7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven|
Treasures of Seven is the third installment in MumboJumboís puzzler series, and like the two games before it, relies on classic match-three play, a la Bejeweled and its ilk. Treasures features nine new wonders to build, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Petra, and the Porcelain Tower of Manjing. The game can be played about equally well with the stylus or D-pad and buttons.
This latest title is certainly prettier than the original 7 Wonders, and the tiles are easier to tell apart, but otherwise, it has most of the same strengths and weaknesses as its predecessor. Treasuresí primary innovations over the previous two 7 Wonders are a rotatable board that allows for more flexibility in deciding how fresh jewels fall, and an additional pathway game requiring players to guide a unique keystone to a particular keyhole on the board before the level can be completed.
Each wonder consists of several sub-levels with differently shaped boards and requires the player to break every tile on the board by making a match over each tile. Naturally, the boards become more challenging as the game progresses, eventually involving holes in the board and narrow spaces that require more thoughtful maneuvering. The pathway game opens up when the last tile is broken and, in later levels, often have trickier shapes and require players to manipulate multiple keystones.
Still, Treasures isnít an especially challenging puzzler, particularly with power-ups thrown in. With it being a casual game, though, mild difficulty may very well be a welcome feature. Players can easily earn power-ups by matching more than three tiles at once. Theyíre fairly straightforward and consist of an Ice Ball, which is earned by matching four and wipes out one row of tiles; a Fire Ball, which is earned by matching five and wipes out one row and column; and a Dice Bonus earned by using any four power-ups that removes 15 to 20 random squares. A Time Freeze is earned when the player makes a match specifically requested by the game.
As previously mentioned, the graphics are clean and reasonably attractive for the DS. The Mediterranean-flavored soundtrack, as before, is not bad, but itís limited enough that the background music can get tiresome over sub-level upon sub-level of puzzling. Overall, though, the presentation suits the gameplay just fine.
Parents thinking of buying this for their kids may be interested in the historical tidbits that the game provides on each of the nine wonders, and the new world map showing the location of each wonder may provide some additional educational value. Other than that, though, Treasures is pretty much just more of the same jewel-matching action weíve seen in countless other puzzle titles.
Retail priced at $19.99, 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven, may not be the most innovative or challenging puzzle game on the market, but itís simply carried out and enjoyable enough to play.