game night of 3 couples. We also like that it is difficult to tell who is winning the game until the very end. In some games (Settler of Catan, I’m looking at you), it is often apparent pretty early on if you are totally out of the running, which makes the remainder of the game a lot less fun.
7 Wonders is a card-drafting game played in three ages. In each age, players choose cards to help them build up one of the seven Wonders of the World. Some cards build up the player’s military, some give them reusable resources, and others provide victory or science points. Players interact primarily with their immediate neighbors, buying resources from them to help build cards and fighting them in military battles.
Number of Players:
2-7. There is a two-person variant, in which each player takes turn playing for the “dummy player,” but we aren’t big fans. It is better with 3+ players, and ideal with 4+.
Play Time for New Players:
1 hour – 1 1/2 hours, if you include the time it takes to explain the rules. There are a lot of symbols to learn, but once you’ve got a hang of how the cards work and what the icons mean, the game goes much more quickly.
Play Time for Experienced Players:
45 minutes. It is much easier to decide which card to keep when you understand all the symbols and have a better feel for how the cards interact with each other.
Overall Rating for 7 Wonders: 10/10.
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