Video Games

7 Wonders Board Game Review (2023)

Civilization games have always been popular, but they tend to be long and complex, making them difficult to get to the table. 7 Wonders’ claim to fame is that it’s a card-based civilization game that can be taught and played to completion in less than an hour.The appeal of this concept has been showered with a constant parade of awards since its release in 2010, and it sold so well that an overhaul reprint and lots of expansion It remains relevant and popular to this day. It’s becoming a classic board game.

what’s in the box

Like many high-concept card games, 7 Wonders comes in a big, mostly empty box. The top layer of content consists of two token punchboards, a rulebook and a pile of reference sheets. Below that is a storage tray that holds the player’s board, each with a different wonder of the world printed on it, along with a pad of scoring sheets and several decks of cards.

Most of the board and card space is devoted to the artwork, a pleasing blend of realism and a bit of artistic flair.

See our recommendations for best strategy board game.

seven wonders

If you’re wondering why publishers put such relatively poor content in such a big box, the answer is marketing. And when it comes to design and playtesting, card games take just as much time and effort as board games of similar complexity and should be treated equally. There is an argument that there is.

rules and how to play

Seven Wonders didn’t become popular simply because it squeezed a civilization game into a small space. At the time of release, he was also quite novel as one of the first games with card drafting as the core of the procedure. Each game has his three eras, and at the start of each era the player receives a handful of cards. He chooses one card they add to their civilization, gives the rest to his neighbor, and receives cards from other neighbors. Then he chooses one of the cards and passes it on until he has one.

The cards available vary by age, but they all represent traps in a growing civilization. Generation 1 cards provide basic military and recreational facilities, plus raw materials, crafts, etc., the latter earning victory points. By age 2, most cards require raw materials and goods to be available to civilization. Seven Wonders does not track production. If you already have a card that produces something, it is presumed that it can be used to help pay for other cards. Some structures can also be built for free if the chain has the required structure.

7 Wonders’ claim to fame is that it’s a card-based civilization game that can be taught and played in under an hour.

What if the card doesn’t have the raw materials it needs? If your neighbor produces it, you can give them a coin and basically “borrow” it for a turn. To earn, simply discard cards on your turn rather than adding them to your civilization. This is his one of two small ways he can interact with other players in the Wonders, but it’s surprisingly effective. Having to hand over cash to a competitor who is doing well is a pain, and in rare but egregious cases, simply choosing to never add it to your tableau will give your neighbors much-needed resources. can be stolen from

Another much simpler interaction is through your military. At the end of each era, compare the number of military icons on your civilization card with each neighbor. For each one you have more than you, you lose victory points. For each place you win, you earn points according to your age, and more points as the game progresses. It’s pretty crunchy in terms of interaction, but it can definitely shake up the game, especially with the big bonuses for the 3-year-old.

In addition to cards, each civilization begins with wonders. Instead of playing and discarding cards for coins, the third and final use is to build amazing stages that consume resources and provide rewards just like playing cards. is to use the card for However, wonders tend to have much higher requirements and impactful effects than cards. Most of them offer victory points or additional resources, but some have more complex effects, such as creating cards from the discard pile. The second edition has more balanced marvels than the original, but it’s still not perfect.

Choosing the right moment to dedicate a card to wonders is not easy. You have to trade off whether you play the card, whether you can afford it, and how it affects future picks. And it’s basically the same hodgepodge of strategy you ponder with every card you play, changing deliciously with each game’s shuffle. But it’s not particularly harsh, and that dichotomy is key to 7 Wonders’ success.

However, wonders tend to have much higher requirements and impactful effects than cards.

Nor is it particularly reliable or thematic. A lot comes down to the luck of the lottery, or the luck others choose to give back to you. The game can be played with up to 7 players and cards are drafted simultaneously so it takes very little time. However, it works best with a small number of players. Because otherwise Scrum loses the sense of being able to predict what will happen again. With too many building additions, checks, and chains, it’s also a less accessible place than the bare-bones rules make it seem.


The 7 Wonders expansion doesn’t really mess up your card pool too much, thanks to the chain rule that allows you to get certain cards for free. Instead, it adds more wonders, each with new boards or mechanics that expand the game. also lowers. Therefore, they are a very learned taste and are generally best suited for seasoned fans.

Armadas is probably the best of them all, but also the most complex. It allows players to build ships that they can use to travel and explore on different boards in hopes of finding bonus resources. It also adds a second type of military clash where players sum up and compare their naval power with their regular military power in the core game.

Leaders and Cities are two of the most anticipated expansions to civilization-style games. The former provides a quick draft of leader cards before each era draft. This allows for more long-term strategy options in primarily tactical games. The latter adds new cards to the main draft. This has fun effects like avoiding military races in certain eras and making neighbors lose their coins. By adding cards to the mechanics, you increase the amount of entropy in the game.

Edifice claims to be a new extension of the 2nd edition, but that’s not entirely true. It’s a more distilled version of the best of the previous Babel extensions. In addition to the two new wonders, each age is given a “project”. This is a kind of vanity project that all players can contribute to. This can only be done if you have built a Wonder stage and have the resources required by your project in addition to the resources required by Wonder. This will give you pawns from the project and you will always have fewer pawns than the player.

Once all pawns have been taken, the project ends and everyone who contributed receives a printed reward. Otherwise, those who fail to contribute receive a Victory Point penalty instead. Of all the expansions, Edificies is the one that changed the feel of the game the most, giving it a more tangible sense of interaction. Each age has a distinct race with an accompanying sense of urgency, which also adds to the tactical timing of your decisions. As such, it’s a great addition to the lineup, but may be too transformative for newer players.

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