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 (146)

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Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Intermediate Reviewer
Guardian Angel
50 of 51 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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BoardGaming.com Beta 2.0 Tester
Went to Gen Con 2012
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
Advanced Reviewer
95 of 98 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?

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.

• 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!

• 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.

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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Rosetta Stone
Football Fan
Explorer - Level 5
93 of 96 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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Spread the Word
36 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Civilization that doesn't take ages to play”

7 Wonders is a light civilization-building game for 2-7 players, ages ten and up. Expand resource production, build buildings, grow your sciences, and most importantly construct your wonders. Don’t forget your military, though, because your neighbors certainly won’t! The publisher says it plays in 30 minutes, though my experience is that it takes more like 45-60 with six players. Still, the game moves at a pretty quick pace.
This is a really pretty game. The civilization score cards are robust, with good artwork. The cards seem fairly sturdy, showing no sign of wear after a dozen games. The coins and the military victory tokens are likewise solidly constructed. All of the costs, productions, and conditions on the cards are clearly communicated in a simple graphical representation with minimal text, in a manner that is clean and well-integrated into the artistic design, working smoothly with the art to add to the feel of the game.
I’ve played a lot of civilization-building games, which is the category I’d put this into. Never have I come across one that is so simple, yet so flavorful in its execution. You get the drive to collect the necessary resources without fidgeting with tokens, the need to defend yourself against hostile neighbors without complicated and drawn-out combat, and the progression of one construct to the next, all in a game that plays in under an hour. What? Somebody pinch me.
There is a lot going on in this game. The basic mechanic is card drafting: Each player is dealt seven cards in each age, from which they will select one to play, place it face-down in front of them, and pass the rest (passing order alternates clockwise-counterclockwise-clockwise through the three ages). Once all players have made their selection, the selected cards are turned face up, any costs are paid, and the card is deployed to the appropriate location on their score card. Then, the passed cards are picked up and the process is repeated, until the last card in each stack is discarded. This process allows you to consider, especially as the game develops, whether you really want to pass that military card to the vicious warmonger on your left or take the hit of discarding it for 3 gold as your turn instead.
The main thing you’re doing with these cards is building out your civilization. You have the choice of building out resource production to help you continue building later. Many of these items have no cost to build, so they’re a good place to start. You can build trading posts and markets, which allow you to trade with your neighbors more cheaply (1 gold to use one of their resources instead of 2). You can buy military, to gain victory points through being more mighty than your neighbors (or keep them from getting victory points). There are civic buildings that you construct for victory points, and sciences that give you points based on the number and type you collect. In the Third age, there are the valuable “Purple buildings” that generate points based on how many of other building types you have.
Finally, you can construct another stage of your all-important Wonder: I’ve never seen anyone win this game without completing their Wonder, though mathematically it’s possible, especially with the sciences.
Scoring all happens at the end of the game. It takes under two minutes per player to add up remaining money, military points, sciences, etc.
Players are continually involved; turns occur simultaneously, so there is no downtime, and there is no elimination in the game.
The game doesn’t have a lot of interaction. When choosing cards, you can choose to use or bury a card that might be needed by someone downstream, but typically that’s a bad choice unless it’s the best choice for you otherwise. Only if you’re building a phase of your wonder will you want to burn a card just to keep it out of someone’s hands.
Complexity of game
There’s a lot going on in this game, but the clean design and clear iconography on the components mitigates this exceptionally well. Opportunity cost is implemented without complex juggling of resource tokens, and while there are a lot of ways to score points, players can limit their focus to simplify their options.
Clarity of rules
The rules are some of the cleanest I’ve read; there were a few ambiguities on read-through, but as soon as we played into those situations it became obvious what the text meant. We had no rules issues outstanding by the Third Age of our first game.
Replay Potential
Completeness as base game
With the drafting mechanic, the game is always different. Having seven cities to select from, and two levels of game play to choose between, gives even more variability. You could play this game for a long time before getting bored with it.
There are two expansions, Leaders and Cities. I haven’t played with either, but Cities looks like it adds more of an interactive element.
Plays in under an hour
High replay potential
Easy to learn
Scales very well
The military scoring tokens feel a bit fidgety.
We’ve had a couple of players lock up on turns, especially early in the Third Age. I attribute this to focusing too much on
If we didn’t have three copies of this game in our gaming group already, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. I still might, to try and get the family to play it sometime. Being able to get in three games in under 3 hours is awesome.

