Build your own wonder of the world in Monuments

March 11, 2020 - 3:16am

If you've played any civilization game, you're probably familiar with the thrill of building a wonder. Grand structures, huge statues, immense monuments for all the world to see that take oh so much blood, sweat, and tears to build but are worthy of ageless awe and pride. There's a reason why many civilizations games feature them, it just doesn't feel appropriate without them. However, in Monuments, designed by Martin Looij of Keep Exploring Games, these constructs are front and center and built layer-by-layer on your table. 2-to-4 players will each represent one ancient civilization of our world (Greeks, Egyptians, Mayas, or Incas) who will race each other to glory through clever card play, strategic movement, tactical upgrades, and personal goals, the highest of which is to finish your culture's wonder of the world.

"Monuments takes a different take on the civilization genre. There are no ages, no tech trees, advancement tracks, no long waits between turns, no 4 hour game, nor a 40 page rulebook. In Monuments, the focus is on building the Monuments instead. [...] The challenge is that for each higher layer of your Monument you build, the three requirements for doing so will get harder and harder. You need to pay a certain number of resources, control a certain number of land areas and sacrifice a number of workers. The increasing needed number of land areas makes for players to get closer to one another, with all due consequences..."

For those familiar with Concordia, there's some fun parallels between it and Monuments that make it immediately attractive and intuitive. Each player starts with an identical hand of 10 cards, and each turn a player must either play one or spend their turn picking cards back up - a tried-and-true system! Each card controls everything from map movement to resource gathering, and there's are personal and secret goals which help keep scoring interesting and secret. A key place where Monuments differs, besides the impressive miniatures that hallmark the game, is how each card can be upgraded to have a more efficient effect, and how map control and paying workers shifts the tension as it comes to an end. Like it's 13 cm tall Colossus of Rhodes - this game has a solid foundation, is cleverly put together, and has good balancing act to it. If you're interested in learning more about Monuments, check out the Kickstarter campaign page for the full rules, videos, reviews, community feedback, and more.