7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven Review
7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven is a match-three puzzle game that at its core is a clone of Bejeweled. The game has you helping to build some of the architectural wonders of history by providing workers with the stone that they need to complete their projects. When you begin a new level stone is placed under each jewel in the game board's grid. When you match rows of three or more gems by swapping the position of two adjacent jewels ala Bejeweled, you remove the stone below the matched gems and it is transported to the DS' upper screen where you can watch the workers pick it up and take it to the job site.
To complete a level you must first clear all of the stone from the game grid. Once this is done, the "keystone" appears in the grid. Your goal is then to guide the keystone through the grid until it reaches the square designated as its goal. Since gems only drop down the grid in one direction when gems are eliminated below them, the game allows you to rotate the board in any direction to control the direction the gems drop after a match. This allows you to maneuver the keystone in any direction through the grid - and it's also a useful trick for setting up matches during the first phase of the level. Once the keystone reaches its goal the level is completed.
Matching more than three gems at a time will create special gems in the grid. One will eliminate every gem on its row, another will also eliminate all of the gems in its column, and lastly there is a die that takes out a random number of gems scattered throughout the game board.
7 Wonders is an enjoyable Bejeweled style game. The extra goals of eliminating the stone on the grid - essentially forcing you to make a match on every part of the board - and of maneuvering the keystone across the board add an additional twist to the gameplay, as does the ability to rotate the board in any direction. I wouldn't say that I found the game to be particularly challenging even at the higher levels which change the shape of the board, but I enjoy match-three puzzle games and 7 Wonders implements the formula well enough to keep me interested. It works well as a puzzle game for a portable system since you can complete a level in a relatively short period of time and if you're a match-three puzzle fan you'll be happy to have the game in your collection. At its core it's still a match-three game, though, so if one of these types of games is enough for you there's no need to pick up this one.
Final Rating: 80%. Match-three gameplay with a twist.