Its A Wonderful World
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- For ages 14 and up
- 1 to 5 players
- 45 minutes average playtime
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In it’s a wonderful world, you are leading an expanding empire. You must choose the path that will get you to develop faster and better than you competitors. The game lasts four rounds. Each round, you draft cards that you use to produce resources and develop your empire. After having chosen your cards, you can recycle some of them to acquire resources immediately or slate them for construction to produce resources Each round and/or gain victory points. At the end of the fourth round, the player with the most victory points wins the game.
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Top international reviews
You might be attracted by the box art, but take a look at the cards and board and think you are getting into some super-complex worker placement game combined with a complex engine builder. In actuality, this is a drafting game paired with a SIMPLE tableau engine builder. And it's limited to four rounds!
So what at first glance looks like frightening is actually quite simple in execution. This game is 7 wonders combined with Spice Road with a near-future scifi theme slapped on! But don't let that fool you.
7 Wonders and Spice Road Killer
7 Wonders is a bit simple in execution (in the base game) and the choices to be made are a bit cut-and-dry. Spice Road is an interesting game that overstays its welcome a bit (the engine becomes clogged with sludge). THIS game on the other hand feels...tight, yet loaded with crunchy analysis and decision-making opportunities. It's a good idea to limit your play with people who suffer analysis paralysis (or pull out the one minute sand timer), but overall this is a GOOD thing, because the net result is this game feels like Terraforming Mars in 45 minutes. Don't get me wrong, it won't approach the sheer engine complexity/depth of TM, but the FEEL of the game is the same. You're building the future in both games. It's just less sprawling and time limited here.
Gameplay consists of choosing your Corpor...er...EMPIRE card, which basically fulfills the same function as in Terraforming Mars. Then you draft cards like in 7 Wonders (only one deck, not divided by ages; select cards face up). You burn them for resources, use the resources to build cards that you add to your tableau, or set them out as "under construction". You do this for each resource, getting construction and "supremacy" bonuses. Then the round ends and you move to the next one. The person with the most victory points wins!
This is very interesting from a balance viewpoint because you simultaneously feel like part of a round is missing because it's SO SIMPLE. But the same time, ooooh boy d you have some tough decisions to make about what to build and what to burn. Again, pull out that sand timer because some people are just going to stare at their cards and the board for 10 minutes if you let them.
In the end I think the cool near future theme, great artwork, and tight game with proven mechanics is a sure-fire winner and this game is absolutely going to become legendary. However...
If you have tableau builders skip this one, because it's a MEDIUM weight between Splendor and Terraforming Mars. If you hate both those games (and 7 Wonders) stay FAR away from this one. If you hate analysis paralysis you should play this game before you buy it. It IS a fast game but there are great decisions to be made here and "solving" this game could drive you insane. There is ZERO player interaction other than trying to block someone by taking a card you think they need. So you're really just playing solo at the same time. If you hated this about Splendor and Terraforming Mars...yeah I can't help you.
The massive deck of cards without separation into ages means that some AWESOME cards may never come up in a game at all, and there's no guarantee that great cards will come your way. In other words, this game is more random than some others but a lot of that is negated by drafting (which is why people love that mechanic). But it lacks the progression of games separated into ages, so some people might not care for that bit of storytelling that's omitted. There's not much humor in this game except for the exploration cards, and that may turn off some. In my opinion though, the only way this game could have really been improved is if there were a story integrated from the get-go (there are campaigns from the Kickstarter coming) and maybe the Netrunner license. :)...
At any rate, the worst sin this game commits is that it's setup takes longer than it should because of... ALL. THE. CUBES. Seriously. The designers needed more compartments in the box for cubes, and some sort of trays for them all. I'm sure there will be third-party solutions soon enough.
The greatest triumph is how incredibly well done the rules book is (with card diagrams on the FRONT of the rules). So kudos to the game creators for that.
I really like this game and look forward to playing it a lot more. It's legend in the launching. Don't miss out if you like great games. Play this game pronto and see if it's for you. It won't replace Splendor or Terraforming Mars, but 7 Wonder and Spice Road? Definitely for many people. I'm one of them.
I purchased this game looking for something that had a decent solo mode and "replayability" and because I needed a new challenge. This game checked off all the boxes. It is a card building game with a decent theme, was easy to learn the concept, but challenging to master (I still haven't complete "gold" status on the regular solo mode). There is a lot of replayability because every game is different based on the cards you draw so you are always thinking and making new decisions. I found that once I discovered a strategy for each"solo mode" specific theme, beating them was not SUPER difficult, but just challenging enough. It took a couple of tries for each. Playing the "regular" version in solo mode has been a huge challenge though. The points needs to reach the highest level of mastery are VERY hard to reach. This is not a bad thing, it keeps me coming back.
Basically in this game you draft cards (or build piles to pick up in solo mode) and then from the cards you got, you decide if you want to build them using resources you will receive or discard them for extra resources to use on other cards. When a card is built (all resources have been placed on it) it goes to your supply and you now get more resources each round based on what the card says. The player at the end with the most points wins, points are also listed on the cards. Will you go for more resources or for points? Will you keep an expensive card worth a lot or discard it to finish off a cheaper card? The variations in this game keep it fresh and fun, even my parents have picked up on how to play after just a few rounds. If you like games that make you think a little and want a game to play alone or to use to introduce others to strategy games this would be a good one.
A couple reasons I removed a star.
First the theme and the card names themselves don’t really make any sense - they seem very random and arbitrary. 7 wonders by contrast the card names really match the theme.
The insert is also not very good. Compared to splendor, pandemic, even 7 wonders it’s just not a good insert. It works fine but could be much better
In terms of gameplay the worst thing is how random the rounds can be especially at 2 player. Since you’ll see about half the total cards in a 2 player game you can spend the first two rounds building an engine and be terribly unlucky the last couple rounds. Contrast with 7 wonders where a limited number of cards are burnt but generally you see most cards and in a logical order. However that is the price paid in this game for the quick set up time
Overall it’s a good game and these are a few issues I think would be good to know before you purchase