Review: 7 Wonders Second Edition – new edition, the same wonders
There were many more, but only seven eventually went down in history. Many of the losers remained sad below the line, though they were no less breathtaking. Beautiful buildings, huge human works that have no analogues in history. But there can be only and exactly seven chosen ones.
Excursion between ancient civilizations and their development was prepared by the game 7 Wonders of the World. The new edition also remains signed by Antoine Bauza, with illustrations provided by Miguel Coimbra. It’s been exactly ten years since the first version was released in 2010. The production remained under the direction of Repos Production and the Czech localization does not change its author, the company ADC Blackfire.
All those civilizations and wonders are in a big box and on its lid we see their complete set. Inside, the player is greeted in the form of a hand with a big seven. This is a nice and stylish welcome (on the other side there is a list of all the cards), but everyone is in a hurry. The basis of all components are wonder boards, from which each player chooses one (randomly) and places three starting coins worth one gold coin on it. Then, in the middle of the table, he creates an offer of decks of cards divided into three ages (and from them sorted cards according to the number of participants) and places the rest of the coins and also the tokens of the military encounter.
The whole game is divided into three ages. And each of them begins with the players dealing to each other from a shuffled deck with the current serial Roman number of seven cards. Each player chooses one card from his set and secretly places it with a picture in front of him. They can then sell the chosen card for coins, but above all, by paying its value, build a building. Instead, the card can be used to build the next stage of the wonder, for which the costs are listed at the bottom of the player’s board and gradually increase from the first to the third step.
Some items to build may be free (they do not have a price listed or you own another building that will allow it), other times it is a coin, but gradually raw materials (stone, wood, papyrus) will also start to appear in the game. These must be produced by the players‘ other, previously built, buildings. Each icon on the card can only be used once per round. However, players can also buy opponents‘ buildings and, after paying for two coins, use the raw material produced by the neighboring city. The rival can’t refuse, but it doesn’t limit him in any way.
Everyone somehow uses their turn and one card from their hand. The remaining cards are then handed over to the neighbor according to the prescribed direction. Players stack one card on top of each other and divide them into columns according to color. When they work their way to the last two cards, they use one and discard the last one. This will be the end of the age.
But that is far from the end, because now is the time of peace and the struggle begins. In addition to the mentioned raw materials, the red buildings are of a military nature and also add symbols of crossed swords to their owners. So players compare the strength of their army with both neighbors, the winner gets a token of triumph and the loser gets a token of defeat (worth -1 point).
After three ages, players must calculate their score in the form of victory points. They strap them not only for the remaining coins and completed levels of their wonder, but especially for the cards. While blue ones have their point value printed on them directly, yellow and purple ones have special rules, and green ones can provide scientific symbols (for those, the reward depends on the size of the set). The players then compare the total and find out who became the winner.
The 7 wonders of the world in the new edition have lost none of their charm, dynamics and ingenious building mechanisms. The only and basic building block of the whole experience is the draft, which the author presented to the whole world ten years ago. It’s in a lot of other games today, but here its use is still simply magical.
However, it is not at all easy to choose only one card while keeping your buildings balanced. When, by chance, there is nothing to choose from at the end of the age, it is possible to turn the card into coins or use it to build a wonder. Both options are here as other scoring options, although the key point gain still comes from the cards.
Players must create smart combos from their buildings, obtain the production of resources and build additional cards for them. Only then can they have a machine ready that will allow them to unload more and more buildings and complete their dream wonder.
The variability of cards, their combinations and interesting variants of how to get good points are especially appreciated. Players choose their own focus, but they must also be helped by chance, so that a sufficient number of sets served from hand to hand contain the necessary cards. But the big advantage of the whole game is also its speed, because you can still count on you to build the whole civilization from scratch in thirty minutes.
There is no noticeable difference between the new and the original version of the game. It is mainly about balancing the wonders themselves. The main difference is the graphic design, which we like more about the new version. The players‘ boards are larger and double-sided with a day and night version. The layout of the cards has also changed.
In the rules, you would be looking in vain for a variant for two, which still did not work. From three participants, however, the fun is completely functional, although the real gem becomes one with up to four or five opponents. In general, this brings with it the only problem – the components are not compatible with the original version, so if you own or want an extension, then you have to wait for possible new editions of these smaller boxes.
The 7 Wonders of the World in the second edition is not another game enough to justify a purchase for those who already own it. However, if you do not yet have one of the most popular multiplayer games, then you should definitely consider purchasing it. Now is really the best opportunity for this, because the new version is emotionally even better than the original. 7 Wonders of the World is still a great game that shines mainly at a pace with a higher number of participants.