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Cradle of Rome is a tile-matching game with a classical antiquity theme. The tiles have icons of city resources, for example piles of wood, wine barrels and coins. Matching three or more of these tiles collects them to their respective resources tab.

Three resources tabs are displayed at the top of the screen for money, wood and food. As the player progresses through the game buildings become available to build, their cost being a combination of those resources.

An amphora serves as the timer, slowly leaking water as time passes. If the player manages to finish the level before it is empty, the water remaining is added as a bonus to the resources. Otherwise, the player loses a life. Some of the board surface has marble underneath it. To complete a level, this marble has to be broken by matching the tiles over it.

Matching special tiles, like the ones with an axe, fills power-up gauges at the bottom of the screen. Once complete, these power-ups perform special actions: the axe removes single tiles, the lightning bolt destroys a random amount of them, the bomb explodes squares of nine tiles, the hourglass adds water to the amphora, etc. Once spent, their gauges must be replenished for another use. A tile with chains is immobile, stopping the flow of tiles to other parts of the board. It has to be matched once to break the chains, and again to be removed from the table.

The Nintendo DS version was ported from the PC. It has revised levels, gameplay adapted for the dual screens and an adjusted difficulty level. It also contain a new mode, Free Play, that allows the user to replay favourite boards.


Cradle of Rome Macintosh Option menu
Cradle of Rome Windows Five epochs of Rome
Cradle of Rome Macintosh Another match puzzle
Cradle of Rome Macintosh Level complete

Alternate Titles

  • "Naissance de Rome : Sur les Traces de C├ęsar" -- French title
  • "Jewel Master" -- Green Pepper budget release title
  • "Die Wiege Roms" -- German title

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Armchair Empire, The Nintendo DS Jan 15, 2009 8.5 out of 10 85
VictoryGames.pl Windows Mar 12, 2008 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
GameZone Nintendo DS Dec 22, 2008 7 out of 10 70
games xtreme Nintendo DS Dec 09, 2008 7 out of 10 70
Cheat Code Central Nintendo DS 2008 3 out of 5 60
Modojo Nintendo DS Dec 03, 2008 3 out of 5 60
Game Informer Magazine Nintendo DS Jan, 2009 6 out of 10 60
IGN Nintendo DS Dec 22, 2008 5.9 out of 10 59
Gamers' Temple, The Nintendo DS 2008 58 out of 100 58
Pocket Gamer UK Nintendo DS Feb 02, 2009 4 out of 10 40


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Contributed to by Natalia Korol (3), Kabushi (155164), jaXen (25642) and Macs Black (77759)