Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome 2 & Cradle of Persia (DS)

In these two match three style puzzler games, your job is to build Rome (or Persia) by lining up three of the same kinds of shapes to make them disappear. It’s very similar to Bejeweled, but in this one, you finish rounds by breaking tiles underneath by clearing out items in front of them. Once you do that, it’s off to the next round. Use the stylus and touch screen to tap on items and switch them to adjacent ones to line up three in a row.

In Cradle of Rome 2, items that you match become resources for building up your empire. Match coins to earn money, wood for lumber, buckets for food, etc. After each stage, when you have enough money and resources, you can buy buildings, structures, and technology to help your empire. Once you buy them, you can play an annoying sliding picture puzzle of the item you bought. But luckily you can just skip that part of the game. When you make certain structures, you can earn special powers that can help you out when playing puzzles, although the game doesn’t make it very clear how to use them. When you buy all the buildings in an Epoch, you can move onto the next, with five Epochs in all. If you don’t clear a round in the given time, you’ll have to start that round over again.  Sometimes, chains over tiles keep you from moving the items, match the ones underneath to break the chains so you can move and clear out the shapes.

Aside from the main story mode, you can also play each stage separately to try and beat your best time and score. And after you beat the game, you’ll unlock a Tournament Mode, too. Earn trophies by completing certain goals and save your high scores, too. The only other problem with this game is that it’s very challenging, much more so than other match three puzzlers. So it’s only recommended if you’re an expert at these kinds of games.

It’s hard for me to recommend one game over the other, as Cradle of Persia seems to be nearly the EXACT same game as Cradle of Rome 2. The setting and buildings you buy may be different, and some of the shapes you match are, too. But otherwise, it’s the same game. It’s like when you go to Vegas and see all these different slot machines, but once you play a few, you realize they are all alike. So just pick whichever city you’d rather build: Rome or Persia.

Kid Factor:

Reading skill is a must for all the text, and some young gamers may get frustrated at the higher challenge level. Other than that, it’s OK for any age. Both game are rated E for Everyone.

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