7 Wonders: Edifice Review - A Welcome Addition of Depth and Strategy to an Already Stellar Experience

Repos Production and Antoine Bauza's popular 7 Wonders continues to be a staple of board game nights everywhere, and now the new expansion 7 Wonders: Edifice looks to add even more layers to the already compelling gameplay mix. While the expansion adds two new Wonder Boards to the game, the main attraction is the addition of Edifice cards, which add another intriguing wrinkle to every phase that can have a major effect on your income throughout and your chances at winning. Edifice cards are strictly additive and don't throw any wrenches into what works so well about the original game, but they also spice things up and help shift the game in your favor if utilized correctly. Edifice isn't a necessity to enjoy 7 Wonders, but the added layer of depth is welcome, and I don't see myself ever playing without them moving forward.

The 7 Wonders: Edifice expansion keeps the same beloved gameplay of the original game intact, so those who love the fast-paced turns of 7 Wonders won't see any sort of dip in that speed. You only interact with Edifice cards once per age, so they don't take up a great deal of real estate in terms of literal space on the table and in terms of gameplay.

(Photo: ComicBook)

While you only interact with them 3 times a game, the impact they can have is significant. There are several Edifice projects to choose from for each age, and you pick one randomly for all three ages. Once an age when you complete a part of your Wonder, you can pay the cost and participate in an Edifice, taking a Participation Pawn and adding it to your board. You can only do it at that time, so if you don't pounce or can't afford to pay the cost, you might completely miss out on that age's Edifice.

The reason is that there aren't as many Participation Pawns as there are players, so not everyone will get a chance to participate and get a token. That affects the game in two ways, with the first being that as soon as all Tokens are gone the Edifice is completed, and those with tokens for that Edifice get an immediate reward. These can be Victory Points, Military Mighty, Coins, Resources, additional bonuses to Victory Points, and more. Coins are a valued commodity in 7 Wonders, so getting a sudden infusion of money to spend on resources is extremely valuable, especially early on as you are still trying to amass resource cards.

The second effect is in terms of the person left out of the Edifice construction. When the Edifice is complete, anyone who doesn't have a Participation Token will have to deal with a penalty; and while sometimes it's just coins, that still hurts when it's 5 coins or worse yet 9 coins. There are also penalties that exile cards from your city of different types, and sometimes you can also lose points from Military victories.

(Photo: ComicBook)

I found myself saving my coins more early on so that I always had enough to also participate in Edifice projects, which did mean at times I had to not use those coins to acquire other cards in my hand or pay my neighbors for resources. Being left out of one Edifice isn't a deal breaker, but that does of course depend on the penalty of that particular card, and it is a bigger challenge to win if you don't participate in any of them. I also waited to build stages of my Wonder until I could also participate in the Edifice of the age, at times leaving the next stage build until towards the end of the age.

Those who are looking for a completely changed experience will not find that here. I think that's part of what makes it work so well, but I can see how others might feel it doesn't change enough. It's hard to argue with that, and perhaps there was another way to have the Edifices affect gameplay turn to turn, but that wasn't something I was particularly looking for.

7 Wonders: Edifice is the best sort of expansion, leaving the core gameplay loop intact and as addictive as ever while also weaving in a welcome additional layer of strategy that makes the overall experience even better. I don't see a point where I'll play 7 Wonders again without Edifice as part of the equation, and if you give it a chance, I think you might find yourself saying the same thing.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Published By: Repos Production and Asmodee

Designed By: Antoine Bauza

Artwork By: Miguel Coimbra and Etienne Hebinger

7 Wonders Edifice is available in stores now.

Review copy provided by the publisher