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Professional Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Silver Supporter
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
77 of 80 gamers found this helpful
“Fast, fun, and strategic!”

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!

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

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)

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.

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.

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.

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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BoardGaming.com Beta 2.0 Tester
73 of 76 gamers found this helpful
“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.

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.

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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Gave My First Grade
47 of 49 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“7 Reasons to Play 7 Wonders”

7 Wonders is one of my all time favorite games, and I will almost never turn down a chance to play. Here’s why:

1) Always Your Turn – The card drafting mechanic puts the game in the hands of every player simultaneously. Everyone makes a decision at the same time, and the flow stays strong. Almost every time I play with a new player I get a question in disbelief: “Is this the last round?”

2) Multiple Ways to Win – Although civilizations are predisposed to collect certain resources and cards, a player can veer off the optimal path and still win. The different strategic options give this game an awesome replayability, and the double-sided player boards only enhance the chance for unique game experiences.

3) Balanced for the Table – Whether you play with 2 or 7 players, the game scales appropriately while maintaining its fast pace.

4) No Reason Not to Play Again – At 30 minutes average game length, 7 Wonders leaves you wanting to go one more every time.

5) Gorgeous Art – Take a long look at the player boards! Aren’t they stunning? I feel like I’m a part of ancient history, and the cards only serve to complement the immersion.

6) Slick Design – The idea of upgrading cards or building on prerequisites can be cumbersome in games, but 7 Wonders does a fantastic job with the concept. The game communicates how it works with simple banners and symbols that feel intuitive and are easy to explain. The only suggestion I would have is to make it easier to understand the science scoring with +7 chips for completing a set (similar to the military victories/losses).

7) Expansions! – After you’ve played 7 Wonders with the Leaders and Cities expansions, there’s no going back. Each expansion adds even deeper levels of strategy to consider, which appeals to my analytic mind. If you’re going to invest time to learn a game, its good to know there’s even more to dive into if you really, really love it!

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Critic - Level 4
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
83 of 87 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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I play blue
Book Lover
Comic Book Fan
Smash Up: Ninja Faction Fan
93 of 98 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.

– 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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I play blue
Spread the Word
39 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“A Wondrous Game”

For me, this game is wondrous. I can’t stop playing it, nor can my wife – my mom even loves it! This game has a really intriguing balance of simplicity and strategic depth. It’s a game where people can sit around the table and talk and have fun, yet it can also be very deep and calculated. For these reasons, I think this is a game that could be enjoyed by gamers of all types.

7 Wonders is a game for 2-7 players, although it is best for 3-7. The two player variant isn’t much fun in my opinion. Anyway, each player receives a wonder to play, which is represented on its respective wonder board. (If you want to randomize it, there are wonder cards which can be passed out.) Each player starts out with 3 coins and a resource that their city produces.

The object of the game is to score the most victory points, and there are many ways to do that. There are three stages to this game – Age I, II, and III. Each age gets progressively more complex, but not more difficult. At the start of each age, each player is dealt 7 cards (more on what the cards do in a minute). The player must determine what will benefit him/her the most, but choose wisely! Once everyone selects a card to play, the cards you had in your hand will now get passed to your neighbor, and you will receive a new set of cards (now 6 cards, because everyone passes). After each age, resolve military conflicts (explained soon) and pass out cards for the next age. Like I said before, they get more complex as you progress because, theoretically, you will have more resources to build things, and building things gives you points.

Now, a short description of the various cards. There are 6 different types of cards, and they are conveniently color coordinated – Resource cards (brown or gray), Military cards (red), Civilian cards (blue), Commerce cards (yellow), Science cards (green) and Guild cards (purple).

To quickly explain, resource cards are needed to build things. On many cards there is a cost which is represented by different icons on the top-left side of each card. You must have those resources to play the card. If you don’t, you can always purchase them from your neighbors sitting directly beside you for two coins per resource. So, you’ll need resources.

Commerce cards help you get resources from your neighbors for less money, or provide you resources no one else can purchase. On some occasions, they can also give you money and victory points.

