TABLETOP GAME REVIEW:
Written by Anatoli on November 13th, 2014 at Anatoli’s Game Room
Seven Wonders is a card based game where players control competing ancient civilizations as they attempt to create the country with the best level of technology, social structure and technological advancement as well as military might.
The game mechanics are quite simple, cards are played in order to add resources or buildings to your city. Buildings require certain amount of recourses and resource types in order to be finished. Each city has a few starting resources such as clay, stone etc but you will need to quickly add more to your city if you want to build stuff. If you lack the resource you are allowed to buy resources from your neighboring cities (player to your left and to your right) – any resource that they have in their city can be bought for 2 gold / unit.
The game also has a “tech-tree” which allows players to build buildings or add technology centers to their city for free if they have already built specific buildings during a previous age. In game terms this means that some players will focus on social buildings, others on military and others yet on technology as they have a foundation for one of those departments early on and can quickly build the next level of buildings for those departments for free.
How the game is played is fairly easy as it is divided into three “Ages”. Each age has its own deck with buildings and resources – and depending on the number of players you add or remove a specific number of cards with player symbols on them. Each “Age-deck” is divided evenly among the players who then take turns in playing a card from their hand (adding a building or resource to their city) or scrapping a card in order to receive some cold.
Once every player has played a card, everyone passes their deck to the neighboring player, and the next round begins – with another card being played. The game continues in this fashion until every player is left with a single card on his hand, at which time the current “Age” ends. At the end of an age, players compare military strength with their neighboring cities (player to the left and right) and add victory or defeat markers according to who won the strength competition. These markers add or subtract victory points at the end of the game.
Then the next Age begins, and players are dealt cards from a new deck and keep playing. Once all 3 Ages have been played through the game ends and players compare their score which is based upon scoring buildings, finished levels of a “wonder”, military might, technology level and economy points.
This game is easy to learn and plays very fast. It can be played with 3-7 players (a 2 player variant is also possible and featured in the rules, but is not that fun to be honest). You can finish a game within 1 hour even with 6 people. The simplicity aside it is actually really good for a fast paced board/card game that can be played with a mixed group of casual players and veteran gamers alike. Having introduced the game to a variety of people within my group no one has disliked it.
You may however consider getting the App to calculate victory points as it can get a bit confusing (the App available for both Android and iOS is free).
All in all it’s an 8/10 for the core game, and this is coming from a person who generally doesn’t like cardgames. I have not tried any of the expansions for it though.