7 Wonders - Board Game Box Shot

7 Wonders

7 wonders title

You are the leader of one of the 7 great cities of the Ancient World.
Gather ressources, develop commercial routes and affirm your military supremacy. Build your city and erect an architectural wonder which will transcend future times!

7 Wonders is a simple and addictive game for the whole family. In 30 minutes you can raise a complete civilization and build the greatest Wonders of the World.

7 Wonders game in play
images © Asmodee

User Reviews (152)

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8
Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Advanced Reviewer
Tactician
Guardian Angel
9
54 of 56 gamers found this helpful
“Anything else would be... uncivilized”

7 Wonders is a rare but amazing game that gets a lot of things right in a single package. It is wonderfully thematic, elegantly designed, easy to learn, offers widely varied play, is scalable, has no real player downtime, and a single session can be completed in around half an hour. The play time may make it seem like a simple game, but the complexities are abundant.

Thematic: Players each take a base tile which represents an “ancient wonder” of an historic civilization. During the course of the game, players will draft cards which represent structures for them to build, ranging from simple to complex as the game moves through three phases, called “Ages”. Certain structures in one age dovetail into others in subsequent ages, allowing for a track of development that echoes similarly themed games (Civilization, anyone?).

Elegantly designed: The game uses simple iconography to illustrate costs and effects. Cards use multiple visual cues for separation, including card backs (color-coded by Age, though each also bears a prominent Roman numeral and an arrow to indicate the direction to pass when drafting) and templates (each card is color-coded for the category of structure it represents: Civic/Science/Military/etc., and has a subtler visual pattern for the color-blind). The starting Wonder tiles feature attractive art, and make good use of space to encourage certain layout without appearing too busy. The number of different components are low: starting tiles, structure cards, and tokens to represent money and military conflict.

Easy to learn: There are two things that new players will likely need to pick up to play 7 Wonders if they are not familiar with the concepts from other games. The first is drafting: taking the hand you are dealt, selecting the structure you wish to build, and passing the rest of the cards away. The second is the almost purely visual nature of the game. There are no reminder texts on cards cluttering up the design space, so frequent trips to the rulebook may be necessary. There are a handful of rules to be learned beyond that. Most players have the hang of the game after a single walkthrough, and begin to develop more interesting strategies by their third or fourth session.

Widely varied play: Because the game’s winner is determined through scoring multiple potential points categories, players will rarely have the same experiences in consecutive games. Someone might corner the market on science while dabbling in military campaigns; in another game, they may build a wide array of civilian structures for points. Since the draft decks are shuffled up and distributed randomly, each choice you make informs what you are able to do later. Successfully pulling off strategic plays — such as using a card to build a stage of your Wonder to deny that card to someone later — can feel immensely satisfying. Wonder tiles come with an A side and a B side to allow for more skillful play.

Scalable: This fits with “elegantly designed” somewhat as well — each Age’s cards include a number in the bottom center that indicates whether that particular card should be included, based on the number of players. This allows for scaling of the game from 3-7 players. (The game supports a two-player mode with a dummy 3rd player, as well.) With larger numbers of players, extra copies of certain key structures are included, and since no one can build a structure of the same name twice, no one can create a monopoly. Since interactions are limited to a player’s immediate neighbors (for trade or war) in a circular layout, no one can be dogpiled by an alliance of other players.

No player downtime: The draft nature of the game means that all players are taking their turns simultaneously. Paying attention to what your neighbors just built lets you plan ahead to your next draft, but you are never waiting around for others to decide what to do on their turn.

Time: Unless someone in your group is subject to serious Analysis Paralysis, games go relatively quickly, as the draft-and-pass method has the same number of cards in every age regardless of the number of players (see Scalable above). Scoring can be done swiftly, and the game can be quickly reset to play again. If new players are learning the game, allow another 15 minutes or so for them to grasp the core concepts.

With all of the things it does right, what are the downsides?

– For a card game, there’s a moderate amount of setup: separating the Age decks, removing cards from the Age decks to scale to the number of players, adding a specific random number of Guild cards to the Age III deck — as well as incorporating any components from the Leaders or Cities expansions. It is useful to include some bags/sleeves to keep the cards separated, and it is definitely worth the time at the end of overall play to separate the components correctly before putting the game away.

– Since the game is very dependent on design to separate the cards, you shouldn’t sleeve it in a single style unless those sleeves are transparent. Being unable to tell Age I from Age II or III cards because you can’t see the backs is problematic to say the least.

– It isn’t a heavily interactive game. Though it is possible to pay neighbors for resources (or build in a way which encourages them to pay you), or build military which automatically creates conflict with your neighbors, you can’t disrupt a player’s strategy without working the draft. Some players may be dissatisfied with this level of interaction.

– If not careful, it is possible to be resource-starved, particularly since Age III contains no new resources with which to build. The rule that lets you rent resources from your neighbors is key, but if they end up buying Commerce structures that substitute for resources, those cannot be rented.

– If using the expansions, the balance of power can be radically shifted, particularly if the Leaders expansion is used.

All things considered, however, 7 Wonders is a marvelous addition to nearly any playgroup, at a reasonable price point.

 
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8
BoardGaming.com Beta 2.0 Tester
Went to Gen Con 2012
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
Advanced Reviewer
9
99 of 106 gamers found this helpful
“Can it Stand the Test of Time Like the Wonders it Represents?”

Seven Wonders is a game that came on the scene recently and was instantly loved by many games. Rightfully so. The game offers stunning art work, creative mechanics, and plenty of strategy. But is it enough to last?

CONCEPT:
The idea is that you are building your empire of one of the seven wonders of the world in this civilization based card game. You will be collecting resources, military might, and science to grow your wonder and gain victory points.

Some have said that you really feel the civilization part come out. I do not agree. It’s more of a card game to me then a civilization builder, but don’t let that detour you, it’s a very fun game.

