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Nintendo DS Game Review

Jewel Master
Cradle of Rome


Format: Nintendo DS
Rising Star Games
RRP: £24.99
5 060102 951704
Age Restrictions: 3+
Available 21 November 2008

Welcome to the birth of the Roman Empire where players re-create the legendary city of old using a unique variation of the much-loved Jewel Master puzzle mechanic. Players still swap two adjacent squares around to create a row of three or more, but instead of completing the board as quickly as possible, the goal is to gather as many resources as you can before the timer runs out. The more resources you gather, the faster you can build Rome. Start with a lowly saw mill and progress to gain access to historical monuments such as the Arch of Titus, the Temples of Venus and Saturn and eventually the mighty Coliseum...

In Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome, players can build more than 20 historical sites from five different eras of Ancient Roman architecture by gathering resources such as wood, tools, gold and more by matching rows of three or more on the puzzle board and obtaining as many as possible before the time runs out. The more resources players gather, the faster they can build the city from a lowly saw mill and progress to such historical monuments such as the Temple of Venus and eventually the mighty Coliseum.

This is one of those addictive puzzle games that is almost impossible to put down. The difficulty also progresses well - with each level being just that little bit harder to complete than the last. And the addition of being able to buy buildings in order to construct the sprawling city of Rome also adds an extra angle to the game play.

Just when you think you've mastered the game, the developers throw something new at you to get your head around (from chained up objects that need to be unlocked by making them part of a link of similar objects, to squares that need to be cleared twice - changing colour each time you clear them).

I took this home to review (as I was so addicted to it) and made the fateful mistake of letting my better half have a go. That was it... I lost it to her! And any chance of nocturnal activities was scuppered as she insisted on playing it in bed!

Fantastic game... but be warned - you may end up shutting yourself away and withdrawing from society for quite some time in your quest to rebuild Rome.


Nick Smithson

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