Military cards put you at odds with your neighbors. At the end of each age, count up your military icons, and determine who wins. You get points for winning (1,3,5 points for Age 1,2,3 respectively). You get -1 point for each military loss. So, if you beat your neighbors every age, you could rack up 18 victory points while giving each neighbor -3 victory points.

Civilian cards are just straight victory points. The highest scoring card in the game is a civilian card, worth 8 points, and it costs one of every resource.

Science cards, in my opinion, are the trickiest piece of the game, but when played correctly, they can really boost your score. Each science card will have one of three icons on it – a compass, a tablet, or a wheel. You get points for getting a set of each icon – 7 points per set. In addition to that, you also get the number of a particular icon squared. Sounds tricky, right? Don’t worry, it’s hard to visualize, but the rulebook does a good job of explaining. Say you have 3 cards that have the compass icon. That would give you 9 points, since 3 squared is 9. Ok, I’ll move on so your brain doesn’t explode…just rest assured that you’ll get it quickly.

Guild cards are only available in the third age, and they often cost a good amount of resources, but yield a good amount of points, depending on what you and your neighbors have constructed over the course of the game. They can be the difference between winning and losing.

I didn’t mention earlier, but you also get points for building your wonder. To build a stage of your wonder, simply take a card from your hand and place it under the stage of your wonder board. That is the card you play for your turn, and you cannot play another card that turn. Each city gives a unique ability that will benefit the person using it. What if you can’t play a card in your hand, or what if you need money? Pick a card in your hand and discard from the game for that turn. Discarding a card gives you 3 coins. At the end of the third age, the game is over. Resolve your final military conflicts and total up all of the points you scored, and whoever has the highest score wins.

Enough about what the game is like and how it’s played. Now I get to talk about why I love it. This game is quick and simple. It takes the same amount of time for 2 people as it does for 7 people, because it’s always your turn – everyone plays at the same time. That makes it really easy to play in 30 minutes as long as everyone knows how to play. The artwork is fantastic and beautiful to look at, although when playing, you don’t really think to admire it. The wonder boards are equally spectacular. The components are well made, however I recommend getting sleeves for your cards, because they may start to get worn out edges from being shuffled and passed all the time.

Another strong positive about this game is its replay value. While you will see the same cards each time you play, the game will play out differently because of the way they’re randomized through shuffling and dealing, your wonder, and the wonders of your opponents. I love that you have to play with a new strategy every time. After a while, you will see a few strategies that work for you, and you can adjust and interchange them as you play.

Like I said before, the game is simple – the cards are pretty intuitive and it doesn’t take a whole lot to see what you are able to play and pick a card. For that reason, this is a fun game to play with people and build a civilization. But, you can also really break this game down and consider what to play from many different angles. What will help me the most? What would hurt my neighbors? Should I keep them from getting anything? What is most beneficial to me in the long run? All of these questions make for some fun decision making and risk taking. Look up a statistical analysis of this game, and it will show you how deep and complex it can be. Truly amazing.

Now for some drawbacks to this game. The game is called 7 wonders, but it doesn’t really have the feel of building a powerful ancient civilization. You could keep these same basic concepts and make any theme you want – sci fi, fantasy, you name it – and the game would feel the same. But a weak theme does not take away from the gameplay.

Also, if someone isn’t accustomed to playing games, there may be some confusion. I said earlier that this game is intuitive, and that is assuming that you’ve played games. All of the icons on the cards can be overwhelming. The best way to learn the game is to play it, and to have someone who knows the game well to sit beside you and walk you through it. After the first game I played, I got slaughtered, but I understood why I lost and immediately wanted to play again – and I got much better results.

The rulebook is ok. There is a lot going on, but for the most part, it does a good job of explaining the game. The quick rules sheets that come along with the game are the most helpful to me.

Based on all I’ve written so far, I hope you get a sense of how fun and intriguing and addictive this game is. I recommend that everyone at least try it as I think just about everyone can find something they’d like about it. I haven’t even been tempted to get the expansions to this game because I haven’t tired of this one yet. If you’re still reading, go pick this one up! You’ll love it.

Finally, I want to end this review by thanking my wife for getting this for me as a gift. You know me too well, and I’m glad you enjoy it almost as much as I do!

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69 of 73 gamers found this helpful
“Great drafting game with interesting mechanics”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Amateur Reviewer
84 of 89 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.

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.

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.

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.