GAME PLAY: (In a nut shell)
There are three ages/rounds where each player is player is dealt a hand of cards. From these cards the player selects one to benefit their ancient wonder. Each type of card is with its unique ability is represented in a different color. This card could be a resource such as ore, brick or wood. These cards are brown or grey, and are the base to any good civilization. They will

Brown & Grey – Resources: such as ore, brick or wood, resources help you to build larger items later in the game if you collect them earlier.
Red – Military: These cards represent your wonder’s military might. If your might is stronger than your neighbors then you gain VP’s every round and while they lose them.
Blue – Buildings: These cards usually represent VP’s.
Gold – Bonus Cards: These cards are kind of a miscellaneous card. They do a number of different things and usually have crazy iconography on them. They are usually give your money or VP’s.
Purple – Guild Cards: These cards are your money makers. They show up in age three and they can make or break your entire game. Hopefully you are in the right position to reap the large amounts of VP’s these purple guild cards offer.

Once you have selected your card, you take your hand and pass it to the person next to you. This mechanic is a little different, but makes sense in the big picture of things. You do this each round until you only have one card left in your hand that is discarded. After this you’ll work through each age. At the end of the third age you tally your points and hopefully win.

PROS:
• Time: it takes to play this game is a huge plus for me. You can play multiple games in an hour, and you will want to as well.
• Quality: the cards have great art work on them and the cardboard money and boards are top notch.
• Innovative: in my opinion this game uses creative game mechanics that make it fun to play.
• Variety: there are multiple ways to play the game and win. You can collection resources, build military, go for science! Its your call.
• It plays with a great number of people, up to seven!

CONS:
• Iconography: it can get a little crazy at times and will take a few play through’s to get it all down.
• Explanation: I find this game hard to explain to other people. Its better to sit with them and play open handed and help them along. There is a lot to know, again the icons, that can overwhelm new gamers and players alike.
• Interaction: is very limited. It would be nice if you could do something to screw with another player’s empire, go to war or something, but you can’t.

OVERALL:
The fanfare for this game is well deserved. I appreciate the creative game mechanics and quickness of play. It also does well to reach multiple levels of gamers. The only real downside is the lack of interaction, but it is easily overlooked. Anyone who is looking to add this game to their collection will be please.

 
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7
I play blue
Book Lover
Intermediate Reviewer
Smash Up: Ninja Faction Fan
9
96 of 103 gamers found this helpful
“Tough to Enter, Tough to Leave”

7 Wonders has already been well and fully reviewed here by others, and it is rightly enjoying quite a bit of well-earned popularity. When I was introduced to this game by friends this past summer, I was instantly hooked. It offers several unique features to gameplay, most of which others have already described in their reviews.

What I Like
Theme is important to me, and the look and feel of 7 Wonders is excellent. The game is played in three Ages; each Age has its own deck of cards, which are dealt out to the players. Cards fall in different color-coded categories: Green for Sciences, Blue for Culture, Red for Military, Yellow for Commerce, Brown and Grey for Resources. Players take turns of one action–build a card, sell it for 3 coins, or develop wonder–simultaneously, making the game move quickly. While this may lead players to think the game is highly individual, players pass their deck of cards to their neighbor (clockwise for Ages I and III, counterclockwise for Age II), making interaction very important. Paying attention to what your neighbors are doing on their turns is vitally important for scoring and resources. I love all of the components of this game. There is a great deal of variety in the way cards are helpful and the way cards are scored, keeping games interesting and leaving players completely unsure of who is ahead and who is behind.

Where I Struggle
This game looks complex. Beautiful, but complex. Cards sprawled and stacked every which way, strange tokens given and exchanged, too many colors, too many options, a huge glossary of unique language. I have tried to explain this game several different times, and short of taking 10-20 minutes to read new players the included “Quick Rules” sheet, I have still only found a quick trial game to be the best explanation and orientation. Even then, I find that people are intimidated by the sheer volume of the little details of the game, even though it plays quickly.

Recommendations
– I have played this game with my wife, and the 2-player variant rules are not complicated: add a third player that you alternate playing for. A little clumsy, but still enjoyable. I have played this game most with 4 players, and it works great. I have played it with groups of 6 and 7, and it scales well all the way up. The only issue there, of course, is having a table large enough for everyone to spread their cards up and out.

– Resource cards are vital to building wonder in this game, and building Age III cards requires a steep increase in resources from the Age II cards: either build a lot of resources the first two Ages, build yellow Commerce cards to help reduce the cost of trade, or build Age I and II resources that form chains to Age III cards.

– Resource cards may disappear in Age III, but Guild cards are introduced. These cards are well worth building during your turn.

– Many of the discussions, tips, and reviews have recommended specializing in one or two colors over playing the “jack-of-all-trades” route. It can be especially tempting to specialize in Military cards because they score after each round, rather than at the end of the game, and it feels like you’re ahead during gameplay. I would suggest moderation: a key Military card (just to keep up with your neighbors), several different resources (depending on your unique Wonder tile’s requirements, of course!), and one or two solid Commerce cards (I tend to skip these, and suffer for it in Age III, where my wife capitalizes on these), and then add Science or Culture on the tail end. I haven’t found any one strategy to win more than others: a chain of science cards can get you as many as 30+ points by the end, but their neighbor can get just as many by stacking up culture cards!

Overall, this is a fantastic game. I have played it a number of times, and we have come to also really enjoy the Leaders expansion – a few more options, a few more benefits, a bit more strategy. This is a fast, beautiful game to add to your game night, but be prepared for the challenge of teaching this game’s intricacies to new players. But don’t lose hope: the game itself will teach them what they need to know, if they stick with it. I find most people are eager to play again after their trial game, because it quickly endears itself.

 
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8
Rosetta Stone
Football Fan
Explorer - Level 5
Junior
10
94 of 101 gamers found this helpful
“Surprisingly fast, fun, and fantastic”

I heard a lot about 7 Wonders before I ever played it, because I don’t get to play board games as much as I’d like. The overwhelming response about the game was how fast it played, and how many different ways there are to win.

There are always gripes with games, but there were very few complaints about 7 Wonders. I believe this is because it minimizes the “downtime” of players as much as can be done in a game. Obviously, if there is a great divide in experience levels of players, or if you have people who just can’t make fast decisions, you’ll spend some time waiting. But that’s true for any game, and 7 Wonders does its best to eliminate that from happening.

