A review by Gamer Greg
Game – 7 Wonders II
Version – DSiWare
ESRB Rating: ‘E’ – Everyone
Obtained – Download code courtesy of Mumbo Jumbo
The gameplay is quite simple. You swap neighboring relics to make matches of three or more of a kind in a row or column. Having four or more yields one time power ups that will help clear the tiles behind the relics. The object is to clear all of the tiles behind all of the relics within a specified period of time. Each level has a different board making each subsequent level increasing in difficulty. The player is also able to unlock bonuses which the player can pick before playing and it will slowly charge while playing. When the charge is complete, the player can use it like a powerup which can really save the player if they are trying to complete the level within the time limit. Some of the bonuses include a relic swapper, relic mask or a column destroyer. The swapper allows the player to pick any 2 relics to trade places, the mask allows the player to convert any relic to wild relic to make it easier to match and the column destroyer the player picks an entire column to remove all tiles and relics.
Some of the powerups include fireballs and dice which help tremendously removing tiles. The fireball will clear the row and column that it is released in and the dice will randomly remove relics on the board pushing all above relics downwards. The fireball helps clear tiles in harder to reach locations on the board, while the dice helps move the special relic piece down through the board. To complete the level, the player must remove all gray/brown tiles, the colored tile and advance a heavy relic through the bottom of the board. The colored relic can either be matched over several times, or making a match with the proper colored relic. The heavy relic will appear towards the middle to end of the level and the player cannot switch rows or columns with this piece. The player must allow it to travel through the bottom by matching all relics underneath it.
The controls are very basic as only the stylus is used. The player just taps a relic and neighboring relic for them to swap places. The powerups become relic-like where the player can switch the powerup and a relic to activate it. For the bonuses, the player drags the bonus onto a relic to activate it. The buttons, control pad, circle pad all do not perform any functions towards the gameplay.
The only game mode offered is the campaign/story mode. The player just hits the play button and advances to the map to pick the location of the wonder that they want to construct. It is a linear progression from England to Italy to India and so on visiting the countries of the 7 wonders of the world. After each puzzle the player gets gold blocks to construct the wonder. There’s an option menu to turn off hints and play with the sound and music settings. The player can also view the credits if they so desired from the options menu.
The visuals are nothing spectacular as the relics, backgrounds are pretty simple. They get the job done since each relic is a different color so the player is focusing on matching colors and the puzzle that the background goes by not really be focused on. When the player removes the panel the top screen shows the workers taking the panels. The characters look very basic with not a lot of detail. With it being a simple puzzle game with moving relics within the frame the visuals are not the most important aspect.
The music is very basic as well. It is simple relaxing music that is not overwhelming. The relic switching sound is also a simple beep with other sounds like the fireball just being a simple fire sound clip. I found at times that the music was repetitive and preferred to play it with the sound off.
Concluding Overall Impressions
Overall the puzzle aspect is fun as it’s pretty comparable to Bejewled and the has cool powerups. The music and visuals were not very impressive. One of the issues I have with this game is the high gold block requirements. To complete a wonder, takes about 40-50 during the middle levels and found that I had to play the level 6 or 7 times to acquire enough gold blocks. With the player needed to clear all the tiles and meeting the requirements in a short time, it is hard to acquire more than 6-7 golden blocks on each level as the total grows when particular relics are matched. I would recommend this game to fans of puzzle games, that do not mind playing plenty of different puzzles.
3.5 out of 5.