7 Wonders lasts three ages. In each age, players receive seven cards from a particular deck, choose one of those cards, then pass the remainder to an adjacent player, as in Fairy Tale or a Magic: the Gathering booster draft. Players reveal their cards simultaneously, paying resources if needed or collecting resources or interacting with other players in various ways. (Players have individual boards with special powers on which to organize their cards, and the boards are double-sided as in Bauza’s Ghost Stories.) Each player then chooses another card from the deck they were passed, and the process repeats until players have six cards in play from that age. After three ages, the game ends.
In essence 7 Wonders is a card development game along the lines of Race for the Galaxy or Dominion. Some cards have immediate effects, while others provide bonuses or upgrades later in the game. Some cards provide discounts on future purchases. Some provide military strength to overpower your neighbors and others give nothing but victory points. Unlike Magic or Fairy Tale, however, each card is played immediately after being drafted, so you’ll know which cards your neighbor is receiving and how his choices might affect what you’ve already built up. Cards are passed left-right-left over the three ages, so you need to keep an eye on the neighbors in both directions.
In 7 Wonders: New Edition, multiple elements of the renowned drafting game for two to seven players are getting spruced up. First, the new edition will come in a larger box with new box artwork and logo. Second, the wonder boards are now larger and instead of having an (A) and (B) side with the same artwork, they now have a day side and a night side. Third, the iconography for the cost of each card has been relocated to improve clarity. Fourth, the iconography for chaining (building without paying the production cost) cards has been revised to improve understanding. Finally, the rules have been rewritten to make learning the game easier. The award-winning gameplay designed by Antoine Bauza, remains the same.