After a few rounds of solo play to get acquainted with the rules, I played 7 Wonders with my niece and nephew. We’d played plenty of rounds of Sushi Go!, which turned out to be the perfect segue to 7 Wonders since both share a similar card-drafting mechanic (play one card from your hand, then pass the hand to your opponent).
7 Wonders is currently my favorite game. I love the civilization-building theme. Players build their cities and score victory points based on their city’s structures, treasury, military, science and technology, commerce, guilds, and their wonders (for example, Giza’s wonder is the pyramids). The cards represent the structures and players accumulate points based on the cards and other factors.
A player’s city is built up during three ages and each age consists of six turns. With how simple the game is and how quickly it can be played (30-45 minutes), there’s a surprising amount of depth here. Different strategies yield different results; for example, you can focus on strengthening your military or trying to improve your science and technology. Sometimes during an age, you can try to build your wonder while others build their civilian structures.
So far this year, my top three games are Pandemic, 7 Wonders, and Ticket to Ride. Each one takes less than an hour to play and are terrific for players of all levels. For newbies, I’d recommend Ticket to Ride first. But no collection would be complete without Pandemic or 7 Wonders.