7 Grand Steps
Unique and challenging
This is quite a unique game and it really is nice to see something different.
It's a turn-based strategy game, played entirely on a board. The objective is to create a family history that continues through the ages, building knowledge, making life choices. Your main characters, ( husband and wife) move around the board and the static children are educated based on the tokens you give them. Most moves are forward, but there is a backward move that is sometimes necessary to make, e.g. to get more tokens. This can potentially be dangerous because, with each turn, the board rotates backwards towards a danger zone. There is only one action per character in each turn and sometimes limited tokens. Also, other people appear on the board. You have no control over them and they can help or hinder the progress of your characters. Therefore, the choices you make need to be thought out.
Your characters will age and one of the children will need to be selected to continue the family. He/she undergoes a rite of passage, the outcome of which is based on the education received. There is no winning or losing, just choices to make that define his/her personality. He/she then becomes your new main character and prospective husbands/wives are placed on the board. The most suitable partners have a heart icon, but can you reach them or will you need to settle for second best? Will a marriage without love bear children, I wonder?
Other excellent reviews have explained things a lot better than I can and I have learnt a thing or two more from them!
This game is intriguing, with more depth to it than I initially realised. A definite purchase.
October 2, 2013
Unique and Thoughtful
I really enjoyed the freshness of this game. It takes a minute or two to pick up the rules, but it's not frustrating, and once I figured everything out, I was immersed. One of the few games I played all the way through the free trial and wanted to continue playing! It doesn't have fancy graphics and bells and whistles, and I wish there were more games like this - just purely based on reaching a goal by thinking things through and strategizing. There is no "random clicking" or "hunting" in this game. It is truly just that: a GAME.
October 4, 2013
subtly addictive roleplaying/board game
Game story is based on ancient world history. Before you play, you need to read through the instructions by pressing the info button and choosing from various golden owl icons. This way you understand what strategies to use. After you press play, you are given your first two characters, a prehistoric couple in love. Both the man and the woman are moveable pawns on the board, so it could actually work as a cooperative game for some creative couples, emphasis on cooperative and some. One quarter of an incomplete wheel is shown at a time, the board, it rotates toward snapping crocodiles, one place, before the start of every turn. Pawns too close (for themselves) will refuse to move backwards and not make tokens. Pawns make tokens by moving toward the river to the game character closest behind them or work with anyone on the same square if no one is closer to the river than them. . Crocodiles represent fear of mediocrity and failure, besides representing death of old age. Without talent tokens you cannot move forward. Moving forward to the right place brings you into contact with beads which are collected and traded for one of three kinds of sudden windfall of success for your dynastic history. A man or woman who lands on the square of a spouse who loves them (or an ally) will advance to not only the next space that matches the token spent but the space that matches after it also, and can collect beads from both squares. It is well worth it to marry someone you love or someone who loves you. Children can be tried for when you move up to a spouses square and can happen accidentally when you attempt to make tokens (moving backwards into their square). Heirs must be educated to make tokens well when their time comes.Too many children will diffuse the heirs inheritance of tokens, everything you die with is handed over square or divided amongst all educated children. They also cost more to educate, for which you must feed them one token per grade point desired in any given field, one only per turn, per child you want educated. Children will make tokens to make up for this, the higher their grade the likelier they succeed and they give the same token type they have the highest grade in most often. The only problem with this is the potential for sibling rivalry that can cause financial disruption when the heir is grown, thievery and doctors bills. Siblings can be helpful when they are treated exactly the same each turn as the heir. This is too expensive to do with a large family. Besides the board game, choices will come up and stories about the pawn or the children. People in the highest caste will have government decisions to make, as well. I played this game after installing it, from 1o pm to 83o am without noticing the time go past. The only thing I don't like is that the game ends (temporarily) at the age of migration and you need to go to the makers website for part two which works with your saved game. No, I also didn't like the jump from one age to the next which leaves out a hundred or so generations and starts up again with a game chosen, unknown descendant. Three, I would have liked to name the children. I did really like the snapping crocodiles and other imagery. The babymaking pictures seem really provocative to me. Maybe, that's just me. I also notice the woman sometimes looks like mother goose would with a bigger beak when your eyes start to go. That's something she's doing with her arm, if you run into it, too. Not all of the women do this.
