The game starts off with everyone getting a Wonder that they can built if they wish, but it produces a resource right away. Each player starts with 7 cards in hand that is distributed from a common deck. Each player picks a card they wish to build and keep it face down. At the same time, each player builds that card, paying other players if they need resources from them. The 6 remaining cards are passed to the player next to you and you pick one of those you wish to build. This happens in 3 rounds (or Ages), switching directions every round, and points are totaled at the end of the game.
I got to play it at Gencon and fell in love completely. My friends felt the same way as they played more games into the night and eventually getting in around 2 a.m. Back in Illinois, 7 Wonders was introduced to a few of my more casual friends and it got the same response. Since then, we have found it online and continue to play through this online client.
There is not much interaction with your opponents. Military victories and defeats are counted at the end of each round, but it won't hurt you until the end of the game where points are counted up. There are many different paths to pursue (commerce, technology, etc) but each one can give you points at the end. The pieces in this game are all for scorekeeping and exchanging money for materials so no need to remember where they were if you bump the table.
I highly recommend this game, and it contends with Dominion for my top spot. With a few more plays it might even overtake it. This is game is great for everyone that it is recommended for (ages 10 and up, although younger is possible too). A quick search online can find the client, but playing it in person is just too much fun.
Don't forget to click the links below and check out the rest of the games being featured by my fellow bloggers. Happy gaming.