Since rumors of the Pottermore website began, my husband has been daydreaming. An off hand comment by me that I might be interested in playing a Potter MMO, has him fantasizing about all night gaming sessions side by side. With that in mind we’re going old school and pulling out the card games to get back into the swing of things, luckily for us Looney Labs sent me an advance copy of their new game Seven Dragons. It debuts on June 24, and so we grabbed the Nilla wafers and coffee, and settled in for an evening of dragons.
After playing the game it seems that the dragons are fairly superfluous, it could just as easily be another animal, fictional or otherwise. However what makes the dragons stand out is the artwork of Larry Elmore. The depictions also give the game a darker undertone than other games from Looney Labs. While we both enjoyed this aspect we thought that perhaps the green elf was a tad buxom for the age range given.
The game play is like dominoes in it’s nature, and like their other games can be over in a few minutes or in thirty. My husband felt cheated by the title as there were actually only five goal cards for each of five dragons, the other two dragons being special cards. But considering a “domino” can have up to four dragons, it seems that five is just enough to keep it interesting but not so many as to make it cumbersome. All five goals remain “in play” even when you are playing the two player version, which keeps it a lot more interesting when the “Rotate Goal” card comes into play. The rules are very clear, answering all the insane questions I could come up with, even when I asked if cards could be played upside down (they can). The game also has separate rules if you are going to play with pre-schoolers, so this will be perfect for those rainy summer days.
Like other games by Looney Labs, the starting player is determined by birth-date, since I turned 30 last week I am definitely the oldest in the house, an advantage I may grow to like. One word of warning, be sure to clarify the use of the Rainbow and Silver Dragons before you begin, especially if, unlike some people I won’t mention here, you are prone to arguing over the rules.
Final verdict: It’s a lot of fun even though I don’t like games where I can’t cream my husband every time. This game evens the playing field, allowing for all levels of skill and interest to compete equally.