Monday, June 5, 2017

7 & 7 Review


Quick Look: 

Designer: Cory Goff
Artist: Terry Alec
Publisher: Times Infinity Games
Year Published: 2016
No. of Players: 2-5
Ages: 13+
Playing Time: 15-20 min
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com


Review:

Rules and Setup:
Basic turn rules require each player to either play a card from their hand (following any directions on the card) and end their turn by drawing one card from the draw pile, or playing no cards from their hand and drawing three cards from the draw pile. The hand size for the game has a max of seven, so players with over seven cards in their hand must discard down to seven before ending their turn. To win the game a player must either collect all seven sins or all seven virtues, or (in a 2 player game) collect all seven sins and all seven virtues.

Setup for the game is a breeze, just make sure you shuffle the deck well and deal each player five cards. The deck becomes the draw pile, with a discard pile next to it, and the surface in front of each player becomes their play area. Players can accumulate quite a few cards over the course of the game, so make sure to choose a large, flat play surface. Game play can now begin.

Theme and Mechanics:
Most cards in the deck will have two halves, one sin and one virtue. One of the games defining mechanics is the ability to flip your own and other player's cards from one half to the other. Emphasizing the theme of the war against good and evil, players battle to convert each other's sins and virtues, causing them to join in the fight. Set collection is another featured mechanic, as the win condition requires players to collect all seven virtues or sins.



Game Play:
Following the basic turn rules, each player completes their turn by either playing cards or just drawing. There are three types of cards in 7 & 7: the sin/virtue cards, wild cards, and the converter, along with the mega powerful promo card Capricious. Wild cards can be either converters of cards in an opponents play area, or stand ins for a missing sin or virtue. The dual wild can count as either one missing sin or one missing virtue.

Capricious is similar to the dual wild, with an added bonus; she can stand for any missing sin and any missing virtue. This makes her especially helpful in two player games, and the most powerful card in the deck, which is why each game can only have one Capricious added. The converter allows the player to convert one card of their choice in their own play area.

While the rules and setup of the game are simple, actual game play requires a surprising amount of strategy. Attempting to just collect all seven sins or virtues as quickly as possible is not an effective strategy; players must sabotage the competition in order to get ahead and win the game. Utilizing cards to their fullest potential is also key to success. Some cards are immediately playable under certain circumstances; for example, Patience can be put into play after an opponent converts a card.

The game is fast paced and competitive, with game play in my play-test groups only lasting from 10-20 minutes. This causes players to think on their toes and really make their turns count before another player swoops in and wins the game.

Artwork and Components: 
Sloth (Sin) courtesy of Times Infinity LLC

The artwork for this game is creative and funny, with each of the sevens truly embodying their sin or virtue. At first I wondered how they could translate the theme of sins and virtues, and a battle between good and evil. Art was able to bridge the gap between the complex theme and the medium of a card game. This allows for totally unique game play, both visually and within the text on the cards.

Diligence (Virtue) courtesy of Times Infinity LLC

The Good:
The theme of this game is totally unique. The mechanics and artwork allow players to wage the war against good and evil themselves, and be completely immersed in game play. Each game is different depending on play style, which cards are drawn, and the number of players. This allows 7 & 7 to be played over and over without being boring or predictable. The price of the game, $17.99, is reasonable for a game with such enjoyable re-play value.

The Bad:
The sevens are drawn in hilarious and fitting characterization, the only drawback is that the sin of lust and virtue of chastity make this game +13. Anyone can enjoy the fast paced game play and create their own strategy, however younger kids and families may not want to explain the sin of lust or a chastity belt to children. This game definitely targets families with kids in middle school or over, and provides appropriate warning with its age recommendation of thirteen and older.

Final Thoughts:
This game was totally unique in its representation of the theme of war against good and evil. The artwork and mechanics are great, and game play allows each player to develop their own strategy. It is easily playable over and over, which makes it a great addition to any game collection.

Players Who Like:
Players of Pandemic and other themed set collection games will enjoy the artwork and mechanics.

I am giving 7&7  9 out of 10 super meeples.

9  10

Check out 7 & 7 on:

        

About the Author:


Sarah Johnson is a freelance writer and board game enthusiast. When she’s not playing games or writing reviews, she enjoys writing articles for food and wine magazines. Sarah lives in rainy Corvallis, Oregon where she studies writing, English, and communications.
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