Friday, November 09, 2012

Game Review: 7 Wonders
I don't know how to start out this review of 7 Wonders, as I have some pretty mixed emotion.  At the end of the game most of the players liked the game and wanted to play again, and I was much happier with my purchase.  The beginning of the game was awful as we were all learning it from the rule book. So I guess i need to give some basics then talk about the good and the bad of the game.

Thematically you are building on of the ancient worlds' seven wonders.  While that is what you are doing you are really building up various victory points in little pools and trying have the highest total of these.  You play through three ages which include six rounds of play each.  In each round you are playing some card which gives you resources of some sort.  These don't work in the traditional since of something you spend but rather satisfy requirements for future building.  I am reminded of Shadowfist in this a bit, you never really lose resources they are just around for you to use always. You  can purchase from your neighbor if you don't have something and they do.  That sounds like you are taking something from them but you are actually just giving money to them with out taking anything away. 

So you are building resources to build your wonder which gives you rewards for each part you finish.  You also build up military structures, Victory point structures and science structures that come into play in end scoring.  I said end scoring for military structures but that is actually wrong you battle with your neighbors at the end of each age and these battles give you victory point awards.  Basically everything other than resources works out to be focused on victory calculation at the end of the game.  But actually certain cards turn those into victory points.

The bad about this game is the rule book it is super confusing.  I was getting more and more pissed off at the game while we were trying to figure out the rules in the beginning.  The writing is bad and overly confusing.  The quick play sheet makes figuring out things worse.  One thing that was sort of bad in the game was the passing of cards between rounds, this made it feel very random.  You were not really able to plan.  Another thing I didn't like was I was really dis involved with some of the other players.  You are connected to the two players on either side of you but totally disconnected with anyone else. The finally things is both good and bad depending on who you are.  You don't really do much screwing over you friends, very little of what you do hurts your opponents.  Some people like this other want to had more negative ways to harm their friends.

So I have made this game sound very complicated haven't I, it's not.  Once we all got the flow down it moves super fast.  Everyone can do their actions at the same time this works in part because of the above never harming your friend nature of the game.  After playing all the rules made since and it was all very easy.  The different wonders all play different so the game has variety.  Couple that with each having two different versions and you have tons of variations.  It supports seven players which was big for us.  And again its simple once you get it, if there was a youtube video introducing the game it would be way better.  The game is actually simple the rule book is just bad.

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