This is the Splendor vs 7 Wonders game comparison showdown. These two games are on pretty opposite sides of the spectrum but they are both simple to play but impossible to master gold standards. Splendor is a core engine builder game and 7 Wonders is a drafting and civilization building game for a larger group. Both games have simple rules but an infinite amount of roads to victory. We dive deep into both. Learn a little about the games then check out our Splendor vs 7 Wonders notes and final verdict.
ABOUT THE GAMES
About Splendor (2014): You are a gem trader in the Renaissance starting with nothing in hopes to build up an amazing empire. You need to acquire different goods and services to do this in the form of cards you buy and in turn give you bonuses. There are five different types of gems and turns are very simple, you either take them or you spend them. Buying cards gives you higher gem counts which will let you buy bigger and better cards.
FOR MORE: Splendor Page | How To Play Splendor | Splendor Review | Games Like Splendor | Buy Splendor on Amazon
About 7 Wonders (2010): This is one of the best drafting games out there. Over three eras (rounds), players pass around cards and take one from a stack turn after turn to take actions that help either build up your empire and resources or help construct your specialized wonder of the world. Collecting the right sets or making the right investments get you victory points that will help you win by the end.
FOR MORE: 7 Wonders Guide | How To Play 7 Wonders | 7 Wonders Review | Games Like 7 Wonders | Buy 7 Wonders on Amazon
SPLENDOR VS 7 WONDERS ANALYSIS
Theme: These two games are about 2000 years apart. 7 Wonders is set in the ancient times of Zeus, around 800 BC, and Splendor takes you into the Renaissance, around 1300 AD. 7 Wonders has you choosing one of the ancient wonders and building up a civilization around making it happen. In a similar spirit, Splendor has you as a gem trader starting with nothing and trying to build up your empire. 7 Wonders is far more immersive because of all the pieces you are interacting with. Splendor is more of a generic backdrop, though perfect and exactly what it needs to be.
Gameplay: As far as Splendor vs 7 Wonders goes, these two games are some of the quickest strategy games out there that are still satisfying. The way they are built, they run quick and it makes them so much better. In both examples, you make a quick decision and you move on. Splendor has less because you just need to worry about 5 resources, while in 7 Wonders there are important individual cards that combo with one another.
Mechanics: These two games have a completely different set of mechanics though both do have elements of engine building. 7 Wonders is a drafting game, not just as a part, its the whole thing. This means you take one thing at a time and pass to neighbors so you need to anticipate what they are doing based on flow. Splendor is all about making investments to build-up you production. They have core economic motivations but how they get there in Splendor vs 7 Wonders is different.
Time Commitment: As previously mentioned, both of these games are constructed to run fast, under 40 minutes. This is not a bad thing, you do not lose anything. These games should be commended, and they have, for how brilliantly they are constructed, allowed a great experience in that length of time.
Player Count: Splendor vs 7 Wonders are the the most different in player count. 7 Wonders (and all drafting games) are built for bigger groups while Splendor is your more standard 2 – 4 players. 7 Wonders is solid with 3, but is still fun even at 7 players.
Cost: Both of these games have been around a similar amount of time, are at the same level of iconic, have expansions and other things going on, and have the same quality and amount of components. The costs are in a similar area and both are a great deal when compared against other titles.
Verdict For the Shelf: Splendor (50% of the time) and 7 Wonders (50% of the time). This is another example of 2x AAA games that really provide two completely different game experiences. Neither is better than the other.7 Wonders gets points for being able to accommodate such a wide scope of people, where as Splendor is easy and very able to come off the shelf in almost any situation.
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