You see, everybody acts at the same time. Every player gets a handful of cards from which they must select one to keep (or discard to get money). Once everyone has chosen a card, they’re revealed at the same time and the rest of the cards are passed either left or right, depending on the phase of the game. And once everybody has chosen a set number of cards, you deal out a new hand to everyone and you do it again for the next “Age” of the game.

There are only 3 Ages, so it’s very quick and yet very deep in terms of strategy because you are scored on a variety of different ways at the end of the game.

For example, you’ll be able to choose Military cards and get points on how large is your army in relation to your opponents nearby every Age. And everybody has a score in Military strength, so if you have the smallest army in the game, you might even have a negative Military score.

But don’t think the game is about combat, because that’s just one tiny part of it. You can build up Resources and make Goods. You can specialize in Trade and Commerce or Academic pursuits. There are even great monuments that showcase your accomplishments, or Guilds that gain power from a variety of sources among all players in the game.

The key here is that you are going to get points for ALL of these types of categories. And if you ignore too many of them, you’ll fall behind the other players and your civilization will likely be forgotten at the end.

Grab a few friends and if nobody has played, learn the rules together and you’ll probably find yourself playing 7 Wonders again and again that first day. Not only because it’s fun, but because of how quickly the games can be played.

Honestly, because of the size of the box, speed of the gameplay, and universal appeal of this game, I always pack 7 Wonders when I go somewhere to play games.

 
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2
Amateur Reviewer
9
87 of 94 gamers found this helpful
“High quality, easy to play”

Seven Wonders is everything you want out of a board game. It’s relatively easy to learn, contains colorful, high quality art design, and relies mostly on strategy rather than luck. If you play this game once you’ll be likely to play 2, 3, 4, or more times that night.

Concept
The concept of 7 Wonders is historical, but I find it more exciting than most other historical board games. You are the ruler of an ancient civilization, one of 7 that built the 7 Wonders of the ancient world. If you’ve ever played Civilization or any game which contains a technology tree, this will feel right at home. If not, don’t be scared; it’s very simple to learn.

Gameplay
The game is split up into three ages. At the end of the three ages you calculate all the victory points you have acquired and the player with the most wins. At the start of the game each person chooses a different civilization board and 7 cards are dealt out to each player for the start of age 1. Each player looks at these 7 cards and chooses one to play on their board. These cards are all vividly colored and represent goods, structures, and military powers. You can only play cards that you can afford (for example, if a card costs 1 wood as shown on the top left, you will need to have one wood in front of you already). After playing a card everyone passes their cards to the next person so you will get a new hand of 6 cards for your second play. Once you run out of cards the age ends, military victories are counted, and the next age begins.

An interactive aspect of this game is the trading and military. A player needs to be concerned about the people to their left and right at all times. Adjacent players are people you will be interacting with to buy resources from, sell resources to, and battle against with your military. This adds a unique gameplay element which encourages you to work with or against the people around you.

Presentation
One of the biggest draws to this game for me was its high quality art design. 7 Wonders is very elegant, it does everything right in terms of presentation. There aren’t too many cards or pieces, the boards are sturdy, the art work is simple and vivid, and the card text doesn’t detract from the overall game. A lot of love was put into this game and it shows. When you’re finished with a game you will just be in awe of how cool it looks laid out on the table.

Overall
I really can’t say much negative about this game. 7 Wonders impresses me on every level. It’s easy to teach to newbies, very elegantly presented, and provides an interactive and strategic civilization building experience. It may not be the deepest deck building game on the market, but it’s so well polished that it deserves to be part of your regular game rotation.

 
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9
Rated 100 Games
Stone of the Sun
Advanced Reviewer
Novice Advisor
8
84 of 91 gamers found this helpful
“Drafting on a budget!”

The draft mechanic (pick a card from a certain number of cards and pass on the rest) has been known in collectible card games for a long time. It is one of the staple formats in Magic: the Gathering. However, for every draft new packs of cards have to be opened, so drafting becomes expensive pretty soon. Enter 7 Wonders. In this game you have all the fun parts of drafting, without having to spend more money than this game costs.

At the start of the game you receive one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, each of which has special abilities you can use by building each stage of your wonder.

The game itself is played in three ages (rounds) in which you receive the according pack of cards at the start and continue drafting until the last card (which is discarded). The cards represent various structures that give resources (brown gives basic resources like wood and brick, grey special resources like paper and cloth), points (blue), science (green), military (red) and trade (yellow). You need resources to play certain cards, while other cards are free provided you have the prerequisite card. Building your wonder means putting a card face down under it. This is useful when you have to pick a card you don’t really want to play face up.

You have to choose (wisely…) what path you will follow. Blue cards give points immediately, but green cards can build up to a great amount of points at the end (you receive the square of the amount of the same type of science cards you have), while red gives points during the game. After each age there is a military strength comparison, with the winner receiving 1, 3 or 5 points (increasing per age).

An interesting part of the game is that you only really interact with your neighbors. With them you might trade (provided you have played the appropriate yellow cards) and you compare your military strength only with them. This and the fact that drafting is simultaneous speeds up the game considerably. In my experience games rarely last more than 45 minutes and are usually shorter.

I must say I really like 7 Wonders. The concept is simple and after a first game even new players grasp the basics pretty quickly. It has all the benefits of drafting, without the need for having deep pockets. And it is always a different game, for the wonders change hands, the card packs are shuffled and dealt differently and everyone has his or her own ideas about strategy.

Even though I hardly ever win a game of 7 Wonders I am always enjoying myself. And last but not least is that more people than ever know which are the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World! In the past most people never got past the Great Pyramid. Try out this game if you haven’t already, it’s fun!

 
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5
Viscount / Viscountess
Novice Reviewer
Junior
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
9
83 of 90 gamers found this helpful
“Easily one of the best new games!”

