We have always like the scary horror themes, and 7Souls is full of it in a fun, cartoonish way. In this game, you don’t play as the good guy. You have to try and collect the souls of all investigators stopping you by corrupting them. Oh and did I mention that one of the creatures in 7Souls is Cthulhu? Needless to say, we were convinced once more to try out another board game for our collection.
How to Play.
The setup for this game is not complicated at all but has quite a few components and cards you need to place. This is very well explained with a clear picture in the rulebook, so for more details, check the rulebook.
The game is played in rounds and on each round you will choose which souls you wish to control in order to achieve your goal. Every player has a personal goal they can reach, such as having the most souls for example, but you can also try to claim an altar, or corrupt an investigator. In order to do this, you need resources.
At the beginning of each round each player will choose three cards from the seven characters they are given, and place one card facedown at each location the Miskatonic University, Whately Manor and the Ancient Temple. Then reveal all the cards simultaneously to see the results. The highest numbered card should be placed in the back followed by the lower numbers and the lowest number in the front. This will be the play order on each location with the player from the front card choosing first.
Each player now gets to resolve the card they have played. You can choose any action printed on the card, like gaining souls or power tokens, or even giving horror cards to other players. If two players or more have placed the same number, you will have to perform a loyalty check to see if who’s character is loyal enough to perform the action. To do this, each player shuffles and takes their corruption deck. This corruption deck can have negative horror cards or focus and determined cards. To perform a loyalty check, simply draw the top card from your corruption deck. If you draw a horror card, you have no corruption since there is no eye token on horror cards. If you draw a focused card however, you will have one corruption and a determined cards even gives you two corruption. You can gain more focused and determined cards by performing actions on your character cards. At the beginning of the loyalty check, you can also announce to use up to two power tokens to give you one more corruption. These tokens will go back to the box after the results of the loyalty check. The player with the most corruption, corrupts the other characters and can therefore still perform the action from their character while the other players will have to wait. Your characters will go to sleep for one turn after using them since they have to regain their energy. This means you won’t be able to use the three characters you choose to use in the previous round.
After all players have resolved their characters actions, the investigators assigned to the three locations will attack. At the back of the card you can find what locations they will attack, and at the front you will see what space they will attack. Some investigators will only attack the front card for example, if you don’t want to be attacked, it might be wise to play a low number on the location that investigator will perform an attack. In the left bottom of the investigators card, you will see what resources the investigator will take. This can be soul tokens, power tokens or corruption cards from the top of your deck. Add these items facedown at the investigator when these resources are claimed. The investigator can also give you a horror card.
One of the actions you can perform when activating your character at one of the locations, is corrupting a investigator. You can choose to do this using your corruption deck. In the right corner of the investigators card, you will see two numbers. The top one is how much corruption you will need to draw in order to successfully corrupt that investigator. The bottom number shows the maximum amount of cards you may draw from your corruption deck during this test. If your corruption is equal to or higher then the number you need, you corrupt that investigator and you gain that investigator with all the resources it contains from previous attacks. You can then place a new investigator on the empty spot.
The goal of the game is to gain the most soul points. You can do this by corrupting investigators, collecting an altar or gaining a blessing by fulfilling the requirements on those cards or by completing your personal objective you have chosen at the beginning of the game. The game will end when two supplies (soul tokens, power tokens or corruption cards) are empty at the same location. You can then reveal your personal objective to see if you have completed your objective successful. In order to see who won the game. Simply add up all the points that you have gained from soul tokens, altars you have collected, investigators you have corrupted, your personal objective and blessings you have gained. The player with the most soul points has won the game.
Playthrough of the game.
The first challenge started with the rulebook. Unfortunately, we found the rulebook was not clearly written and caused us to take more time to learn the game then needed. But once you get to know the game, it’s really simple. The fun part about 7Souls is that you don’t know what number your neighbors are going to play. Nobody wants to get attacked by an investigator, so when we that an investigator will attack the front space in a location, we all tried to play a higher card that still had an action on it that we needed at the time. Which resulted in playing the same numbers quite a few times. Then loyalty checks are performed and we always had a lot of fun with the outcomes of those checks.
But if you are going to play this game with only two players, we found that it is lacking. With the seven characters that you get and good strategic thinking and planning, we rarely drew the same number. Also after one round, you know what characters a player will have left and which characters will go to sleep if you pay attention. We have had a couple of times that I used characters 2,4 and 7 while Tomasz used 1,3 and 5 for example. Since those characters will go to sleep, you are forced to use the remaining characters you have in your hand, but we will only have the risk of both playing number 5. This takes a lot of fun away from the game and it gets more plain.
7Souls is a creepy strategic game you can play with a maximum of six players. The theme of the game is awesome and the art fits really well with a cartoonish style. The components also have nice quality and everything has a spot on the game board. And while the rulebook might be a bit chaotic, once you get to know the game, it is really easy to learn. The game can be fun with more players, but with two players, we found that the game is lacking and not as fun.