Board Game Review: Seven Wonders

I love me some board games. Last year for Christmas, we got 7 Wonders as a gift. I’d read that it could be played with just two players (my long standing requirement for most board games I asked for–the other being that it hopefully would appeal to Denisa). Once I got it and looked at the rules, I discovered it was really intended for 3 or more players, so it sat on the shelf for quite some time.

While we were in Germany, I stayed with my friend Dan Wells for a few days. He’s possibly a bigger board game nut than I am, and he and his wife taught Denisa and me how to play 7 Wonders. Denisa enjoyed it, and I lamented that we didn’t have a third player to make it possible for us to play the game back in Maine.

That’s when Dan pointed out that his kids all love the game, even his six year old.

I haven’t played many games with TRC and DC beyond the Candyland, Monopoly variety. I just wasn’t sure they’d have a fair shake at winning, and so I didn’t want them to have a bad gaming experience and be turned off the hobby for life. (Okay. Sometimes I overthink things a bit. Sue me.) But after talking about it with Dan some more, I decided we might give it a go, just to see how plausible it was.

Monday evening, we all sat down for a game of 7 Wonders. I taught TRC ahead of time, and Denisa still remembered how to play. It’s got a really cool theme–each person is trying to build one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. You’ve got armies and guilds and trading–lots of interaction (more or less). Not the easiest game to learn, but far from the hardest. Denisa and I each each gave it our best.

TRC won the game.

Granted, he asked me for help from time to time, and I gave him good advice, but he beat us fair and square. DC had a great time, too–playing on Denisa’s team. I thought it went very well.

The next evening, both kids pleaded for us to play again. We got two games in that time. Yesterday evening, they asked for more of the same. TRC does a great job on his own now. He’s starting to figure out the strategies involved and use them to his benefit. He hasn’t repeated a victory yet, now that he’s playing on his own, but he’s getting much better with each game.

I’m beyond pleased with this. It opens up so many more games to be played. Catan of course. Carcassonne. More advanced games of Small World. I’ve got a ton of games, and kids that are just coming into their own at being able to play them.

So–a big thanks to Dan Wells for convincing me this was possible, and a big thanks to 7 Wonders, for making an awesomely accessible game. You can fit a whole game into a half hour, and everyone has a good time. Bravo!


  • By neonandshy, January 23, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

    7 Wonders is one of my favorite games. The Cities and Leaders expansions are terrific as well, but the base game just has so much replayability. Not surprising I like it, as draft is my favorite format for MTG.

    Recently in a 7 player game, we had a 6-way tie at the end, being broken by the player with the most money. Poor 7th player…

  • By MKHutchins, January 23, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

    I adore 7 Wonders! Especially how it plays just as well with seven as it does with three. Lots of games don’t scale up well (playing Settlers with six drives me nuts — so painfully slow). But, because of the drafting mechanism, 7 Wonders plays smoothly and fast regardless of the number of players. I think that’s one of the game’s best features.

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