Another all-time favourite that needs a review. A quick one. 7 Wonders from Antoine Bauza is a drafting game for two to seven players that might be easy enough to be played with almost everyone.
Many of you might have played 7 Wonders, but for those who didn’t, here’s a quick overview of the game. 7 Wonders is a drafting game, which means that at the beginning of a round you get a couple of cards and every turn you choose one card, you give the rest to your neighbour and then you play the chosen card.
The game revolves around these wonder of the world. Every player gets one and during the game you can try to build it. A wonder gives you some starting resources, just icons on the board, and once you build parts of it, you may get more resource icons, or an ability or some points.
In you turn you can do three things. The first one is building a part of your wonder. Secondly, you can discard your card and get money. Thirdly, you can play a card and place it front of you (you can see some above). To play it, you must be able to show that you have the resources it requires. These cards may give you more or other resources, points, an ability, military power, or end-game scoring conditions.
The game takes three rounds and at the end of round three you add up all your points and the player with the most points wins the game.
This is a very short explanation of course, but it gives you an idea of the overall gameplay. 7 Wonders is a solid family game. I think probably everybody can play it. Maybe not everyone can be competitive during their first game, if you never play games this still might be a challenge, but at least everybody can play along and in their second game they will be competitive. The rules are easy, but I find that the game, although I consider it a family game, offers very much in terms of gameplay. I consider myself a gamer and I still like to play plain 7 Wonders. Yes, base game only.
Non-gamers can pick it up quickly, because you place every card, face-up, on the table, which means your neighbours can see what you want or not when they choose their own cards and pass the rest on to you.
I like the drafting mechanism in general, but I also like the different ways of scoring in this game. You can get points by becoming a military power and, as friendly as possible, crush your neighbours. You can get a lot of points by collecting different sets of technology cards. You can just collect cards with points on them, or you can acquire the right guild cards that all have a nice end-game scoring condition.
Plus, your Wonder might give you points too. Every wonder is double-sided. Both sides are slightly different and every wonder tile is different. These wonders kind of give you a direction in the game. Well, at least it shows you some potential bonuses, which might help you to choose what to do.
I also like the fact that this game play just as quick and just as well with seven players as it does with fewer players. However I haven’t played the game with two. Not that I don’t want to, but two-player drafting doesn’t always work that well, and now I have 7 Wonders Duel, which is designed for two players.
If you’re looking for a nice quick, but interesting, family game, where, if you like it, you can buy a lot of expansions for that make the gameplay a bit deeper, but still not difficult, you should get 7 Wonders.