Basic Idea: You’re an ancient civilization trying to be the best around. You do this by making buildings, enlarging your army, educating your people, profiting off your neighbors and building the great wonder of your civilization. You do this in a series of three ages. In the first age you’re gathering the basic resources available to you and setting up trade routes and minor buildings. In the second age you’re improving these resources and your buildings as well. In the third you’re building grand palaces and setting up guilds to profit of your neighbors. At the end of each age you go to war with your neighbors (which isn’t nearly as devastating as it sounds). And at the end of the game you add up all of the points you’ve accumulated, and see who wins!

Game Play: This game is Civilization on speed. With a group that’s played it before, you can finish in 30 minutes or less, easy. Which means you can easily get two games in while you wait for your pizza to arrive! Every player is dealt a hand of seven cards of the age you’re currently in. You choose the card you want to use and pass the hand to next player (this will be familiar to people who have played in booster drafts). You then either play your card, use that card to build your wonder or sell that card for three currencies. The type of cards available includes raw materials (lumber, stone, clay & gold dust), manufactured goods (linen, glass & papyrus), civilian structures (victory points), scientific structures, commercial structures, military structures & guilds. In the upper left hand corner of the cards is the price of that card (usually some combination of resources or currency) and in the top center is what it produces. The symbols used on the cards can be confusing for first time players, but the meanings are nicely laid out on a cheat sheet and are rather intuitive once you start to decipher it. Also some buildings will allow you to build others later on for free! Cards that you sell are discarded face down and cards that you use to build your wonder are placed faced down under the appropriate level of your playing mat. These cards are never used for what they produce. After you play your card, you pick up the hand given to you by your neighbor, choose another card, play it and pass the hand along again. This happens until you have two cards in hand. You play one and discard the other. The age is now over and you “go to war”, a simple process of adding up the military symbols in front of you and comparing it to your neighbors. The one with the most military wins, and gets the victory points to prove it. The loser gets a negative one victory point. War only happens with the people to your immediate left and right, no matter how many players there are. You can also trade with your neighbors for resources when you don’t have what you need to play a card. Once the war is over, the cards are dealt for the new age and the whole thing happens two more times and then the game is over!

Thoughts: If you’re anything like me, you’ll play this game immediately after you’ve played it the first time. Its short length keeps you wishing you had more and it’s double sided board means you can play fourteen times before ever playing the same board again. Also your favorite strategy can go out the window with your first hand, so it keeps you on your toes. But there’s not a whole lot of deep thinking involved here. This game is popcorn, it’s delicious and you can easily eat the whole bag, but you’re not going to make a meal out of it. It’s a great warm up game and perfect for large groups. Easy to learn easy to teach and it’s made it’s way into my favorites on the first play through. But then again, I loooooove popcorn! 🙂

 
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6
I'm Completely Obsessed
Viscount / Viscountess
Champion
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
8
75 of 82 gamers found this helpful
“Easy to pick up, hard to keep track of.”

7 Wonders is a game to play with those you trust. It’s a remarkably easy game to teach, and pick up. It has a good number of different strategies you can follow, making it replayable quite a bit. Not only do the cards you get passed decide your actions, but who you sit next to will influence your choices as well.

Interactivity is limited to purchasing resources from your immediate neighbors and trying to keep up with them militarily. Even that part is optional, though, as you can completely ignore the military aspect of the game and only lose at most a handful of points. That will allow you to focus on one of the other paths as you see fit.

The “chain building” where having a smaller building allows you to build larger ones for free can be extremely helpful if you remember it, but also makes this game extremely difficult to keep track of while playing. My group often simply focuses on their own hand and table, and pays little to no attention to what anyone else is doing, simply trusting that they are paying resources and following chains correctly. The game would grind to a halt if you try to police everything going on every round, especially with 5-7 players.

The only complaint I have with the game is that the cards are easily marked up, with the edges showing wear fairly early on. You’ll want to be a bit careful with them when shuffling.

Overall, a great fun game which plays quickly and can entertain a larger number of players than most euros.

 
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5
Critic - Level 4
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
8
85 of 93 gamers found this helpful
“Wonderful Light Gaming Experience”

7 Wonders made quite a splash on its initial release, reminding people of the early days of Dominion, but playing more quickly with a direct draft instead of buying a deck of cards.

The game is divided into three Ages, in which each player gets seven cards to start. A turn consists simply of selecting a card to use and passing the rest around the table. A card can be bought for a price printed on the card, and becomes part of that player’s civilization; it can be used to build that player’s wonder; it can be discarded for three coins. On the sixth turn, players will typically select one of their two remaining cards to use, and discard the last.

The different card types yield different benefits: brown and gray cards are resources used to build other cards; red cards are military strength; yellow cards are commerce, sometimes helping players get resources, sometimes giving coins straight up; blue cards are raw points; green cards are science, giving points at end of game based on collecting sets; and purple cards appear in Age III as endgame bonus point generators. Success in 7 Wonders comes from knowing when you have an opportunity to specialize and cash in on combos coming to you and/or weaknesses in opposing civs, and when it’s better to diversify and pick up a broad base of points.

The components are of very good quality; the civ boards are solid cardboard, the cards are surprisingly large and clean in their design, and the extra bits for coins and military are functional if not noteworthy. The artwork is great, and while it can take a little time to learn the icons on the cards, they help keep the cards simple in their construction, and easy to evaluate at a glance.

The gameplay is low on interaction; most of your efforts will be in what cards and/or resources you deny your opponents by your decisions. But in terms of avenues for scoring points, there are several different ways to go about it, and a lot of them can work very well behind a sharp mind.

This is a great game to break out on Family Game Night, or among gamer friends when you want a quick filler. It does not disappoint.

 
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1
9
72 of 79 gamers found this helpful
“Great drafting game with interesting mechanics”

Intro:
I didn’t have the chance to play more than 3 games before leaving for another city. I then bought it upon arrival, having been left with such a craving to further plumb its depths. Supporting up to 7 players, it manages the feat of having no down-time between turns, which is difficult among thought-intensive games such as this. It achieves this feat by having all players playing their turns at the same time.

Premise:
Each player has a wonder, and a civilization around it. Your goal, as leader of Alexandria, Ephesus, or Babylon, etc is to construct the stages of our wonder (Lighthouse, Parthenon, Hanging Gardens, etc) and build other buildings and structures to gain points and resources. In each of three ages, all players are given a hand of 7 cards. They select one card, build it using the resources from previously built cards, and pass the hand on to the next player, while simultaneously receiving a hand from their other neighbor.

