What you have here is a light game where you build the 8 wonders of the world. The theme is pasted on. The interesting part of the game is you use your opponents to build what you need and in return you are giving them points. This is the big rub in the game and where most decisions are made.
I don't find the game particularly interesting although you can have a little fun with it. It is not a game that builds any sort of story and you won't be talking about it afterwards.
The components are standard fare for the time period the game was released (Euro game). You get a board that is functional with some art work on it (doesn't distract from the game). You get a chart for VP and a VP tracker around the board (like I said, classic Euro).
You get some small cards and a bunch of wooden parts.
Everything is fine and what you would expect from a Euro. Nothing stands out and nothing makes the theme stand out.
The rules for the game are pretty streamlined and the rule book does a great job of explaining the rules (there are not many). The game can be played while reading the rules for the first time. The only tricky part is the action cards as they include symbols and not words. The rule book includes full color pictures with examples. Overall, the rule book does its job.
Flow of the Game:
On your turn, you can pass or build. If you pass, you get to take 1 building card from the supply.
If you decide to build, and this is where the game is really played, you get to do more than just draw a card.
1. Select a wonder (there are 8). You put your column on it and a building disc from that wonder.
2. Make offer. Each other play can make an offer to the active player of building cards to help build the wonder (there are rules to this).
3. Select opponents. The active player can either accept the help or not.
4. Build. If the number of building cards accepted is less than the required to build, the active player must include his own cards to build.
5. End build turn. Offered, but rebuffed players, take VP for cards offered but not taken. It is possible nothing was built.
Scoring: You get VP for providing more building materials. There is a chart that you refer to and you get VP (yea!).
In addition, there are action cards that can break the rules (most of these sort of games have action cards that break the rules).
Should I buy this game?:
This game can be found for less than 10 bucks (currently). For 10, you might get some plays out of it. Be warned, it is very abstract and the theme is just pasted on. You never feel like you are building the 8 wonders of the world (heck, Andre was not even in the game!).
For me, this game was probably pretty good when it came out, but newer games just provide more in one gaming experience. It is neat how you use your opponents to build what you need to score points (thus giving them points also). This is a good balance.
Overall, I am going to purge. I played this a lot when I was first in gaming (I bought a lot of games because of their cheap prices). It just doesn't hold up to me. If you are looking for a simple game with some thinking, this could be it. It is a bland game to me.