7 Wonders Architects
review by Alapai
7 Wonders Architects is a set collection card game from Repos Productions for 2-7 people. Inspired by the original 7 Wonders, in Architects, you are assembling the 7 wonders of the ancient world, utilizing various resources and trying to earn more victory points than any of your opponents.
Each player starts the game with a wonder to build and a deck that they shuffle and place face up in between themselves and the person on their left. There is also a generic deck in the center that is face down. With the generic deck; your deck, which in between you and your opponent to the left; and your opponent to the right's deck, which is in between you and them, you have three different decks from which to draw a card from. On your turn, you take a card from one of the three different decks available to you. Grey cards provide resources for building your wonder. Yellow cards are wild resources for building your wonder. Blue cards are worth victory points by themself and can give you the cat pawn which allows you to peek at the top card of the generic deck at the start of your turn. Green cards provide science symbols that allow you to take progress tokens which give you powerful effects. Red cards provide you military power and can flip over conflict tokens until enough are flipped and you compare your military might with your neighbors, earning points for having more than an opponent. Once a person has completed building their wonder, the game ends and whoever has the most points is the winner.
If you've played 7 Wonders before, you'll notice a lot of similarities. The colors of the cards correspond pretty well between the two games, with grey cards providing resources, blue cards providing straight victory points, etc. Obtaining science symbols still gets you benefits and you still compare your military icons to your opponents when the game calls for it. While taking a card is different from the original, you still have a unique choice as the player on your right doesn't have access to your original deck and the player on your left doesn't have access to the player on your right's deck (except in two-player where you have the same options as your opponent). It is also much simpler than 7 Wonders, as you don't need specific resources, instead needing numbers of identical or different resources to construct any given section of your wonder.
While the original is a great card drafting game that, once everybody knows the rules, will move pretty quickly as everybody takes simultaneous turns, Architects still should move pretty quickly and is a simpler game to get into. While you might be waiting to take your turn, you can still plan ahead during other people's turns. Of the two face-up cards available to you, you know one of them for sure once your opponent on your left has gone and you can see what the other might be up until your opponent on your right picks. At that point, you should have decided whether you want the face-down card from the middle or face-up card from your deck, so you only have to decide between the face-up card on your right and whatever you had already decided upon.
And in comparison to the original, Architects has one more thing going for it. You are actually constructing your wonder! In the original, you can do nothing with your wonder and still do really well, taking victory point cards, military cards and science cards that earn you lots of point. In Architects, you are forced to spend resource cards (the instructions point out you must construct a section of your wonder if able) and building your wonder uses physical components that help to visualize building your wonder from the ground up. While flavor isn't necessarily the most important part of a game for me, actually assembling the wonder helps increase the immersion into the game.
If you're looking for a relatively simple resource management card game and especially if you want a game like 7 Wonders, but simpler, 7 Wonders Architects is a great game!
7 Wonders Architects is available now from our webstore.