Learning:
With straightforward steps, and short turns, this game is exceedingly simple to dive into. I recommend for the first game, giving a brief into, going over how to select cards, and whit resources are needed to build things, and then just starting. I find it much easier to explain once players have a civilization they’re invested in, with real structure already build, so the strategy talk can wait until Age II.
After the mechanics are out of the way, and players have started building and gaining points, start talking about the different paths to victory (Military, Science, Beautification, Trade, Wonder, etc) and conclude by showing them the Age III Cards that give huge bonuses for various structures your neighbors have.

Length:
The game takes as long as it says on the box, about 30min. This is short and satisfying, and because of the concurrent turns, there is more real game time packed into these 30 minutes than in some games of 2 hours.

Depth:
With the myriad paths to victory you can take (and combine), the game offers significant variety between replays. Each wonder is different, giving different bonuses for each stage, and offering different point values for completion, and each player will have to dedicate themselves to a strategy for each game, depending on the starting conditions.
The game does not have the variety of something like Dominion, but it is still above many others for replay value.

Expansions:
There is one expansion out as of now, Leaders, which adds characters to the game which either have one-shot effects when you recruit them, continuous effects such as increased resources or reduced costs, or are worth points at the end of the game. It adds significantly to the game, though doesn’t change it completely.

Conclusion:
Buy It. 7 Wonders offers a unique perspective on strategy/building games, and will make a great addition to a rotation including such games as Dominion and Race for the Galaxy. I would say try Dominion first if you don’t already have it, but really you will want both eventually.

 
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5
I Love Playin' Games
Knight
9
70 of 77 gamers found this helpful
“A Great Draft”

What is Seven Wonders?
Seven Wonders is a card drafting game played in 3 communal turns. Each player selects or has a random unique wonder drawn for them from the available 7. These components are printed on thick cardboard with an A side and a B side. The components depict one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and also describe the in-game effects of each. The A side tends to be more straight forward with a clear language of symbols describing the gain of victory points, gold, or some other minor bonus. The B side is more advanced with effects that allow its owner to gain a more unique, though still balanced, bonus. Each turn has an associated deck of unique cards (though some cards are duplicated within each Age), and each card depicts a type of building that can be constructed. Some cards contribute to your “economy” by generating money when they are played, some increase your military might, others grant victory points, still others grant resources which are used to construct new buildings in subsequent rounds and turns. There are other buildings that grant you scientific advances which translate into victory points at the end of the game based on the number and type of sciences played. The player with the most victory points at the end of the third turn wins.

What is Seven Wonders not?
Seven Wonders is not a traditional board game. It is not a long play. It is not a game with a steep learning curve. It is not strategically complex.

How do I play?
Each turn (called an Age) consists of dealing each player 7 cards from the appropriate deck (labeled with a particular Age and a draft rotation for that Age.) After all the cards for the Age are dealt, players examine their hands and select a card to play by setting it facedown in front of their wonder board. The remaining cards are passed in the appropriate direction as depicted on the card back. This is done 6 times each age, with the final round consisting of selecting a card to play and one to discard from the two remaining. Cards can be played in a number of ways. They can be flipped and constructed, provided you have the resources available to pay for it or they can be used to construct a stage of your wonder (most wonders have 3 stages which must be constructed in a specific order and which provide significant bonuses) or they can be discarded for a one time coin bonus. After each player has selected their 6th card of the Age, each player compares their military might to their neighbors (literally the people sitting to your left and right) and either receives a small penalty for losing or gains a relatively large benefit for winning. This benefit increases from turn to turn. Then the next Age deck is shuffled and 7 cards are dealt to each player. After the final Age is completed, victory points are tallied.

How do I win?
A player wins by generating the greatest amount of victory points. These points come from military victories (red military cards), economic success (i.e. the number of coins you own), purple Guild cards which generate large end-of-game bonuses, cultural depth (blue cultural buildings), scientific advances (green cards depicting one of three science symbols including Math, Writing, and Engineering), and the completion of your wonder. The game does not reward focusing on a single exploit, neither does it reward full diversity. The winner will often be the player that was able to succeed (but not necessarily be the most successful) at a couple of the different pursuits (i.e. getting a reasonable military while focusing on drafting buildings which generate victory points and completing their wonder.)

A Simple Review
I really enjoy playing 7 Wonders and am looking forward to purchasing the expansion. It is well balanced, plays quickly, and can fill in between heavier board games. I would recommend it to the new collector and the avid board gamer. The components are well-produced and the art is thematic and well drawn without being distracting. It is well-balanced for any number of players and can easily handle 7 without significantly increasing the length of the game. I enjoy the drafting mechanic because it allows players to indirectly interact in an elegant way.

I give Seven Wonders a 9/10. Here’s to many more expansions.

 
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70 of 77 gamers found this helpful
“Wonder Septuplet Powers Activate!”

This is an abridged version of my original review on Pretty Sneaky, Sis. To see the original post in all of it’s posty glory, go to http://clevergamereference.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/wonder-septuplet-powers-activate/

7 Wonders is a game I picked up based on the hype surrounding it. It was all the rage over on BGG for a while, which more often than not is a reliable barometer for the quality of a game. Though I feel that should come with a disclaimer, in that if you don’t like certain types of games, even the best will fail to impress you. I have a friend who doesn’t like Battlestar Galactica (which in my opinion is an utterly ridiculous concept) because he doesn’t like games with a traitor mechanic. First-person shooter games are very popular among many video gamers and I can’t stand them. Modern Warfare, Call of Duty, all these games that get crazy good reviews? I wouldn’t touch ‘em. (Not even with a link) To each their own, but I digress.

Each player is assigned a Wonder tile at random at the beginning of the game (such as The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Colossus of Rhodes and the Great Pyramid of Giza). They are all unique and double-sided with different abilities. Ostensibly, this is to vary gameplay or difficulty (expanding replayability), but I haven’t played enough to really confirm this. Each of the Wonders also has some special “ability” that manifests as either bonus points or the ability to acquire more advancements at no cost, etc. I haven’t played it enough to determine if I feel they are balanced or if some Wonders are strictly better than others.

