Review – Seven Dragons from Looney Labs
Designer – Andrew Looney
Art – Larry Elmore
note – thanks to Looney Labs for providing a review copy of this game
Oh boy, another game featuring Larry Elmore’s art. Must check it out right? Dragons… check. Fantasy theme… check. Fast playing card game… check. Ok, I’m interested so let’s have a look at Seven Dragons.
Looney Labs are surely specialists in simple, fast playing, family games and this looks like it fits the model. Based on an earlier published game, Aquarius, this is a dominoes-like game for 2-5 players age 6+ where the object is to be the first to play your cards and connect 7 Dragons.
This is a GORGEOUS game with outstanding artwork by famed fantasy artist Larry Elmore. If you are a fan of dragons in any way, this is a must purchase just for the artwork. The game includes 72 cards: 5 Goals, 1 Silver Dragon, and a deck containing 51 Dragon cards and 15 Action cards. All are of good card stock quality and will withstand regular plays and a pleasure to look at.
An easy game to play, Seven Dragons starts with each player randomly given a goal card wich tells them which coloured dragon they need to connect 7 of to win. The Silver Dragon card is placed in the centre of the table and remains there throughout. Then each player draws 3 cards as their starting hand.
Each turn the players draw one card from the draw pile and then draws a card from their hand and:
– Plays a Dragon card adjacent to another card following simple connection rules. There are 5 different Dragon colours, plus a Rainbow Dragon which is a wild card. The Silver Dragon is the start card. It changes colour when anyone plays an Action card is played. The idea is to place Dragon cards to connect 7 of the same colour so the players will have to think about positioning to connect for their goal and block others. There are also multi-connection bonuses of extra cards into your hand when using multi-paneled cards just right as well.
– Plays an Action – there are 5 actions with 3 of each type in the deck. Each action is self explanatory – Trade Hands, Trade Goals, Move a Card, Rotate Goals and Zap a card. These add some nice unpredictability and tactics to the game.
Overall, the rules are clear, the structure and gameplay moves quickly and smoothly. The interaction and uncertainty adds a nice level of spice and unpredictability.
Did it work for me?
I am quickly becoming a fan of Looney Labs‘ games and Andrew Looney‘s designs. Yep, Seven Dragons is a lovely game pure and simple because it is pure and simple. Genius decision to get Larry Elmore‘s art as it looks terrific. There is enough simplicity, ease of learning and engaging gameplay for the family and a bit of tactics and nice level of interaction for non-gamers and experienced gamers alike as a light, fast card game which is really fun. Pretty much everything you could ask for in this type of game. Well recommended!
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 7 out of 10
Awesome family fun!
For more information go to – http://www.looneylabs.com/