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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Game Review - 7 Wonders

My boyfriend and I love playing board games and one that we have loved recently is 7 Wonders - and it is history related too! Today Nick is going to share a guest review of the game with us today! Take it away...

Title:  7 Wonders
# of players:  2-7
Play time:  30 minutes
Age range:  10+

Board games have come a long way from Scrabble and Trouble.  There are games based on so many different themes that someone with any kind of taste can find something they enjoy.  I have recently started to enjoy ancient cultures and ancient history, and 7 Wonders fits perfectly!

7 Wonders is a card game for two to seven players.  No matter how many players you chose to play with, the game usually only lasts about 30 minutes.  This makes it a great option for both small and large groups of people.

In 7 Wonders, each player takes on the role of a leader of an ancient civilization.  As such, they strive to build up their cities, make bold advances in science and technology, bolster military might against their neighbors, and construct their magnificent wonder.

Just a few of the available civilizations that players can rule - Olympia, Babylon,
Halicarnassus and Ephesus

The first thing that you will notice about 7 Wonders is the beautiful artwork on the cards.  Each card represents a structure and each structure is vibrantly detailed and colored.  As more and more cards get played, the table that you are playing on starts to bloom with color.  The game is just beautiful to look at, and although that doesn't say anything about the game play, it definitely goes a long way to making you want to play the game.

Speaking of game play, at the heart of 7 Wonders is a mechanic called "card drafting".  Each player is dealt a hand of seven cards, and they each choose one to play.  This card is laid in front of the player and the structure it depicts is considered to be built in their civilization.  Each player then passes the remainder of the hand to the player on their left, and everyone chooses another card from their smaller hands.

An example of a hand in 7 Wonders

The fact that you can only choose one card from each hand means that you need to make some very tough decisions.  Do you take that blood-red military card that will help you defend your city, or do you take that science card to become more technologically advanced?  The cards that you don't choose will be passed to your neighbor, and you may not get another chance to play them.

This mechanic is quite enjoyable, and gives you the feeling that you really need to weigh the pro's and con's of each card.  Each type of card (red military cards, green science cards, blue civilian structures, and purple guild cards) give their own type of benefit, and victory can be attained by using any combination of them.

As the game progresses, players put structures they have built in front of them,
growing their empires

In terms of theme, 7 Wonders is great in some aspects and O.K. in other aspects.  As noted earlier, the artwork on all of the components is beautiful, and this makes playing cards really feel like building the structures that they are meant to represent.  The player boards that represent the civilizations are especially detailed and are a joy to look at.  The one thing that distracts from the theme of the game is the drafting mechanic itself.  Selecting buildings and passing the remains of the hands along may be a great strategic element, but does not necessarily capture the essence of managing an ancient civilization.

All things considered, 7 Wonders is a very enjoyable experience.  The rules are easily understood and the game plays quickly enough to be accessible to all, regardless of your gaming experience.  The components are of excellent quality and the game feels very tight and balanced.  

Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. This game sounds really interesting. I miss the game nights we had when the children were younger and lived at home. This would have worked well with them. I'll have to look for it. Thanks for letting us know about it.

    1. It is a game that I have had a ball playing. It takes a few times to figure out how to determine a playing strategy etc, and each game is always different. I don't know if you will find it in the stores, but it is available online - and through Amazon too.


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