One Card Wonder – Let the world envy your Wonder!


From left to right: AL Khazneh (Jordan), Bedouin Camps (Jordan), Pharos Lighthouse (Egypt)

Let’s go over the criterion for the new potential board game you are looking for: 

  1. You are so bad at having poker face and being bluffed countless times with the Apple, the Contrabands and the Royal goods in Sheriff of Nottingham. You are also deep in despair when you keep being isolated in all the Trades since you have too many cities in Settlers for Catan. Moreover, your “Heart of Cards” skills are not fully developed, such that you can never draw the right card at the right time in Clank. You simply need a strategic game, that makes your neurological systems work hard.    
  2. A simple game, which sufficient English skill would work. You don’t need to smash that replay button on a YouTube How-To-Play video over and over again, nor invest in a 140lbs Oxford dictionary. 
  3. A fast-paced game so that you will not develop any Hemorrhoids for sitting too long
  4. A family-friendly and kid-friendly game that doesn’t have to have dazzling or astonishing illustrations, but detailed and visual literacy.
  5. A game that can satisfy your World Wonders enthusiasm. 7 Wonders is awesome, but you don’t want to control the AI to play a 2 person game. In addition, you think card-drafting is luck dependent. 
  6. Resource Management is your jam. Your heart has palpitations when you are able to grasp the right achievements with the exact amount of resources, no more no less. You miss a heart beat when you realize you lack one specific resource to claim what you want. You go to sleep with it. 
  7. Racing toward the end goals turns you into an adrenaline junkie. Your brain gets so tense, and you breathe faster when the opponents are closing the gap in the race. You can feel the adrenaline flowing in your system when you flip the whole situation upside down in the very last minute. You just can’t stand the absence of it. 


the game components

If you cross 80% of the criterion, then One Card Wonder is what you are looking for. In One Card Wonder, players will have to collect resource, manage those wisely to be the first to achieve the wondrous goal – complete the assigned Wonder. There are 14 Wonder Cards total, and each player will get one of them at the beginning. Also, the amount of each resource will be determined based on the number of players. In their turn, players can perform one of the four actions: 

  1. Produce: this is one of the main ways to gain resources in the game. Players draw three resource cubes from the bag, which players set up at the beginning of the game. Then, they will keep two resources, and put them on their own mat. After that, they will put the last resource on to the matching space in the supply. Note, players can only have a maximum of 8 resources including the coins. So they have to carefully consider what they want to have on their mat. 
  2. Claim: this is another way of gaining resources. Players will take the resources from one type from the supply, and add them to the open spaces on their mat. 
  3. Build: this is the main course of the game, where players actually progress to their end goal. Players will spend the required resources to build as many Wonder Stages as they want, or they can build a Support Building. Support Buildings give players certain advantages during the game. However, players can only build 4 support building maximum – indicated by the amount of obelisks each player has. Once they are out of obelisks, they can no longer build any more buildings.

    Placing obelisk to indicate that Mine and Bazaar are built
  4. Sell: Since coin is not in the bag, this is the only way (besides Trade) for players to earn Coin. Players will spend two of the same resource for one gold only. 

In a game of 4 or more, players can do Trading as well. They can negotiate and trade resources with each other during their active turn.

When players are comfortable with the base game, they can totally include the Leader Expansion, which is also a part of the game. Everyone will have one Leader – who will grant them one time effect. When a player reveals their Leader, other players can decide whether they want to defeat the announced Leader by paying the cost. If they do, the player who activated the leader will receive the cost as tribute and the leader is defeated. Otherwise, the player will resume in activating their Leader effect. 


Zenobia can take all the resources from the supply when activated. All other players must pay 4 matching resources to stop her. 

One Card Wonder is an amazing and clever game. It offers so many things that come with so little components and rules. There are a variety of approaches to play the game. Players can aggressively collect the needed resources to complete their Wonders. Or they can take a longer but stable route to build up their engine. They can plan out what Support Buildings they need to build to help them progress toward the end goals. One thing that leaves me in the love-hate relationship is the visibility of information in this game. Everyone can easily see and figure what the opponents are aiming for. It makes the game won’t be easy to make a grand-finale move to wow your opponents. That’s why it might not be a cup of tea for hardcore gamers. However, thanks to this feature, the game becomes more friendly towards family and casual game groups. 

Have fun building your Wonder!

One Card Wonder is available on Kickstarter until 1PM CDT May 10th, 2021. Here is the link to the campaign.

Dang Ton

Dang Ton

If you can't find me at the table coding, then you can find me at another table playing boardgames. I want to share the fun, the intense, the `ah-ha` moments, the sabotage, the nerve wracking experience ... that Boardgames can offer to the community.
Dang Ton

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