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Critic Reviews

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Armchair Empire, The (Jan 15, 2009)
I found this game extremely addictive. I never really got hooked on Bejeweled, but there is just something great about this variant that has me hooked. Although there are all kinds of these games out on the DS, this one is definitely worth your time. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get to the next level.
GamingExcellence (Apr 06, 2009)
It’s hard to do much wrong when you’re using a series of well established gameplay mechanics but Cradle of Rome does just enough right to let it act as a nice tide over until the next Puzzle Quest game. There are a lot of bland puzzle titles that fail on one level or another but Cradle of Rome manages to avoid that status just narrowly. The RPG-ish element adds focus that these other games lack and provides a light experience that can be enjoyed on the go or at home.
Gamervision (Apr 03, 2009)
If Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords has taught us anything, it is that there is room in the market for a puzzle game to build on the Bejeweled concept. However, while Cradle of Rome does have some unique additions to the formula, it’s not quite enough to make it really stand out. If Destineer had just added a little something extra, like a fun multiplayer mode or a better incentive to build up the Roman Empire, it would have been easy to recommend, especially at the budget price of twenty dollars. That being said, it can be quite addictive, and will have you saying “just one more level” over and over again.
games xtreme (Dec 09, 2008)
Overall if you are a casual gamer or you're one of these people who bought a DS for Brain Training, give this game a go, it is seriously fun and you can pick it up anytime without the worry of remembering the story or how to actually play the game.
GameZone (Dec 22, 2008)
Cradle of Rome is surprisingly addictive, easy to play, and challenging from a number of different angles. If you enjoy puzzle games, this freshly released puzzler for the Nintendo DS will surely satisfy. Even casual gamers will find themselves quickly addicted to the rollercoaster paced gameplay.
Cradle of Rome is a game that frustrates me. I have been known to stay up late playing Bejeweled 2 online in a web browser or on Xbox Live Arcade. I have Zoo Keeper on the Nintendo DS and both the DS and PSP versions of Puzzle Quest. I felt myself compelled to play, but the control issues really got to me. Had there been no control issues, I would have been able to recommend this without any problem. Instead, I have to downgrade this game and warn people of the issues. Hopefully a sequel can be made that will fix these issues.
In spite of its shortcomings, however, Cradle of Rome is still an oddly addictive puzzler. There’s no real city planning, the screen sensitivity wreaks all sorts of havoc during puzzles, and the presentation in strictly bare-bones. Yet, we still had fun with the game. Worth $20? Probably not. Even at a discount, it’s hard to forgive its problems. However, those folks who love their gem-matching pleasantries probably can’t go wrong checking this one out as a weekend rental.
Cradle of Rome is far from terrible, but it has neither the strategic depth nor the Pavlovian addiction required to be a worthwhile puzzle game.
Modojo (Dec 03, 2008)
It's still a fun Bejeweled clone, and you'll need a few hours to clear its puzzles, but we needed something innovative. Hoarding as much gold as possible never gets old, but for a game called Cradle of Rome, we expected a game worthy of the world's greatest empire.
Thunderbolt Games (Dec 04, 2008)
Cradle of Rome is an entirely inoffensive puzzle game that relies heavily on its central mechanic of flawless match three gameplay. The ‘building’ area of the game does an okay job in adding a little importance to the gameplay, but high scores would have done this just as well. When the puzzling is this good, it’s hard not to recommend if you’re a fan of similar affairs. If you’re interested in sampling the delights of match three puzzling, Cradle of Rome certainly isn’t a bad place to start. Who knows, it may even inspire you to build a shed.
NintendoWorldReport (Feb 28, 2009)
While nothing too original, Cradle of Rome isn't that bad of a Bejeweled clone. The difficulty gets brutal, but the game is relatively forgiving. If you're interested in a short, fun puzzle game for DS, you could do much better, but you could also do worse.
IGN (Dec 22, 2008)
A DS edition of Cradle of Rome released alongside the PC game last year would have made more sense. But by now there are plenty better match-three games on Nintendo's handheld. For the same price ($20), The Quest Trio gives you the same experience with Jewel Quest, plus two more good puzzle games to boot. The Roman Empire was left behind by the march of progress, and the same can be said of Cradle of Rome.
Before you get too excited about a potentially exciting melding of puzzle and strategy gaming, I have to break the news that purchasing a new building in a linear fashion every couple of puzzles is as far as the game takes this concept. It's a classic example of an interesting idea with some unique potential completely neutered by rushing the game to market without taking the time to fully develop the concept. The game should be another Puzzle Quest, a game that brilliantly built an RPG around puzzle-based battles, but instead, it's just another Bejeweled knock-off lost in a sea of derivative clones.
Gaming Age (Jan 23, 2009)
With over 100 levels and 20 parts of Rome to purchase, Cradle of Rome will keep you busy for more than a day (you know…Rome wasn't built in a day) and offers a fair amount of replay ability. So if you are into bejeweled-like puzzles and you are looking for a challenge, I recommend picking up Cradle of Rome.
44 (Dec 20, 2008)
I can’t really recommend this game to anyone. Even at the budget price of $20, this game isn’t good. It doesn’t have good gameplay, and there’s nothing else there to redeem it. Even though it’s cheap, there are plenty of better puzzle game options available on the DS. Two word explanation: look elsewhere.
Pocket Gamer UK (Feb 02, 2009)
An uninteresting matching puzzler that's slotted into a structure big on monotony, Cradle of Rome demonstrates game concepts shouldn't be built in a day.