Game play is separated into three phases called Ages. Each Age has its own deck of cards. During each age, each player is dealt 7 cards from the deck appropriate to the age. Each player will then select a card that they will play and pass the remaining cards to the player next to them (clockwise or counterclockwise pending what Age it is). Just in case there is someone here unfamiliar with this concept (and I question what you are doing reading this blog) this is called Drafting. Drafting continues until each player only has two cards left, where they choose one to play and the other is discarded. This marks the end of the Age. Cards drafted will generate various resources and some of them lead to higher scoring combinations. There are a number of different scoring mechanics, but only Military accrues points at the end of every Age, while the rest tally up at the end. The winner is the player who has accrued the most points at the end of the game. Shocker. I wonder how much more difficult and/or interesting it would make the game if it pulled an Abandon Ship and rewarded 2nd place as the winner.

I feel 7 Wonders earned most of the hype it’s been given. It’s a great game for a number of reasons.

1) Aesthetically speaking, the game is gorgeous. The art on the cards and the Wonders themselves is top notch. It’s always nice to have something pretty to look at in a game, and it does make an impact. There have been solid games before that didn’t do as well as they could because people just didn’t like the way it looked.

2) Drafting as a game genre is interesting. I’ve been in booster drafts for various CCGs like Legend of the Five Rings and Magic: The Gathering but in those scenarios it’s different because you’re trying to pull what is strongest for you with a lesser focus on denying the other players good cards (called “hate drafting”). You’re also creating a deck to play a game there. In this, the drafting *is* the game, so paying attention to what you are passing down the line is a lot more important. To the best of my knowledge, 7 Wonders is unique in using drafting as a game mechanic, and I won’t be surprised if it catches fire in the way that Dominion did for the deckbuilding genre. There is a fair amount of strategic depth to the game in that the complexity rises in each passing Age.

3) It can support SEVEN people without really changing the length of the game dramatically. How often can you say that a game plays approximately the same speed with 3 as it does 7? That’s strictly a question of time though. The game plays a lot differently pending the number of players you have. Most of your interactions will be with the two players next to you, but in games with fewer players, you will have more opportunities to draw from your original hand, where with larger games, you are only ever going to get one opportunity to draw from any given hand.

4) Not a one trick pony! By its very nature, it can’t be. There are multiple routes to scoring, and many of them don’t particularly play well together. You can try to be a jack-of-all-trades, but I don’t think you’d be successful. Between the various methods of scoring (which even vary within themselves – easier point strategies yield smaller rewards, more complex ones are harder to pull off but with greater reward) you can go after different strategies and do pretty well with it.

As I’ve said before though, no game is perfect, this one has a couple foibles, neither of which are dealbreakers in my estimation.

After playing the game, thinking about the cards and the various strategies/point scoring methods, I suspect that a lot of games will work out the same in terms of what decisions you’re making, with the largest impact to strategy coming from how many players are in the game. I could be wrong though, and I want to put in a lot more games before I officially stamp this as a foible. Right now, we’ll just label it a concern.

The game is big. As in not table friendly. The cards are oversized and due to a lot of handling and shuffling will likely require sleeves, so you’ll want special sized sleeves. Mayday Games is a good place to look for them. Each player will have a fair number of these oversized cards in front of them and it eats table space really fast. This can be mitigated somewhat with some clever stacking, but it’s important for your neighbors to see what you have in play. The more you play and become familiar with the cards, the more you’ll be able to condense the required space, but even at its most efficient Tetrising, it’s going to take up a fair amount of space.

Lastly, for a game that’s pretty easy, it took a lot to get me through those first two games. Admittedly, the first teaching was just terrible, and the second was a little complex too, but it might just be a tricky game to explain. Once we played a game of it, I got it just fine.

In the end, I like 7 Wonders a lot. It’s a wonder-ful (see what I did there?) game that doesn’t take much time to play, so you can fit multiple games in a single night. This is my first experience with Antoine Bauza, the designer of the game. I also own Ghost Stories but haven’t tried it yet. Might have to change that.

 
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“Fast, fun, and strategic!”

INTRO:
Very few games can successfully combine the elements of strategic depth, fast play time, and allow many players to play at the same time. It’s like the old saying in manufacturing that you can only pick two out of three qualities that you want in a product: cheap, fast, and good. If you want fast play time and strategic depth, then you need a small amount of players, but if you want fast play time and lot of players, then you need to sacrifice strategic depth. 7 Wonders is a rare gem that accomplishes all three qualities very well, and this probably why it has won so many awards the year it came out. It’s just that good!

PROS:
Fast play time
Scales well up to 7 players
Asymmetric yet well-balanced
Lots of strategy and ways to victory

CONS:
For younger players, lots to keep up with to be successful
Not necessarily easy to setup and teardown (lot of cards to sort through based on number of players)
Not conducive to long-term strategic planning, you have to adapt (can be a pro)

Overview
In 7 Wonders, each player receives a civilization wonder board to play one of the ancient civilizations. This is randomly determined, but if players agree, then you can pick your civilization. Each civilization is different in what resource they automatically produce as well as what bonuses the get for each stage of their wonder they complete. Also, each wonder board has a side “A” and side “B” which kind of acts like a difficulty level to the game. Your starting civilization normally dictates your starting strategy, because of the abilities your civilization has. For example, Giza civilization is almost a pure points strategy based on it’s wonder stages and is probably the easiest civilization to play for newcomers to the game. The goal of the game is to score the most points, and that can be achieved by a combination of military victories, science research, money, building your wonder, bonus cards (guilds and cards that make other cards count as points), and buildings with point values.

