Board games this holiday season — 7 Wonders, K2, Kingdom Builder

We always get some board games over the holiday season and have some gamefests. Settlers, Ticket to Ride, Survive have been winners in past years. This year we tried 3:

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* “Seven Wonders”:http://www.amazon.com/Asmodee-SEV-EN01ASM-7-Wonders-Game/dp/B0043KJW5M/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1357360279&sr=1-1&keywords=seven+wonders. This was the real winner of the holiday season. It seemed crazy complex at first, but the game play is swift, there are many ways to win, and everyone is in the game until the last turn. Excellent game. And there are a bunch of expansion backs for it I see. This might be my new metric for judging games — if it has expansion packs, then it has probably found a good audience.
* “K2″:http://www.amazon.com/Heidelberger-Spieleverlag-HE344-K2-Game/dp/B0049HLTNW/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1357360503&sr=1-1&keywords=k2. This one seemed promising, and it is not a complete disaster, but there are some problems in the end game that left us all feeling a little deflated. The bottlenecks at the top of the mountain really stymie play at the end.
* “Kingdom Builder”:http://www.amazon.com/Queen-Games-60832QNG-Kingdom-Builder/dp/B0063I6Y2G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357360009&sr=8-1&keywords=kingdom+builder. Good reviews on Amazon and on some game sites, but this one is a dog. As one player described it, “This game is what I could come up with in 10 minutes”. We may have to go into the game design business.