Set-up/Play/Pick-up– One hour
TL;DR-Sleek, well-crafted, fun game 90%
Basics-In Seven Wonders, you play a different country throughout history. Each country starts with a different resource and a play mat that shows costs to build wonders. These wonders give the country either points or abilities. Each turn, you look at a hand of cards and pick one to play. The cards are resources, points, military, science, trade, or other options. You can play the card for its value, use it to build your wonder, or spend it to gain money. You then hand the remaining cards to your neighbor. After all players have selected their cards, you reveal and repeat with the new cards you got from your neighbor. When you have two cards left you select one and throw the other away. After a round of this, there is a military phase where losers in battles gain negative points while winners gain positive points. After three total rounds, the points are counted and the winner is determined.
Mechanics-This is where the game really shines. The rounds go fast with some quick, important choices flying bye. What strategies really emerge is what to play vs. what to keep vs. what to bury for your wonders/money. In addition, what makes the game quick is that everything is done with icons and few rules. The cards have a sleek design that reads quickly. This game has won world wide awards because, honestly, besides the rules no changes have to happen to play this game across the world. I could easily sit down in China and play a game with some people who didn’t speak English. If you know the rules and can see the card icons, you can play. 5/5
Theme-Here is where the game suffers a little bit. I don’t really feel like ‘Rhodes’ when I play ‘Rhodes’. I feel like I’m a guy building a place, but not really ‘Rhodes.’ I honestly don’t know what ‘Rhodes’ feels like, but I don’t feel that. That said, I do feel like I’m building an empire over time. The different rounds or ages do make this game have a distinctive feel. I like that feeling. Also, when you go one in a major direction for points, you change your whole strategy, so that does change what you do thematically. I like this despite not having a country specific feel. 3/5
Instruction-The rules are short and well-written. This game is a eurogame despite the cards. That’s not something you hear often, but it’s true. The instructions have a lot of ground to cover and it does it well. Lots of examples really help explain this game well. 5/5
Summary-This is, quite frankly, an amazing game. It’s fast, fun, and really replayable. I loved every moment of this game. I’ve play is several times and even my not so geeky friends love to bust this one out. Go get this one. 90%