7 Wonders Duel, is a two player, fast playing, board game, designed by Antoine Bauza & Bruno Cathala.
In the board gaming world, two player only games aren’t quite as plentiful as traditional 2-5 player games. While I’m a fan of other 2 player games,such as, Star Wars Rebellion, and Stronghold; these games are both very rules intense, and can take multiple hours to play. Other 2 player games, like Jaipur and Patchwork can be played quickly, but are relatively simple.
What makes 7 wonders Duel so good, is the amount of gameplay and complexity it provides, and the fact it can be played in under an hour. With two kids, my wife and I are super busy, so the time we get together to play games is very limited. 7 Wonder Duel, gives us the feeling of playing a bigger, more complex, 2 to 3 hour game, in about 45 minutes.
Unlike less complex games, like Jaipur and Patchwork, 7 Wonders Duel takes a bit more effort to figure out how to play. I personally found the large amount of symbols used overwhelming at first. Thankfully after reading the rule book, and playing through half a game, I had 90% of the rules straightened out. I say this, personally experienced with other modern games, so if 7 Wonders Duel is your first adventure into a more complex design, it may take a bit longer to be fully comfortable.
I can’t stress enough, the game has excellent value for the time it takes play. In the time frame of 45 to 60 minutes, you can set up the game, build a city (engine building), battle your fellow player (track management), and collect Science (set collection). Neither of these aspects are considerably deep, but offer more than enough gameplay and strategy for a quick 45 minute game.
So, I love the gameplay of 7 Wonders Duel and the Card Art is quite good as well, it's just too bad the overall quality doesn’t match up to these high points.
Grr… Cards came badly bent, straight out of the box, as demonstrated in the below photo.
To note, I haven’t tried to fix them, so if I left the cards under a heavy object I might be able to repair the damage.
I’m a little anal about components, and when I spent a good chunk of change on a game, I’d like the components to be of good quality, and not come visibly bent.
I wouldn’t be so bitchy about this if the price of the game wasn’t around 38 CAD. Included in the box, are around 70 cards, a small board, cardboard tokens, and a small plastic miniature. If the components where of high quality, I’d be OK with the price, but with all my cards bent, it seems a little steep for what I got.
The design of 7 Wonders Duel is beautifully done. If you don’t mind a bit of complexity, and want to have a full gaming experience under an hour, it's tough to beat 7 wonders duel.
While 7 Wonders Duel’s expensive price, compared to components in the box, is tough to swallow, I’m still very happy with my purchase of the game.
My only caution would be, if you find symbology in games personally challenging, or you're looking for an easy to play 2 player game, this is going to be a bit of a jump for you on the complexity scale. If you, or your partner aren't ready for it, 7 Wonders Duel might not be a good purchase.