What is Seven Bridges?
Seven Bridges is a crunchy dice drafting “stroll and write” for 1-6 players where you walk around the city of Königsberg visiting the landmarks and crossing over the bridges that make this city so famous. This game should take no more than an hour as a game lasts 5 rounds with each player rolling the dice once per round. A perfect game to start!
A note about the designer
The Designer Ron is probably the best guy to create a roll and write and specifically about a city as he is a professional cartographer with more than twenty years of experience making maps for clients from China to Peru and many locales in between.
What’s so famous about “The Seven Bridges of Königsberg”
The Seven Bridges of Königsberg is a historically notable problem in mathematics. Its negative resolution by Leonhard Euler in 1736 laid the foundations of graph theory and prefigured the idea of topology.
The city of Königsberg in Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia) was set on both sides of the Pregel River which were connected to each other by seven bridges. The problem was to devise a walk through the city that would cross each of those bridges once and only once.
By way of specifying the logical task unambiguously, solutions involving either
reaching an island or mainland bank other than via one of the bridges, or accessing any bridge without crossing to its other end are explicitly unacceptable.
Euler proved that the problem has no solution. The difficulty he faced was the development of a suitable technique of analysis, and of subsequent tests that established this assertion with mathematical rigor. (Wikipedia)
Now on to the game itself
Let’s start with the theme, the map itself looks like it came out of a historical library where you have to the brush off the dust on the maps and dice, it’s beautiful. It’s good to mention that the elements of the game have been creatively superimposed as a red overprint layer, a technique once used to update or repurpose outdated maps.
Now you’ve stopped gushing over how good this looks, you want to play it right? Okay, you roll 6 dice and by end of the game every player gets to draft a total of 30 dice. the dice have the cosponsoring face that allow stroll around the city of Königsberg to get you the most points.
What do all these faces mean? Well as you’re drawing on a 12 x 12 grid overlaying the actual topographical map of the city each grid has a different pathway that you can draw on it. There’s a special rule to this and that’s the #1 dice with 3||2 allows you draw up to 3 or 2 spaces in one direct straight line as they call it “GET ON YOUR HORSE!”. This is such a rewarding dice draft and really allows you to push your luck with how many points you can score.
The dice can also be downgraded (excluding 1s), so you’re gonna do what’s called a pro gamer move and actively take a dice you can’t use so you can downgrade it till it’s useable and if you do it right and “GET ON YOUR HORSE!” you can really take the lead.
How does one score in Seven Bridges?
There are can you guess.. seven ways to score 🤯 You have the most important one being a closed loop which is where you multiply the number of corners (bends) that it has by the number of bridges that it crosses. This is where you can really push your luck and try and maximise a loop.
Crossing bridges and seeing landmarks give you an ever increasing point score from 0 to 45(L) and 50(B) so these are very important to achieve as Landmarks aid in you getting the drafting usage scoring.
Whenever you stroll past a landmark you get a bonus of a pathway as stated above or a reserved ability. These have points ranging from 1-6 on each, so seeing more landmarks gets you more point 😍
The reserve abilities have to be the most overlooked thing in all our games so don’t make our mistake. They allow you to re-roll all the dice before you draft or you can look in their eyes and see the fear as you can distribute all the dice to every player. This can make or break a player that is going for a long loop or is about to finish one.
Overall Seven Bridges has to be the best roll and write I have played. It’s historical theme is beautiful, the mechanics are churchy, thought provoking and they really matter. The on your horses mechanic is wonderfully executed, and the reserved abilities as stated are so important. This game is going down in my collection as one of the greatest.