October 9, 2013
Different than any other game I've played
If you like interesting story-lines, this one has that in spades. Follow your family tree through each successive generation of struggle, heartbreak (one of my characters got abruptly killed in a war), and ultimately, success - that's measured not only by an individual's accomplishments, but also by how well the next generation is trained and ready to take their place.
I really haven't seen anything else like this. I've played it for an entire afternoon now, and still only gotten to the second 'Age' - but I'm hooked now - I really love the design. Something this different won't be for everyone - but if you're interested in something different from the normal strategy games, with an excellent storyline, this one's probably for you!
July 20, 2014
It took me the entire hour of trial game to get a handle on what to do, but then, I'm a slow learner. I feel there is a lot to be learned here as to how to master this game. If one could play Monopoly as if it were a game of Solitaire, then that would be pretty close to explaining what 7 Grand Steps is like. It's every bit a board game that requires thinking, planning, and trying to make the best choices about where and when to move your pawns and how much to spend on your children's education as well as what to teach them.
As you go, you build a history. Every now and then, you come to a figurative crossroads where you are given several choices about what your main pawn will do with his/her life. The choice you make has consequences and they are not always good or bad. Just like in real life, you hope to make the best choice possible based on what knowledge you have at the moment.
Although this is not my favorite type of game, I am thrilled to be putting my brain to work on something different. Kind of roughing up the gray matter.
It seems as if a lot of thought went into making the rules of this game and I found it to be not only challenging but addictive as well.
October 1, 2013
Lunchbreak game with surprising strategy depth
I bought this elsewhere and have had it for a few months now. I enjoy it quite a bit but it's kind of an acquired taste. It's not like anything else here at Big Fish so definitely try the demo if you're looking for something new.
it plays out similarly to the way a board game would. You start out as one guy in the dawn of the copper age who finds a mate and raises a family. You choose a goal for your young family (well, the first few rounds, the game walks you though this but after that, you can choose for yourself). The goal can be to make a discovery, complete a hero challenge, or improve social standing. Each round you can choose to make tokens with the grown ups in the family. The tokens are your currency in the game for moving or doing things. Making tokens moves your character backwards on the wheel (It helps to think of the wheel as if it were the game board.) Or you can spend a token on each character to move them forward on the wheel. If they fall too far back, they will be consumed by crocodiles.
The wheel moves forward each round, bringing your characters closer to the crocs, representing old age, and revealing new board spaces. Each space is marked with a symbol for a certain technology appropriate to the age - thinks like Irrigation, Masonry, etc. When you land on a square, you receive tokens based on the symbol, modified by your character's learning and family situation.
Ahead of you on the board squares are beads which represent points toward your goal. Landing on a square with beads acquires those points for your family. There's an event called the Challenge of the Age that happens when it's time to advance out of the copper age (and subsequent ages). Having a variety of achieved goals under your belt helps survive the challenge of the age.
Any time your couple are on the same square together, they can try for a child. It happens automatically if they "make tokens" together. You need at least one child in order for your story to advance. You also want a spare or two, in case of tragedy. Too many children though can be a real problem. Children can't make tokens but each round they need to be fed a token to advance their education. If you don't educate all of your family together, the children will form rivalries which can affect your progress on the board.
It's not just you moving around the wheel. Your neighbors and other family members are there too, snarfing up your beads and interfering with your progress. Your children's rivals and friends will grow along with them affect how well your children do in subsequent generations.
You need to stay at the front of the pack in order to get beads, so you need to spend your tokens. OTOH, being short on tokens can really hurt. That's where the strategy of the game comes from, deciding how aggressive to be in pursuing your goals and how long you can sit and make tokens before the crocs get you. My current family is super short on tokens right now. I'm almost tempted to spend the next generation just accumulating wealth.
There's a subtle little story that develops as you play across the generation, which narrates your family's success and failures. There's some luck and random events too, so each story won't be the same as previous families,
This all sounds complicated but it's not, really. A few turns of the wheel and you'll understand how the people move. Also, you can save your game at any time. And there's no time limit on your moves. You can take as long as you want to think about it. This makes it a great game to play on a lunch break, where you can pop, play a few rounds, and pop out.
