Published by Serious Poulp, this was a project backed on Kickstarter, and it is apparently due to return to Kickstarter shortly for a second print run.
7th Continent is a co-operative game of exploration. You choose a route and put out a numbered tile that shows what you find. The tile will include a range of options, each of which branches into choices. The currency you are spending is the deck of cards you are burning through as you turn over cards in the hope of finding the symbols you need for success in each endeavour or encounter. The more you spend, the smaller that draw decks gets, and you’ll need to find ways of replenishing it from the growing discard pile.
Some of the cards you draw are ‘curse’ cards. These initially have no effect but when you finally exhaust your draw deck, you draw instead directly from the discard pile. Then, if you draw a curse card, your adventurers die. It is game over.
The numbered branching choices will put many players immediately in mind of the numerous ‘choose your own adventure’ books popularised in the Fighting Fantasy series by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone in the 1980s (although a similar system had previously been used some years earlier in the Tunnels & Trolls solo adventure books). It works well in this game, and there is a degree of randomisation (and variation between plays) as there may be several tiles with the same number.
When you die and reset the game for another playthrough, you’ll be put in mind of TIME Stories (Space Cowboys). In that game, you are expected to fail your first mission attempt but learn from that to do better on your second (and maybe third) run. In 7th Continent too, you will learn from your mistakes and work out the route you need to follow and the red herrings or time/card wasting distractions you need to avoid in order to do better on subsequent runs.
7th Continent is well designed and engrossing. In the 360 Board’s Eye View photo, we are playing essentially as a two-person solitaire game, in that our two characters are moving in tandem. On our next play, we would probably want to split up more.
My KS edition came with a bunch of different ‘curse’ packs, so there’s a lot of play in the box. For those of us that are inveterate ‘sleevers’, however, that’s got to be around 1000 cards and tiles to sleeve!