7 Wonders Board Game Board game manufacturer: Asmodee Number of players: 3-7 Ages: 10yrs + Time: 30 mins
Need a quick game for lots of people? Family friendly play and gamer friendly depth? How about something that won't sit on the shelf for months at a time? You're looking for 7 Wonders.
The game and gameplay
7 Wonders is a light but deep card drafting game where players build up societies around one of the 7 ancient wonders, balancing social, economic, scientific, and military advances through three eras. Whomever can do this the best is the winner.
In order to allow players to make these advancements, 7 Wonders uses a card drafting mechanic where everyone is dealt a hand of 7 cards, picking one, playing it, and passing the rest off to the next player.
The game also allows players to directly interact and affect their neighbours, buying resources and perhaps invading them. This makes 7 Wonders a "screw your neighbor" game, as you can only directly influence (and are only directly influenced by) the players to your immediate left and right.
7 Wonders board game comes with three decks of cards that scale based on the number of players in the game (from 3 players up to 7). Each deck represents an era and contains progressively more impactful cards. Many score points for you at the end of the game, others build up your military might for battles after each drafting round, others still improve your ability to produce or purchase resources. Some of the cards have no cost, or can require gold or resources to play. If you cannot or choose not to play a card, you can discard it face down for 3 gold.
Yet it's not just the cards that players build their strategy around, but whichever one of the 7 wonders the players receive. Each wonder has 2 to 4 stages that can be built up during the game to score points, produce resources, or gain various special abilities.
To site examples, The Pyramids of Giza scores an ever-rising number of points for its 4 stages, while The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus can let you play an extra card from the discard pile for each of its three stages built up. Stages are built up by drafting a card, and (instead of playing it face up) playing it face down under your wonder, paying all related costs.