If there’s something the eShop and DSiWare store are missing, its match-3 style games, right? Hopefully you said, “NO!!” At least 7 Wonders II adds some remotely unique things to spice of this flooded genre.
7 Wonders II (DSiWare)
Publisher: Mumbo Jumbo
Released: June 14, 2012
Price: $7.99 (800 DSi Points)
The Good: Some variety / Is actually fun and addicting at times
The Bad: Horrible frame-rate / Fluctuating difficulty / Some levels seem impossible to beat / Overpriced
As you might have guessed, 7 Wonders II is your typical match-3 style game. You match 3 blocks of the same color, and POOF! They disappear and you get points. Each game in this genre seems to have its own theme, and with this game, its no different. The game revolves around, you guessed it, 7 wonders of the world. From Stonehenge to The Great Wall of China, its all here!
You travel around the world on the menu, going to each wonder of the world. You must complete each wonder in the order that is presented to you though, so no skipping around! The basic point of the game is to “build” each wonder of the world with the blocks that you destroy when matching 3 blocks. Whenever you match 3 or more blocks, the background blocks behind them get destroyed and moved to the top of the screen where they then get carried away by slaves (I’m not joking).
When every single background block is destroyed on the level, you’re almost done. A “cornerstone” is randomly put in the level among the blocks at the very top. You must then clear the blocks underneath the cornerstone and bring it all the way to the bottom of the screen. Once you do that, then the level is complete and you do the exact same thing again and again until you have enough blocks to build whatever wonder of the world you’re on. That’s basically the whole game.
Fortunately, there are things added to this game that make it not so boring. When you’re placing blocks on the wonders of the world, you’ll sometimes stumble upon some power-ups. There are a total of 12 power-ups in the game, but only about 3 of them are actually worth using, in my opinion. These power-ups range from bombs that destroy in a 9-block radius to a special ability that will freeze the countdown timer for 20 seconds. Yeah. Two totally different things.
Don’t think about getting too good at this game though. If you’re on a crazy combo where you set of a chain reaction and blocks just keep matching up and earning you points, the gameplay will become very slow and the frame-rate will drop. This happened to me every time I’d use a power-up or something and set of a bunch of chain reactions. But even still, the top screen animations just look slow when the game is running normally. This is probably to be expected from a DSiWare game, but it just made the game feel cheap. Don’t get me wrong though, setting off chain reactions and combos are incredible to watch, it would just be better if it was smooth the whole time.
With each new level, you’re presented with a different playing field. What I mean is that each level looks different from the last one you played. Some levels might be in the shape of a rectangle, while others will be in a giant square with little squares taken out from inside the level to make things more interesting… and difficult. The changing of the level design is good, to keep players on their toes and to try new things, but its also a bad thing in some cases. Since you’re timed in each level, you’ll find yourself trying to beat the clock sometimes. Some levels will be a cake-walk, and others will be incredibly difficult depending on the layout. This is because you must clear every single piece of background block on the level AND manage to get the cornerstone down before the time runs out.
When you take everything into account and what this game has to offer, this game is just too overpriced. You will manage to squeeze out some fun from this game, but not enough to warrant a purchase. I’d say if the price were cheaper, and you literally had no other puzzle games on your 3DS, then go for it. But for now, it seems these 7 wonders weren’t so wonderful after all.
This review is based on an eShop download of 7 Wonders II, provided by Mumbo Jumbo.