There’s at all times a risk in messing with one thing that’s notably well-loved. 7 Wonders has been a staple sport at many gaming tables since its launch in 2010, and for superb cause. Designed by Antoine Bauza, with attractive illustrations by Miguel Coimbra, that authentic sport hit all the suitable marks, with complicated and different alternatives for technique and card improvement, great replayability, and the interesting theme of controlling and constructing one of many nice civilizations of the traditional world.
Fortunately, slightly than try to rework an already glorious expertise, the brand new version of seven Wonders maintains all the things that already labored, and easily affords a extra engaging and playable expertise that’s simpler to study for brand new gamers. It’s a win all-around, and a straightforward suggestion for any gaming group. However what has modified? And is it value a purchase order when you already personal the unique?
What Has Stayed The Identical?
7 Wonders is a card-drafting and useful resource administration sport about competing historical civilizations. Every participant strives to assemble victory factors for quite a lot of ventures, together with build up a tradition of science, establishing navy would possibly, or discovering success as a buying and selling superpower. And, after all, there’s the sport’s title; you may step by step construct up your civilization’s Surprise, from the Pyramids of Giza to the Colossus of Rhodes.
Conceptually, the sport (in each its editions) hits an exquisite candy spot between accessibility and strategic depth, with mechanics which might be simple to study, and a playtime of beneath an hour as soon as the fundamentals. As such, I’ve typically discovered 7 Wonders acts as a uniting sport that invitations a broad array of gamers with differing ranges of expertise to the desk.
Whereas card drafting has had quite a lot of incarnations, 7 Wonders’ authentic launch actually helped to additional popularize the idea, which sees a lot broader use at present in quite a lot of board video games. In short, 7 Wonders calls for that gamers cross particular person arms of playing cards across the desk, with every participant pulling one card earlier than passing all the hand on, after which receiving one other hand of playing cards with which you do the identical. On this manner, the sources and choices introduced in any given hand get unfold across the desk, and there’s at all times an intriguing alternative between what you want, and denying your neighbor what they’re chasing.
My favourite factor about 7 Wonders is how every playthrough inevitably feels so dramatically completely different from the final. That’s due to some very astute stability work on the a part of the designer, but additionally due to the number of successful methods. The technique you play in a given spherical can not often be static or repeated verbatim. A successful method one spherical might merely not meet the wants of a subsequent spherical, so that you’re compelled to assume in your toes.
That’s since you’re at all times competing along with your direct neighbors on the left and proper of the desk, because of the way in which buying and selling and warfare is dealt with. Whereas there’s one winner throughout all the desk, you’re usually interacting along with your direct neighbor, so it behooves you to pay shut consideration to their machinations, and reply accordingly. Thematically, I like the way in which this idea echoes the character of battle in these societies from 1000’s of years in the past; everyone seems to be compelled to take care of their neighbor, however anyone society may need a dearth of understanding or direct interplay with a nation a lot farther away.
Throughout three ages of play, every participant step by step builds out a civilization centered on completely different applied sciences and capabilities. And simply when issues actually begin buzzing, the sport accelerates to a last cycle of playing cards across the desk, and it’s time to depend up your rating. On a couple of event, gamers I’ve loved the sport with are able to dive instantly again in to strive once more, regardless of how their historical society fared within the last standings.
What Has Modified?
The brand new version of seven Wonders isn’t a dramatic overhaul of techniques or mechanics. Somewhat, consider it extra as a kind of definitive version of the core sport, which tweaks stability and improves presentation in as some ways as it will probably, however with out dropping nearly any of the unique sport’s essence or circulation.
Attractive new cowl artwork echoes the long-lasting look of the unique illustration, however with a grander scope and central point of interest on the Colossus statue. Open the field, and the fixation on improved manufacturing values can be obvious. A cleaner, brighter rulebook is simpler to parse, and at about two-thirds the size of the unique version’s rulebook, faster to digest. A number of single-sheet image breakdowns present clear descriptions of results, and may be handed across the desk to assist as you study the iconography. And one other sheet depicts the cardboard chains which might be obtainable for gamers who actually prefer to plan forward of their methods.
