'Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome 2'Rising Star Games
ESRB rating: Everyone
Review rating: 2.5 stars
Just like the Soviet Union, where the game was born, "Tetris" rose to captivate the entire gaming world before falling to become bargain bin material. Since then, game companies have been trying hard to resurrect this style of puzzle game by adding unrelated features and complex scenarios. "Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome 2" falls into this category, but all the fluff surrounding the game can't hide the fact that it's just a complex variation of "Tetris."
It's up to the player to swap tiles to line up similar icons in this "match-3" game. Doing so will earn gold and materials that can help return ancient Rome to its former glory and propel the player into the role of the exalted potentate! Special bonuses that eradicate several blocks at once can be earned, and using them strategically is the key to success.
Earning gold seems like its own reward, but players will quickly discover that houses take so much material to produce that only grinding through level after level will do the job. This is supposed to be a way for the developers to motivate players to continue, but at this slow rate, I say let Rome fall into ruins!
I am also disheartened by the complete lack of usefulness that the top screen of the 3DS offers. All it displays are incredibly boring scenes during each match, and the images showing each structure during the "purchase" phase are only slightly more interesting. There really is no benefit to having the 3D feature, and there isn't any type of local or online multiplayer!
In the end, "Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome 2" is a fun puzzle game, but there's no motivation to buy it on the Nintendo 3DS.