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3DS  header logo

Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome 2

For: 3DS

Still a gem

Product: Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome 2 | Publisher: Rising Star Games Limited | Format: 3DS | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome 2 3DS, thumbnail 1
Just a month ago we reviewed Jewel Master: Cradle of Persia for the DS. If you read that review you can probably skip this one, as Cradle of Rome 2 is practically identical to the first Middle East-themed outing.

For those still here, this is a match-three puzzle game with plenty of content. As with all of these titles, you need to line up three or more icons horizontally or vertically to clear them from a perpetually refilling board. Removing them gains you resources with which to buy buildings in the Adventure mode, slowly growing your city.

Building an empire

The more structures you create the more bonuses you unlock. You charge up these power-ups over time by matching icons with corresponding images - such as fire symbols for the Fireball bonus - and once they're ready you use them to destroy large numbers of icons in one go.

Buildings come at a high price - you'll need to successfully grind out levels over and over to amass enough resources to afford them. Completing a stage depends on you removing all coloured tiles from play, and failure to do so costs you nothing whatsoever - just a prompt asking whether you would like to try again.

In Cradle of Rome 2, reward is eked out slowly, and you can easily finish a session feeling as though you've made no progress. If you're a fan of this genre, the challenge will be welcome, but if you're just looking for something to kill 15 minutes it can be very disheartening.

The improvements over Cradle of Persia are minor. Swapping jewels with the stylus is more accurate than in the DS outing, and the higher screen resolution makes icons on the screen slightly easier to differentiate.

Romulus. Remus. Repetitious.

The use of the 3DS's other features is unimpressive, though. 3D is confined to scenic images on the top screen that you'll never look at, there's no online functionality for multiplayer, nor multiplayer of any kind.

Thankfully, Tourney and Blitz modes are still included, allowing you to replay your favourite levels and to challenge yourself to see how many boards in a row you can complete, so there's plenty of single-player content to keep you busy.

If you've not picked up Cradle of Persia and fancy a lengthy, solidly made match-three puzzler on your 3DS then Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome 2 is a great choice. It's just a shame that so little has changed from the previous release, and that so few of the 3DS's capabilities have been used in any significant way.
Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome 2
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 3 May 2012
Business as usual for the Jewel Master series, though the move to Nintendo's latest portable frankly seems pointless, such is Cradle of Rome 2's similarity to the last
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