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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I Love Playin' Games
66 of 70 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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Comic Book Fan
PC Game Fan
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
37 of 39 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 2
“A fantastic game for all groups”


“7 Wonders” is a draft style game set in ancient times in which players attempt to accumulate victory points by bolstering their civilization through various disciplines. The game is very welcoming and involves very little conflict among players, it is a game that is likely to be very popular among families and groups of good friends.

Things I like

1. A fun theme that is based in history
2. You don’t ever feel a sense of loss over the course of the game as it is often hard to tell who is winning until the very end
3. The game time is pretty consistent and it plays quickly
4. Tge cards are easily labeled for setting up a game of varying number of players
5. High replay due to different wonders and strategies

Things I don’t like

It isn’t a perfect game by any means, but I can’t think of anything that I dislike about it. Usually I can come up with something but nothing really stands out.

Basic Rules

The game begins with each player getting 3 gold and either choosing or being assigned a wonder (you can decide how to do this, the rules tell you one way but you can easily house rule this). The game is broken up into 3 ages where you will play cards to the table. These cards include:

1. Raw Materials (brown) – These cards produce resources for you and allow you to meet requirements of other cards
2. Manufactured Goods (gray) – The same function as brown cards, but the resources produced are generally needed in less abundance
3. Civilian Structures (blue) – These cards give you a set amount of victory points at the end of the game
4. Scientific Structures (green) – These cards give you victory points at the end of the game based on how many of them you get. There are combinations that are worth more
5. Commercial Structures (yellow) – These range in what they do from either generating resources, giving you gold or netting you victory points
6. Military Structures (red) – These cards win you conflicts at the end of each age
7. Guilds (purple) – Usually these cards give you victory points in some way

The following is a basic outline of how each age will go:

1. At the start of each age, each player is dealt 7 cards
2. Every turn each player will in secret choose one card to use during that turn
3. At the same time, each player reveals their chosen card and they do one of the following 3 things with it: a) Discard it for 3 gold b) Build it if they meet the requirements for the card (each card has a requirement in the top left) or c) Using it to build their wonder
4. After playing their card each player passes the remaining cards in their hand to the player on the left or right depending on the age (Age 1: left, Age 2: right, Age 3: left).
5. Repeat steps 1-4 until there is only one card to pass to the next player and instead of passing it discard it
6. After each age is done, military conflicts are resolved. Players with higher military value than their neighbors are awarded military victory tokens worth 1, 3 or 5 depending on the age. Players with a lower military value that their neighbor get a military loss token worth -1.

This process is repeated 3 times, once for each age. At the end of the game you score points based on the cards you have chosen to play. Once the scores have been totaled you crown a victor!

Player Interaction

There is some player interaction in the game, but nothing really forceful. There are a few ways that you can affect other players:
1. Giving them gold to buy resources from them
2. Choosing to play/discard/use a card to build your wonder for the sole reason that they will not get the card passed to them
3. Defeating players in military victory

In general this is a very low conflict game because of the little amount of player interaction


The fact that it is a card game means there is some element of luck in what cards are initially dealt to each player. This luck element is unavoidable in all cards games and can in most instances be overcome with skill as none of the cards are inherintly better than any others.


The skill in this game comes from making wise choices based on the limited information that you have. Each turn that you choose a card you are making your choice based on at least the following variables:
1. Which card best helps my strategy?
2. Which cards best help my opponents strategies?
3. How many players are there between me and player X and what is the probability that the players between me and player X will deny them this card? (where player X is the player that will most benefit from any given card)


The game itself looks decent, the art represents the ancient world well. The cards are easily decipherable at first glance due to the coloring scheme and the symbology. This lends itself well to the time it takes to play the game as you can get very good at categorizing the cards immediately.

Verdict (or “Should you spend your money on this game”)

This game is fantastic and well worth your money unless you simply cannot stand card games or any game that involve a little bit of luck.

Who it is NOT for
If you like games that are in your face intense with action between players throughout the game, then “7 Wonders” is not for you. If you like long and complicated games then you should probably skip this game.

Who it IS for
This game is for people who want to sit down and have some fun, families come to mind immediately. It is a fun game with no real stand out problems and it should be playable by just about anyone. I haven’t played this game with anyone yet that doesn’t like it after the first play through.

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Viscount / Viscountess
Novice Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
79 of 84 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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