7 Wonders was a smash hit by Antoine Bauza when it was released in 2010, and it remains just as popular today. It’s a fantastic card-drafting game with a strong set collection vibe, with each set scoring in different manners after three rounds.
One of the extremely appealable selling points about this is the number of people that can play – you can’t call a game 7 Wonders and not have it accommodate up to seven players!
Players each start with an asymmetrical ancient city board, and across three ‘Ages’ they will look to acquire technology, materials for trading, as well as building up their military to attack (or defend against) their neighbours. Everyone also starts with a hand of seven cards from the First Age deck. Simultaneously, players pick one card to keep, and they pass their remaining hand to the player on their left. Then everyone reveals their card, before looking at their new hand of cards, picking one, and passing their hand on again. Once all of the First Age cards have been claimed, the Second Age deck (with more powerful cards) is shuffled and dealt out, and the same process occurs, and then the Third Age (again, more powerful) deck.
However, 7 Wonders has more meat to it than merely selecting the best card in your hand. Each card has a cost of various materials that you have to have access to, in order to add it to your tableau. Some cards have material-generating traits to them, so you can use these to then acquire a card from your hand. Or, you can use the materials in either of your immediate neighbour’s tableau – but you have to pay them coins for this. Some cards can be upgraded for free, which are hugely attractive.
You’ll also be keeping an eye on your neighbour's army – at the end of each Age you will square off in battle, with the victor earning points and the loser gaining negative points. With everyone’s cards being shown face-up, you can absolutely see what potential plans they might have in store, meaning you will spend the game second-guessing their moves and which cards are more valuable to them than others!
We’d call 7 Wonders something like Sushi Go’s older sibling. The mechanics are similar, but there’s a lot more to chew on, here. The cards costing resources are such a great touch – it forces you to be highly interactive with the players on both your left and right throughout the game.
Games tend to last about 30 minutes, and there are some fantastic expansions out there that add lots more drama and variety to gameplay – 7 Wonders: Cities and 7 Wonders Babel are both very popular, and in 2018 Antoine Bauza released another add-on: 7 Wonders: Armada. And, of course, there is the separate, standalone, two-player variant – 7 Wonders Duel.
Player count: 3-7 players
Time: 30 minutes
Age Rating: 10+