7 Wonders Game Review

7 Wonders game review7 Wonders

I could make this the world’s shortest 7 Wonders Game Review...” It’s good, buy it”. But I imagine anyone reading this will want just a little bit more information before they plunk down hard earned cash on what is essentially, a card game.

So, here…. It’s REALLY good, buy it.

Ok, enough fooling around.

7 Wonders Game Play

As I said, 7 Wonders is a “card game”, to be more accurate, 7 Wonders is a Deck Building game involving the building of Ancient Cities that were the homes of the 7 Wonders of the world. In order to be successful, you must collect resources, build an army, establish public buildings and centers of government, support the sciences, create a marketplace, trade with neighbors, and ultimately, build your WONDER… all with cards.

When I opened the box the first time, I was a bit confused. The game comes with 7 boards (2 sided) each for a specific Wonder of the world.  Lots of coins and military tokens. And there are cards marked 1, 2 , and 3, as well as cards corresponding to the Wonders. How to sort this all out? (I can’t be the only one who feels overwhelmed when opening a new game…. but then I love that feeling when it all falls into place. Game Bliss)

7 Wonders Game Play

(I have to say, it is still astonishing to me that a Deck Building game, a game where you buy/sell/trade/collect cards for your “deck” can end up as elaborate as they have become in recent years… but somehow, it all comes together and makes sense.)

Each Player is issued one of the 7 Wonders of the World (either you pick the one you want, or you do it randomly by draw of the cards). You also get money.

The stacks of cards marked I, II, III are sorted. You also go through and make sure you have the right cards for the number of players in the game. (It says on the bottom of the card). When you have it all set up, you can begin dealing out the cards. Each player will get the same number of cards.

7 wonders game review

A Typical first hand…. Some Resources, the yellow cards allow for trading with neighbors… the red is Military might

Everything happens at the same time in 7 Wonders, which is good for moving things along (although there are still some people who will make you wait!!). You look at the cards in your hand, decide which one to use, and place it face down in front of you. The other cards are placed face down off to the side. You can choose from resources, buildings, markets, etc. You can also choose to build your wonder (if you have enough resources, or money to pay for them). Or, if it turns out the hand is no good, and you need the cash, you can turn the card in for coins.

7 Wonders game review

Tough decision… go for Green (science), get a Market to trade, or build the military

When all the players have chosen a card, you simultaneously flip them over. Any payments that need to be made (some cards cost money) are taken care of. The chosen are then placed in designated spots on the Wonder Boards.

The unused cards are then passed to the right or left, depending on what round you are in.

At the end of each round, points are awarded for your military strength in relation to your immediate neighbors.

7 wonders game review

Your Board could look like this after a round. A few resources tucked in the corner. The first step of the Wonder completed at the bottom.
And the beginnings of Blue Victory Points, Green Science buildings, and a yellow trade card.

Game lasts 3 Rounds… with around 7 passes of the card during each round. At the end, a tally sheet is used to add up the totals. Victory Points are awarded for loads of different things; money, military, science buildings, Victory Cards and Wonders…. so it’s tough to see in advance who is doing really well.

The winner is the player with the most Victory Points.

7 Wonders Game Review

We’ve enjoyed 7 Wonders for a while now, and have played with different numbers of people. What is interesting about this game is that it changes every time. Having 7 different boards (with 2 sides each) and a large number of card variations means that you seldom play the same way twice. How you play depends on the cards you are given. This means other players will have an effect on your hand. (For example… if my neighbor is collecting military, I might choose to keep or destroy a military card rather than pass it along).

While the game may seem a bit overwhelming to begin… there are a lot of cards, and they go in specific places… I found that running through the game one time is enough to bring most people up to speed. Granted, this is not a mindless “roll the die, move your thimble” type of game, but the concepts are straightforward, and even a child of 10 should get it fairly easily.

To begin with, you may be playing more of a “I’m working on my own stuff” strategy, where after a few games, you will learn to go on the offensive against your fellow players.

Playing 7 Wonders is fun, and a bit educational, because you can now win any Jeopardy type quiz about the 7 Wonders…. I really like a the deck building on a game board dynamic, since it gives you the feel of actually working on a specific task. (Unlike Dominion, where the cards just stay in a pile). Also, and this is the impatient me talking, I like that the game has a finite number of rounds and plays. This is not a game that goes on forever into the night. My daughter (who is 13) prefers it to games like Five Tribes, where there is just TOO MUCH going on for her taste. And the competitive 18 year old loves it because she can play offensively…

Who can Play 7 Wonders

The box says ages 10 and up, and I have to agree (although the 10 year old may need a bit more guidance at the beginning.) 7 Wonders is a great family night board game, because you can run through it once or twice, or in addition to another game (average game time 30-45 minutes). And for seasoned board gamers… 7 Wonders has enough strategy and planning to make this one a nice break from RPGs.

A few things I will point out.
-The game is for 3- 7 players. There is a 2 person variant set of rules, which I honestly haven’t tried yet (the one time we played with 2, we just invented a dummy player and took turns being “him”).
-Don’t try to play this game on a little coffee table. You need space. These cards start to collect and spread!
-If you feel at all confused, watch the game played through (I’ve posted a video below) It will quickly become clear.

You can Buy 7 Wonders… And expansions… on Amazon

I haven’t tried the expansion sets yet, but I will review them as soon as we have. I can see how having new cards or new Wonders would keep the game fresh if you’ve played a lot.
I would like to try the Duel Game… it’s a Stand-Alone 2 Player game.

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Watch it Played- 7 Wonders How to Play

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