A True Classic
There aren’t many games out there like 7 Wonders. The basic mechanics are simple enough that almost anyone can play, but it’s also complex, deep and challenging enough for the gamers among us. Add that to the fact that it accommodates 7 players and looks gorgeous, and you’ve got a winner.
Each player is given one of the 7 Wonders of the ancient world (Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Pyramids of Giza, etc.), and then does their best to rack up points, which usually means completing the stages of your wonder (usually three). Each turn you start out by choosing a card from a hand of seven, and then passing the rest to your opponents. Think Sushi Go!, but on steroids.
The cards themselves are a bit complex, so each game with newcomers usually requires a far amount of explanation. But this complexity is also where the joy comes from. The more you play this game, the more you appreciate the significance of the choices you have; it’s a perfect blend of strategic thought, risk assessment, and sheer dumb luck. And who will argue that human history is any different?
- Decisions: 5/5. Rarely am I faced with a turn that offers an easy choice. Almost every turn is full of tension—do I go for a resource card that I know I’ll need later, or hope my neighbor builds it so I can use it? Do I dare pass this card to my opponent, even though there’s a card I want more?
- Artwork: 5/5. I love the artwork in 7 Wonders. It’s stunning, and fits the theme perfectly without being too stodgy or boring—a tall order for a civilization-themed game! The graphic design and iconography is also well executed. Kudos.
- Replayability: 5/5. This game will likely never get old for me. Each game you can choose to specialize in a certain aspect (military, science, politics, etc.), or just try to be well-rounded and cover all your bases. Seeing how everyone’s score adds up at the end is always a treat, because you never know who won until it’s all counted up!
- Awesomeness: 5/5. It’s a breakthrough in terms of game design, but it’s also just plain fun. I would play this game every day if I could; it’s that awesome.
TOTAL SCORE: 20/20
Bottom line: If you only have room for a few games in your life, 7 Wonders should be one of them. Give it the attention it deserves, and you will see why.