One other necessary observe is that the sport’s participant depend has been revised. The unique version supplied a two-player variant, nevertheless it was by no means one of the simplest ways to play the sport. With this re-creation, writer Repos Manufacturing appears to acknowledge that truth, and easily acknowledges that the sport is explicitly constructed for 3 to seven gamers.
The field insert is extra helpfully organized, with simple rounded pockets for fast retrieval of tokens inside. And, on that topic, the tokens themselves have been tweaked for simpler fast identification at a look, with a pointy black border aesthetic on many, and simpler studying of the numbers on the purpose worth tabs, because of stark white backgrounds.
The most important aesthetic leap is with the Surprise cardboard planks that act as a participant’s central play space. The Wonders are actually depicted on bigger cardboard items than within the authentic, to higher exhibit the evocative artwork. And in contrast to within the authentic, these giant cardboard sheets now have completely different artwork on either side – an image of the Surprise within the day, and a brand new, separate picture depicting the identical web site at night time – every providing a barely completely different play expertise.
Whereas the various playing cards may not have the “wow” issue of the brand new Wonders, they handle a really shut second. All the cardboard backs are actually coated in a horny metallic sheen, cut up between bronze, silver, and gold, to match the three respective Ages by way of which the sport strikes. The impact lends an nearly decadent vibe to the decks. Maybe extra importantly, the cardboard fronts have been reorganized. Borrowing a presentation fashion from 7 Wonders Duel (a superb 2-player sport in its personal proper), the brand new playing cards layer all of the related icon data on the prime of the cardboard, permitting for vertical stacking. Within the prior version, you’d should fan the playing cards out in your playspace with a view to see all of the related data; this newer, vertical orientation makes for a cleaner and extra organized desk. That doesn’t sound like an enormous deal, till you’ve performed just a few video games of the primary version of seven Wonders, at which level that desk sprawl can generally be an issue, particularly in giant participant depend periods.
Past quality-of-life enhancements and a few new art work, skilled gamers will observe that a few of the playing cards and Wonders have new values and useful resource prices related to them. With a sport as complicated and multi-layered as 7 Wonders, I’ll be trustworthy that it’s onerous even after a number of playthroughs to talk to how these small tweaks change the worth of particular person playing cards and sources, in direct comparability with the older values. Nevertheless, I can say with authority that the brand new version nonetheless has that really feel of seamless interplay and stability that skilled tabletop gamers start to get a way for. Play flows easily, all of the methods nonetheless appear viable, and the cardboard chains and interconnections all match the theming of the traditional world.
Ought to I Get The New Version?
There’s a straightforward reply to this query when you don’t but personal 7 Wonders, however you take into account your self a burgeoning tabletop fanatic. Decide up a replica of seven Wonders, and ensure it’s this re-creation. If unsure, search for the positioning of the massive statue on the duvet. The brand new version has the statue’s head instantly beneath the “D” within the title. That is the higher model to personal when you’re beginning contemporary, and I assure, a stellar addition to your library.
For those who already personal 7 Wonders, I feel the reply is extra sophisticated. I’ve performed sufficient of the unique version to say that it holds up fairly properly, even stacked in opposition to the alluring options of this re-creation. Plus, you’ll have expansions for that first version that you simply don’t wish to go away behind. If that’s the camp you’re in, I actually imagine you’ll proceed to like your outdated (and certain properly cherished) copy.
With that mentioned, this re-creation is a magnificence; when you’re a very enthusiastic fan of the sport, you actually gained’t be unhappy to see the slick presentation and desk presence afforded by this rework.
7 Wonders is stellar sport that welcomes a broad vary of gamers to the desk. For those who’re in search of a deep sport with tons of replayability, and the traditional civilization vibe strikes a chord, you actually can’t go fallacious. Nevertheless, when you’re in search of one thing else solely, don’t hesitate to click on into the Prime of the Desk banner from under to seek out dozens of different really helpful board, card, miniature, and role-playing video games. As at all times, when you want a bit extra private suggestion, drop me an e mail and I’ll enable you to discover the suitable sport for your loved ones or pal group.