Sorry for the Great Wall of Text but I hope it's helpful. I do really like this game. It's an odd little game but thoughtful and unique. It's not for everyone but it's definitely worth a look.
October 2, 2013
Really different! Very interesting!
Not sure how to describe this game. It is sort of a board game where one tries to advance one's "pawn" along a board, but the board is really the game of life. It takes starts in the Copper Age in the middle east, and and the idea of the game is that one tries to create a family and advance them in society with certain skills and to create a new generation and advance that generation through the ages (Iron, etc). Decisions are made that will affect social standing and advancement. It is a bit complex and will take me a while to really understand this game, but it seems like a game that can be played multiple times, choosing different characters and situations for that character. You really should play it and stick with it to get a feel for the game. Definitely do the tutorial and there is an info button that will help to explain. Good Luck, I think I will get this with one of my coupons!
October 1, 2013
Feels like a Euro board game- strategic, attractive, replayable.
This feels very like a Euro board game. Think Puerto Rico, Carcassone, Settlers of Catan. Like many of those games, the mechanics are pretty simple: do steps 1-4 (helpfully prompted at first), go to the next round. The computer format makes this a solitaire game, but I can see how playing on a board with others would work.
This is a strategy game. The point is not to get to the end (imho), but to plan a prosperous trip (with a little luck). As with many strategic games (Puerto Rico occurs to me), I sense that every time I play, I'll learn and figure out a little bit more. Opportunities are rife for trying out different strategies to see how they'd pan out.
The good: with the computerized format, helpful prompts speed learning time. With many board games of a strategic sort, it can take an hour or more to read and understand the rules. This is a jump-right-in approach. Nice! There's still a learning curve, though. With this kind of game, the game generally gets more enjoyable every time you play it. It's not an instant gratification situation. But if you're willing to spend the time and mental energy, I think it could be endlessly replayable.
The downside: being a solitaire game, I don't get to see how the interactions between my moves and opponents' moves would pan out. These pawns are "shadow pawns" in this game. On the other hand, I don't have to spend hours cooped up with gamers of questionable social skills!
In short: the game takes place (or should) more in your head than on the "board". Board gamers would enjoy. Others might welcome the change of pace. Not a mindless time-waster! But I can foresee many days of learning strategies and replay.
October 2, 2013
Live Long And Prosper!
I must admit I had to give this game a second look. I played the game for about 5 minutes the first time and just didn't get it. However, I just couldn't give up so I gave it another try. This is the basic idea:
*The first generation of players or "pawns" are Khet the father and his wife "Selk"
*You need to advance the parents status and skills and keep them from falling into the alligator pit. To do this you use a token of either irrigation, masonry, brewing etc. and choose in order to hopefully land on a matching icon with legendary beads which will also give your family status.
*You choose to have children in order to keep the family bloodlines going. You need to give that child or children tokens even though they don't have "pawns" on the playing field. Each token you give the child raises their education in whatever field or fields of tokens they are given and when they are old enough and wise enough they will take the place of their ageing parents. The young adult must then choose a mate pawn and so forth.
*You also have gold ingots which can be used to make more tokens. If you use an ingot it counts as that pawns turn and it must be used by the player in the lead so the other pawn can catch the pawn and make the tokens.
This must indeed sound confusing but the game explains every step as you go along and after 10-15 minutes of playing you will get the hang of it, enjoy!
October 2, 2013
Interesting strategy - but only ONE step of 7
This game has some unique mechanisms. Much of the game is spent moving along the 'wheel', effectively a linear track, but every so often you get a story-based choice. This depends on your characters' 'personalities' as chosen as each comes of age but apparently not on the skills acquired during play.
The game ends when you reach the end of the first grand step, and your family tree is saved for the sequel. If that means we're going to be expected to buy six more games to see the end of the story I'll be jumping off here.
I think the amount of gameplay is reasonable for the price - it took me seven hours or so to reach the end of one family's story and there were parts of the game I hadn't explored. There is reasonable replay value.
October 15, 2013