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Subject: Why I love the 7th Continent so much (almost no spoiler) rss

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Philippe Franck
France
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Let’s agree The 7th Continent is a weird object in the boardgames landscape. Something with no equivalent. In the smallest number of words possible: It’s an exploration game.

I’ve read a lot of things about people not understanding where to start. And let’s agree that your need to have a decent amount of self confidence to start the 7th continent journey. Even just opening the box is an emotion with no equivalent. Cards, cards, cards everywhere. Tons of cards. They all look the same. And they are numbered cards. But many of the numbers are duplicates while there are some number missing. That experience alone is quite frightening for us gamers : what if there’s a card missing ?

You’re going to get lost. And that’s exactly what should happen when you’re starting an exploration. Think of yourself as Livingstone starting his first trip. He didn’t know what he would find. He was about to learn how to survive. And that’s exactly the situation you will be in when first opening that big black box.

And you will have to trust the Game. Just jump into the water to learn to swim. The rules are pretty nicely written. Full disclosure : I’m using the French rules, I didn’t try the English version but I didn’t hear any Conan-level complain about English. They are explicit. But what reading the rules doesn’t give is a feeling on how the game will play out. There are some key aspects of the game that you will discover by reading the cards, not the rules. The game rules are as much part of the exploration journey as the continent itself. The cards are going to tell you how you get tired, when you get wounded and how to rest or gain experience. You will learn new ways of doing things while you play. It’s really different from traditional games. Even things like Victory are not explained in the rules. It tells you what happens when you lose but nothing on how to win. You will know when it arrives is about what it tells you.

Another point you need to be aware of is it’s mostly a solo experience or a game you can easily play with your better half. I don’t see it as a game for a group of regular player. As the concept is exploration, the discovery part gets ruined if for some reason one player knows more about the Continent than the other player. He will necessarily spoil the surprise and part of the experience. I would have hated it if someone had explained me how to rest in the game. I found it by myself and that was an awesome part of the game.

I was about to write a section about playing the game with your wife because the theme could appeal to ladies, but refrained from doing so. I couldn’t prevent it from sounding macho. It’s true my wife hates my “troll and gnome games” as she calls them. And there are no such things in there (I warned you there would be almost no spoiler) and she loves mysteries and investigations.

Another very interesting aspect of the game is: there is absolutely no game turn. Basically the game is a succession of single actions where you do something, draw cards and apply the result. Then you move on to the next action. No end of turn cleaning. No complex bookkeeping. Everything is on the board. You can actually leave the table to pick up the phone and get back afterwards continuing playing without any problem. I don’t see many games allowing to do that.

If I managed to get you intrigued enough by the game for you to want to try it, my objective is reached. You’ll love it. I certainly do. And I envy you if you’re one of the people who don’t know the 7th Continent yet. The experience you’re about to go through is awesome.
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Federico Galeotti
Italy
Firenze
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I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are the good people and the bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.
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pfranck wrote:
That experience alone is quite frightening for us gamers : what if there’s a card missing ?


Yes, thank God that they released the card list on their website. The first thing I did with my copy is check all the cards to verify that there were no missing cards... laugh
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Camelorn
Germany
Koblenz
Rheinland-Pfalz
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vetinari7878 wrote:
pfranck wrote:
That experience alone is quite frightening for us gamers : what if there’s a card missing ?


Yes, thank God that they released the card list on their website. The first thing I did with my copy is check all the cards to verify that there were no missing cards... :laugh:


And all the cards are sorted too, so it is as easy as it gets to check for completeness for over 1000 cards.
Kudos to Serious Poulp, they have put quite some thought into this, and it really shows!
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Gabi Games
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Great write-up, Philip. thx!!
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marc lecours
Canada
ottawa
ontario
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The cards are wonderful. We are a group of three. When we turn over a new card, we pass it around. Each of us studies it, searching for clues. Is that a footprint? Does it look safe to do such and such an action? what is that rock? Or plant? Is that a shadow? It looks like water in that direction? Is that blood on the ground? What is that symbol on the tree trunk? etc. etc.

What a great idea it was to have the clues on the images instead of just in the flavor text (though there are clues in the text also) I think this is what makes the game so much more than a choose your own text adventure.

We are playing the first curse with the intention of not dying. So every decision is critical.
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Virgil Smith
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pfranck wrote:
I was about to write a section about playing the game with your wife because the theme could appeal to ladies, but refrained from doing so. I couldn’t prevent it from sounding macho.


Condescending rubbish. Try replacing "ladies" with an ethnic group or sexual orientation and ask yourself whether such a patronising generalisation would still be an acceptable thing to write.
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Stephen Blauert
United States
Phoenixville
Pennsylvania
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Lol I knew it was only a matter of time before a SJW showed up to make that right.
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Pat E. Cakes
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Really??? You consider that being a "Social Justice Warrior"? I consider it being simple evolved.
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