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Raeliss

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Go to the 7 Wonders page
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9
Go to the 7 Wonders: Babel page

7 Wonders: Babel

28 out of 30 gamers thought this was helpful

Babel is a worthy expansion for an already-fantastic game!

GAMEPLAY
Babel adds two new gameplay elements to 7 Wonders. Tower of Babel and Great Projects. You can play one or both of these with your original game, and they both have global effects.

Tower of Babel allows you a new option in normal gameplay: to discard a card to “build a Babel Tile” (thus forfeiting the 3 coins you would normally receive for discarding).

Everyone has three Babel Tiles they can potentially play throughout the game (distributed at the start by the usual “take one, pass the rest” method). You receive bonus Victory points at game-end for playing these tiles (playing all three tiles gives you an extra 10 Victory points).

Building a Babel Tile effectively changes the rules of the game for everyone. The effects can be both good and bad (for example, some impose taxes or rewards when playing certain colour cards, some give universal resources, some change the price of commerce when buying resources from others).

There can be four visible tiles/rules at any one time, and the fifth tile built will actually cover up the first, eliminating that rule. As a result, you may find players are racing to play more tiles, to speed up the abolition of a particularly nasty rule.

Great Projects introduces Great Project Cards which are basically structures (one per Age) that players can choose to participate in building, to get an associated benefit/reward.

These Project Cards greatly resemble the cards in your hand. They come in the major card colours and have the Age I, II or III graphic on the back. You can also see some examples or the Great Project Cards pictured above. When each Great Project Card comes into play, a number of “Participating Tokens” will be placed on it.

To participate in building the structure, you must first be playing, in normal play, a card of the matching colour. Then you announce you are participating in building the Great Project, and pay an additional cost (coins and/or resources as displayed on each project card). You can then collect one of the Participation Tokens from the Project card.

At the end of the Age, if all Participation Tokens are gone from the card, the Project was successfully completed, and all participating players receive the reward on the card. If there are still unclaimed Participation Tokens, the Project was not completed, and nobody receives the reward. Additionally, those who did not participate in the failed Project receive a potentially hefty penalty.

The same player can participate multiple times to prevent the Project’s failure, or to receive the reward more than once.

LOOK & FEEL
This expansion ties in really well with the existing 7 Wonders game and expansions. The feel is consistent and Babel adds meaningful depth to the game. Despite the number of different elements, Babel doesn’t feel clunky, or make playtime too much longer. The pieces and cards are all of the same high quality to those in the other expansions, so fans will not be disappointed!

BEST AND WORST
Best: Gameplay is exciting and the pieces are beautiful. It’s easy to learn; we found it seamless to add these additional elements with experienced 7 Wonders players. The rewards and penalties in both parts of this expansion are worthwhile and cause players to make use of these new elements.
Worst: It can be difficult to keep track of the new rules on the Babel Tower sometimes, and with so much going on, it’s more difficult to keep an eye on what other players are doing. I also wouldn’t use these expansions if showing someone 7 Wonders for the first time.

As a 7 Wonders fan, I’m speaking from a position of some bias, but I am thrilled with this expansion so far! There are enough tiles and cards included in the box to ensure a different game each time, and I am sure we will be always including Babel expansions in our 7 Wonders games from now on!

8
Go to the Flash Point: Fire Rescue page

Flash Point: Fire Rescue

86 out of 93 gamers thought this was helpful

Flash Point is solid cooperative game that encourages a lot of talk and planning as players assume the roles of firefighters in a team and try to save victims from a burning building.

Gameplay
Below I cover the BASIC gameplay only, without the roles or more difficult elements

The game board, which is a top-down view inside a building, is placed in the middle of the table, with tokens representing smoke, fire and victims laid out in various positions within the building.

On their turn, players spend action points to move, open doors, carry injured victims, and of course, extinguish fires or smoke. If a player doesn’t use all their actions, they can carry a limited number over to their next turn.

After spending their actions, the active player will roll the dice to further spread the fire (sometimes causing explosions which can damage walls, or injure victims and players), and also to replace any rescued victims.

Your team wins if you rescue eleven victims before the building collapses. Your team loses if the building collapses or if four victims die.

Look and Feel
Flash Point does well thematically and the cooperative element feels stronger than any other cooperative game I’ve played. The game is very well-rounded and plays smoothly. You always feel like part of the action while other players are taking their turns, because this game really encourages a lot of strategy discussion (“Why don’t you pick up that victim and I’ll look after the fire in that room”).

Best and Worst
Best: The role cards (with different special abilities) add more excitement to the basic game, and the higher difficulty levels also add other challenges. The fire engine deck gun is always a thrill to play! The board, cards and tokens are all of a good size and style, well-suited to the game and the way it’s played.
Worst: Even though this is an extremely well-designed game that I enjoy playing, the theme is fairly serious, and it just doesn’t quite seem to scratch my “fun” itch enough to make it into my top five.

There is a lot to like here for both casual and serious gamers. The roles and difficulty levels allow for a decent amount of customisation, and nobody need feel starved of challenge. I’d recommend this game to most gamers, and anyone to whom the theme appeals!

7
Go to the Steam Park page

Steam Park

14 out of 14 gamers thought this was helpful

The first thing you notice while un-boxing this game is how fantastic it looks! The beautiful artwork (by Marie Cardouat of Dixit fame) and three-dimensional pieces go a long way to immerse players in the world of Steam Park.

Gameplay
Each player starts with a flat “ground tile” in front of them, and will compete each round by simultaneously rolling and re-rolling six dice to determine their actions this turn. Turn order (and dirt penalty) is decided by whoever finalises their dice rolls first each round.

Players then use their turns to build rides or stands, attract visitors, clean dirt, expand your park or play objective cards, depending on their dice rolled, sometimes also using special abilities. Players also earn money (and dirt) each turn based on the number of visitors on their rides.

Look and Feel
The ride pieces are three-dimensional and you literally put the visitors on top of these as if they were riding. Gamers will find it hard not to be absorbed and feel like you’re really building your own park!

Best and Worst
Best: The amazing game pieces and three-dimensional feel.
Worst: The currency consists of small carboard dollar-note-style pieces. They are good quality and attractive but soon become annoying to use as they fall over if you stack them, and take up too much space if you spread them out in different denominations.

In short, the game is great fun and extremely pretty. It’s a relaxing and fun game with a finite length (6 rounds), which I like. The gameplay doesn’t quite vary enough to make it into my top five, but Steam Park is never boring and its uniqueness keeps it on my second shelf.

9
Go to the 7 Wonders page

7 Wonders

33 out of 39 gamers thought this was helpful

I LOVE this game! Probably my all-time favourite as even as we explore other new games, we continually come back to this for a fast and fun game that everybody loves.

Why is it so playable?

Firstly, it looks gorgeous. It’s colourful and attractive, with great artwork and good quality cards and tokens that are a pleasure to play with.

Secondly, it’s easy to learn. Much like chess, the rules are simple enough for new players, and it’s only the strategy that takes time.

Thirdly, the gameplay is orginal, exciting, fast-paced (normally) and there are several ways to win. 7 Wonders is never boring, and it has the right combination of strategy and luck to keep everyone happy!

Finally, (and this may seem unimportant to some, but it’s a big win for me), the game can be played in about half an hour with an experienced group (including expansions). It can be a “filler” game, but it has the excitement of a focus game.

This is the only game for which I have purchased every expansion, and I will insist on getting any more if they come out. A clear winner!

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