Gameplay
The gameplay is real simple in that each age is represented by decks. The cards for each age are dealt out, then you pick one and pass to your left or right based on the age. The cards are either resources for building, give discounts on buildings or resources, or buildings themselves that give certain bonuses or points. It can’t get any easier than that. If you really want to be good at this game, you really have to pay attention to what your neighbors are playing and what cards are still in the age deck you’re playing. The nuances to this game are found in card denial, setting up your long-term point strategy, and maximizing your points sometimes with what you have at the moment. You’re constantly trying to make good decisions with the cards you have. The decisions are easier for a smaller number of players of 3 to 4, because you know that part your hand is coming around back to you. However, it gets increasingly difficult with 7 knowing that the hand you have will never be seen again as you pass it left or right.

Components:
Overall, the quality of the components are very good. Card quality is good, but I’d feel safer sleeving theme based on how much they get handled. The tokens for coins and military points are nice and thick, so they should last a good while. The artwork is simply outstanding. And the design of the game is well done and conveys the information quite well on the cards and boards.

Conclusion
This is really just a great game that gets better with more experienced players. It is not that hard to learn in my opinion, in fact my 9 year old daughter has picked it up quite well and has beaten me a few times.

Strategy Gamers and Power gamers may find this game less appealing, because there isn’t much long term strategy you can consistently count and it’s not a super deep game that last hours.

I think this is a must for Casual and Avid Gamers. There isn’t a lot of interaction for Social Gamers, but they still may find it fun. For family gamers, you kids do need to be a little bit older to really grasp this game at consistent level.

Solid game!

 
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“Yes, it's light, but it's also GREAT!”

I know this game is one of the hottest of the year, and I think deservedly so. It gives us something new that our hobby seems to sorely lack: a fun deep experience that can be had in any size group from two to seven (eight with the expansion) that can be played in under an hour.

WHAT? A game that’s fun with small, medium and large groups? Unheard of!
A fairly light game that has depth and a civ-building theme? Ridiculous (except for the Yahtzee-esque Roll Through the Ages, another fine game).
A Civ game that takes less than an hour to play regardless of how many you play with? Well, sort of.

7 Wonders is billed as a Civilization game, but that element seems a bit abstracted, so much so that it didn’t resonate with me. It did feel like a WONDER building game, and with it’s name, and the fun I had playing it, that was enough.

The game is started by everyone getting a wonder card to build, which will determine your basic strategy in the game.
The main gameplay comes in two parts over three “ages”. First, in every age, you draft your cards. This means that everyone is dealt a hand, and just like holiday dinners, you take one and pass the rest to your neighbors. This goes on until every card is chosen. In small groups you will see the same cards come around, and try to build a strategy around what options are available: deck-building or set collection, what have you. In larger games you might never see the cards that you pass come back to you. There are duplicates, though, so options will still be available.
Finally, everyone simultaneously chooses cards and plays them, either “building” them by paying their costs, using them to complete stages of their wonder, or discarding them for coin. This phase continues until one card is left to each player, which is discarder. Everyone then moves to the next age (or the end of the game).

There is a lot of game here, and the only thing preventing this from being a perfect Gateway game is the complexity of the iconography and the vast array of options available to you. Once the basics are grasped by all this game is fast and fun!

 
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“Great Game- It Takes a Couple Plays to get the hang of it.”

I picked up 7 Wonders after I kept hearing about it over and over again on the Dice Tower. I am fan of Dominion and this seemed like the next logical step in card games. The game plays in about 30-45 minutes and can be played with 3-7 players. This is the first thing that makes this game great. 7 people can play a game in under an hour. There are not many games like this. It also doesn’t matter how many people you are playing with it takes about the same amount of time with 3 as it does 7.

The basic game play of 7Wonders is easy. You deal out 7 cards to everyone and then each player plays one card and then they pass their hand to the left or right depending on the round. Everyone does this at once, and that is why the game goes so quickly. You do this until you only have one card left and then move on to the next round. After 3 rounds everyone tallies up their scores and a winner to proclaimed. Although the basics of this game are easy, to understand the game fully can take a few plays. There are lots of symbols on the cards and you will find yourself looking at the reference sheet a lot the first few times you play. There is also only one reference sheet, so you have to pass it around.

The components in this game are made of good stock. The cards are large and of a good quality. The rulebook and reference sheet are in color. And the artwork is wonderful. Overall great components. My only complaint is that I would like a reference sheet for each player.

I have loved this game every time I have played it. It’s a civ building game in 45 minutes. Once you get the symbols down the game goes quickly and can be alot of fun. There are many paths to victory, so there is always a challenge even for the most experienced player. Great game and this one is worth picking up. Especially if you have 7 people wanting to play one game.

 
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“Build Your Wonder in this Wonderful Game”

7 Wonders is a great new game for 3-7 players to build a wonder during 3 ages. In each age, players draft and play cards specific to that age to acquire wealth, military, resources, science, and more to assist themselves in building their 3-part wonder and scoring more points. Each wonder is different and offers different rewards to the player for each part of the wonder that has been built.

The artwork is very detailed and high quality. There are a lot of great and creative cards in this game as well, so I highly recommend getting sleeves for all of the cards.

The game is relatively easy to teach. There is definitely a learning curve, but it is small. This is a great gamer’s game as it has a lot of strategy. After players learn to play the game, it takes many plays for them to start learning good and bad strategy.

A winning score at the end of the game is high 60’s to low 70’s in points. Scores are typically 45 points and up at the end of a game.

Pros:
-Relatively easy to learn
-Short playing time (~30-45 minutes)
-Has a great expansion for it already
-Loads of fun

Cons:
-Opponents going for a similar strategy hurts your strategy due to the limited number of cards being available.

 
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“Every 100 Games Series - 7 Wonders”

Since I’ve been logging games, I’ve decided to write a review for every hundredth game played. I’ve begun calling it the Every 100 Games Series and enjoy the mystery of what game I will review next. My 2,100th game played was 7 Wonders.

I think I first heard about 7 Wonders on one of the many Gathering of Friends reports that came out. I put it on my wish list as one to think about for the future. Then on Saturday of GenCon 2010 my wife and I heard a very excited voice yelling out with a French accent, “7 Wonders demo starting now”! I immediately pushed Krista over to the table and we joined the 7 player game. It was great! Three months later, a buddy brought his copy over and we played 3 games in a row. Here is what I like about the game and some potential complaints I could see people having about the game.

