Is 7 Wonders Still a Game?

7 Wonders could be a be considered a classic and a go-to game for many gamers. It plays a lot of people, it has super, simple gameplay, and it has been around the the block for awhile. None of these factors make me think less of it…well maybe one part.

I just don’t think it is a game anymore.

Hear me out!

It is a card drafting game where you “pay” for the cards, lay them down, and then add up your points. There are ages with different cards to try to deepen your strategy. In the end, the player with the most points is the winner. That sounds like a full game. But I don’t think it is.

It is just a gameplay mechanic.

We have games like Blood Rage, Shadow Throne, Near & FarAmong the StarsEight Minute Empire (series), and many more games that feature this gameplay mechanic. But then you do more; you do stuff that are affected by your decision. Your whole strategy in Blood Rage is decided on whether you take fight cards or what mission cards you have. Near & Far uses it for strategy as well but you are penalized for having cards at the end of the game so there is depth to the decision. Eight-Minute Empire has you controlling the board based on what card you take and there is the additional layer with the draft pool having varied prices based on where the cards are in the draft.

You could argue that 7 Wonders has more gameplay but outside of battles and scoring, you don’t do a whole lot with your cards. You are just picking your hand. This seems like it is missing the meat nowadays after playing these newer games.  Maybe it needs an expansion to do something with the cards and play a fuller game after the draft is done?

Imagine playing a “deck builder” game. On your turn you buy a card and put it into your deck. You repeat this for 10 rounds. Then the game was just over and you count up what cards you had in your hand. Not much to that, huh? But that is the deck building mechanic without the game attached to it. That is how I feel 7 Wonders is with card drafting. It needs more to it.

I give it props for coming up with this mechanic and being able to play so many players but I no longer think highly of the “game.” It is not a game to me anymore.

But I’m just talking…

2 thoughts on “Is 7 Wonders Still a Game?”

  1. True. Interaction with other players is minimal, too. I’ve heard it described as a series of three-player games that happen to be at the same table. I think of 7W as an introductory game for non-gamers.

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  2. 1) Still absolutely a game (and a good one)

    BUT

    2) I see what you’re saying. The game is for more complicated than it needs to be for the simplicity of the mechanic. Games like Sushi Go! have streamlined a great deal of the noise found in 7 Wonders, and other games that you’ve mentioned have turned that noise into functional engines instead of a dormant tableau.

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