7 Wonders is regarded by many as one of the best board games out there. Unfortunately, many people might have given it a skip as it is quite an involved board game. 7 Wonders Architects aims to take what makes the original game so much fun and condensed it into a more family-friendly board game that still keeps the feel and experience of its predecessor.
What’s in the box?
7 Wonders Architects comes packed into a much smaller sized box than the original. Of course, this does not mean that the game lacks in the component department. The game uses mostly cardboard pieces and cards. As we’ve come to expect from Repos Productions the quality of the components is top-notch and the game looks great when packed out on a table. It’s one of those games where one looks at the components that make you want to sit down and play. The game has a more cartoonish visual style which perfectly fits with the more family-friendlier mechanics.
A huge plus point is the fact that the game comes with plastic trays for your cards which means that all the components can be neatly packed into the box without cards flying everywhere when you move the box around.
Something that the game designers need to be acknowledged for is the fact that they use symbols together with colours to indicate the various card types. This makes it easy for those who are colourblind to still recognise the various cards and categories. It’s a feature that more designers should add to their board games.
How do you play it?
7 Wonders Architects, as the name suggests, is all about building your faction’s unique wonder before your opponent’s — all the while progressing through the various stages of science and taking part in small-scale battles.
Sounds complicated, but believe me, it really isn’t.
Setting up the game takes a few minutes and is one of the game’s biggest plus points as there isn’t a long list of steps to take before you can start playing. Each player is given a random Wonder Box containing each faction’s Wonder and card deck. There is a central deck that needs to be shuffled, along with each player’s unique deck. The game’s tokens along with the central deck are then placed within reach of all the players. Lastly, players build their wonder, using the “under construction” side of the tiles and you are off. Quick and easy.
As mentioned, 7 Wonders Architects distils the original down to its essence, building your wonder before your opponent. There are no set rounds or cards that get passed around. On their turn, a player chooses between drawing a card from three decks. These decks are the face-down deck in the centre of the table, and two face-up decks between themselves and the players next to them. Should any of these decks run out, this means that players now only have the remaining decks/deck to draw from.
Once a player has drawn a card the next player takes their turn. The cards come in three types each with its unique uses. The resource cards are what players use to build their Wonders piece by piece. When players have the required resources (indicated on each of the respective Wonder tiles) they can then flip the tile to the “built” side. As players progress they will require more and more resources to build the next section of their Wonder. As each section is built players also unlock various bonus actions which can help them on their way to victory.
Then there are the Gold cards which as you can guess count as wild resources and assist in building your Wonder. Next up are the Blue building cards. These cards similar to what you found in the original game, count towards victory points once the game ends.
Naturally, it’s cant all be just building and collecting. 7 Wonders Architects also allows players to go to war. One of the token types placed in the middle of the table is the Conflict token. The number of these depends on the number of players in the game. As players pick up Military cards they place them to one side and then turn over the number of horn tokens on the card. For each horn, they flip over one token. When all the horns are flipped players then compare their, military strength as indicated by their Military cards. The conflict is resolved the winning players gain their Military tokens and the Conflict tokens are flipped back to their original side.
Lastly, there are the Science cards. Although these cards don’t score players any points by collecting two with the same symbols, or three with three different symbols players can trade these in for progress tokens. Progress tokens give players unique abilities that can drastically affect the outcome of the game.
The game continues until one player finishes their respective Wonder. The player with the most victory points is crowned the winner.
What did we think of 7 Wonders Architects?
Unlike the original 7 Wonders, which in itself is a great game, 7 Wonders Architects manages to evoke the same feelings you get when playing its big brother. It’s a lot more family-friendly which for me, as a dad of two daughters, makes it the perfect introduction to the world of 7 Wonders for them. While choice doesn’t play such a critical role as in 7 Wonders, there is still quite a bit of thought that needs to go into a player’s decisions when it comes to deciding which cards to draw.
As for the components, these are to[p-notch which the inserts and Wonder trays being my favourite part. The bright colourful visuals along with the quick-to-learn mechanics and easy setup make this not only the perfect family game but also a great game for easing new players into the hobby.
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7 Wonders Architects
7 Wonders Architects might not be for those who are looking for a long-drawn-out and involved game. However, if you are looking for something that evokes the same feeling as a more involved game in a smaller easier-to-play and simplified game, then this is the game for you.
Easy to learn and set up
Great starting point for new board gamers
Some might not like less involved mechanics when compared to the original