Likes
First, I love the quick play time. Whether playing with that game at GenCon with 7 people or the games we played yesterday with 4 and 5 people the game took right around 30 minutes. This is a rare thing in board games. Often it seems, the more players you add, the more time you are adding to your game. 7 Wonders does an excellent job of not doing it.

Second, the simplicity of the game is its biggest plus side. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that I can teach this game to non-gamers and gamers alike. One of the ladies we played with last night has just been getting into games and had absolutely no problem picking up the mechanics and playing competitively. You don’t have to have a huge big plan and over analyze each turn, you just keep one card and move on. This decision gets even easier as the rounds go on, because you have less and less cards to choose from.

Third, the game is just fun. It’s really fun to see your wonder going up, getting that 3rd matching science symbol, or hoping that temple comes back around to you. The military mechanic also makes for some good fun as you keep trying to out build your neighbor. Then there is the hope that your neighbor on your left plays the clay pit, because along with the stone your other neighbor has you can put that important card into play.

Potential Dislikes
First, the price could be a downer for people. Essentially, 7 Wonders is a card game. There are 7 player boards that come with it and some wood coins and a few cardboard military victory points, but it is a card game through and through. $50 MSRP for a card game, especially one that has not an absolute boatload of them is tough to swallow. I say all this though, but I do have it on pre-order, because I think it is that good of a game.

Second, I think people will complain about player interaction in this game, especially when playing with 4+ players. There aren’t any attack cards where you can directly mess with your opponent. Unlike Fairy Tale, where you only play 3 of the 5 cards you draft, in 7 Wonders you play all the cards you keep. This means it is a bigger pill to swallow to just keep a card to stop your opponent from getting it. Also, when playing with 4 or more players, especially 7 players you can’t do much to effect the others. I think the sweet spot for this game might be 3 players, so everyone’s military affects everyone else’s.

Conclusion
As I’ve already said, I have 7 Wonders on pre-order for when the English edition makes it over here to the United States. So, I obviously think it is that good. My suggestion for you though is this. If you enjoy games that are quick, simple, and don’t have player conflict you should pick this game up. If you absolutely have to have that conflict and want to be able to directly attack someone in your card games, then I’d try it before you buy. However, I am someone that likes a bit of meanness in my games, but despite no real meanness in 7 Wonders I love it! It started out as a solid 9 out of 10 for me and I can see it moving up to a 10. I foresee several dozens of plays in my future.

 
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“Our most played game”

I love this game. I understand the critics who say that the game is too random, that there’s not a lot of room for strategy, and a lot of the time you’re just going with the flow and don’t have a lot of chances to affect the outcome of the game.

But regardless of all this, nearly everyone who we teach the game to ends up really liking the game and requesting to play it again. And after all this time, and probably 40-50 plays, the games are still interesting, we still have fun playing it, and the game has only gotten better with the Leaders expansion.

The randomness is also a Pro when playing with casual players, because no matter how good or how bad certain players are (and in my groups there are definitely some weaker players), everyone still will win some of the time, which keeps them coming back and wanting more. They don’t end up becoming frustrated from losing every single time. But still, again in my same gaming groups, you can also see certain players win more often than other players. Skill does matter, and it does affect the game, even if it doesn’t show in every single game due to the luck of the draw.

Of course the game isn’t without its flaws, but overall, the combination of the short play time, the ability to handle 7 players, the fact that everyone gets how to play after only playing it once or twice, and the way it appeals to both casual and more serious players at the same time, makes it a game that just always gets played. And I’m still always happy to play it.

 
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80 of 89 gamers found this helpful
“The new guard of gateway games”

Its time we all admit this. Boardgamers are super cool people and some gateway games are just so out of style, it makes us look bad. 😉
Settlers of Catan and Carascone just don’t cut it anymore.

7 Wonders is now my new gateway game to show new potential boardgame players.

7 Wonders may not be the easiest game to teach to new players, but it has served as a very successful gateway game in addition to remaining one of the standard goto games of veterans alike.

This review comes after logging 30+ games of 7 Wonders half of which have been to new boardgame players, ranging from 70 to 7 year olds.
We’ve all been there, trying our *est to expand the population of board gamers like a zombie plague. 7 Wonders breaks through their geek repellant better than Settles or Carrascone ever could.

Why?
Well, for starters the game is well designed with attractive enough components to communicate to the newbies that this isn’t a simple Milton & Bradley production. The old guard of Euro gateway games are on the very generic side. Face it, you feel the nerd righteousness oozing out of new players eyes when you break out Settlers.

It has ancient Wonders! Its something instantly identifiable and attractive to new players that sparks interest beyond, “We’re gonna collect sheep and wool?” Other gateway games have again generic or mundane activities. 7 wonders offers players a bit more satisfaction of accomplishing something “grand” and its not a race.

True, explaining the rules and the icons to new players can be rough, but most everybody gets the hang of the game by age II. Most always, players want to play a second game because the strategic juices get going. Rarely have I had new players ask to play Settlers a 2nd time.

7 Wonders may not have as much interaction as Settlers, but still more than plenty of other euro-style gateway games. 7 Wonders does however circumvent the randomness of dice rolling for supplies and the negotiation burn that many new players complain about during Settlers.

In short, 7 Wonders offers a much more positive, attractive and satisfactory experience for new gamers over the standard bearer gateway games.

 
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“Our Most Played Christmas Game”

I convinced my mom to buy this game for me last Christmas because it would allow us to play with the entire family. Little did I know that it would soon become one of our most played, favorite games.

I have taught this game to a lot of different people and there is usually a blank stare as I try to explain the icons and the methods of scoring. However, as soon as we play a couple of rounds it clicks.

Things we love:
1. Quick playing time
2. Handles lots of players
3. Easy to learn
4. Feels like you are building something
5. Doesn’t have any “gotcha” mechanics

Things that are tough:
1. Hard to explain – you really just need to get people playing
2. Sitting next to an experienced player can be a disadvantage
3. Difficult to choose a single strategy and stick with it sometimes.

Like I said in the title, this has become our most played game this year. We love to play two or three times in a sitting and can involve everyone in our family. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any family gamers.

 

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