A couple of years ago the big news was The 7th Continent. I could scarcely look through my Instagram or Twitter feed without seeing people talking about the game. The hype was big. But two years on it seems the hype machine has moved on and people are all talking about the latest and greatest. During its brief flash in the spotlight, I knew 2 things about The 7Th Continent; it was a big game, and it was hard to get.
Skip forward a year and a half and my friend, Paul, finally got a copy after much searching. He asked me and a mutual DnD friend, Ricky, to play it with him. We did play the game with Paul, about 6 months after he first asked. This was mostly because we knew one session would take around 3-4 hours. This was a lot of time for people who had lives to lead and were doing this on top of their usual gaming nights. However, the time came and we sat down to finally play through this game. The information I received was not a mistake, this game is big. Not initially, but it has a map that grows as you play and can take up the whole table by the end of an evening. On top of that, there are cards for everything. It is easy to see why some people found this game intimidating. If Paul had not spent the time he did learning the rule I think our 4-hour game could have taken a lot longer. However, and quite surprisingly, as we played the game seem to just make sense. What cards we needed became predictable and turns were smooth and effortless. The more we played the more I realised that the time invested to make this game work had been immense. The 7th Continent does not just play well, it hums. I believe a good game is where the flavour text matters. In The 7th Continent, the flavour text is one the best things about turning over a card. Everything is integrated so well and the gameplay is smooth and engaging. The story that unravels through the adventure had our troop of three explorers absolutely wrapped and invested in each decision the group made. After 8 hours of play, I am pleased to say that the game still has surprises for us and keeps us laughing (or groaning) and just plain smiling with glee.
I think it’s a shame the buzz has disappeared around The 7th Continent. Having experienced it now I comfortably place it into my top 5 co-op games of all time. The only thing keeping it from number 1 is that I freaking love Legendary Encounters an Alien Deck Builder. I tell you what, a few more sessions and I may be willing to say it is simply the best cooperative game ever. I am excited about my nest session and eagerly look forward to the expansions to come. If you have not already, I recommend giving this game a go.