game review

7 Wonders 3 (DS)7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven
Available for Nintendo DS
Game Developer and Publisher: MumboJumbo
Release date: December 3, 2011


Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Review summary:
7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven sends players across the globe with traditional match-3 brick breaking fun, but wait – there’s a refreshing new twist! Guiding a Keystone through portals with a new revolving board gameplay mechanic adds a new layer of challenge. By making matches across varying boards and keeping in mind that you can twist the board to make combos, players will need be creative in this latest match-3 wonder. The boards and rune pieces feel a bit small on the DS screen, power-ups are few, and gameplay modes are fairly limited. Still, if you enjoy match-3 games and want a new layer of challenge, give 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven a spin to feed your match-making hunger.

7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven review:

MumboJumbo’s signature match-3 puzzle game returns for a new chapter for the Nintendo DS in 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven. The basic rule of play is to match three or more like-colored rune pieces to clear a tile beneath them. The player must completely break away the tiles to clear the level. But in 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven, players will have a new task to complete as the challenge evolves to a new level.

7 Wonders 3 (DS)7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven sends players and their background builders to complete nine distinct wonders of the world. The top DS screen shows the activity of builders, score and remaining time to complete the level. On the normal setting, the time and amount of matches possible are pretty forgiving, so the player won’t feel the pressure in that sense. On the bottom is where the rune-swipe matching action happens, and the new arrow controls are placed to turn the revolving board.

Each level has a differently shaped grid layout board, which must be cleared completely by matching like-colored runes. The rune pieces are easy to match by their distinct color, but they feel pretty small on the DS screen. Clearing runes in more than three matches or combos will release horizontal clearing Ice Ball power-ups (4 matches), Fire Ball power-ups (5 matches) or a Dice Bonus (when 4 power-ups are used). The variety of power-ups are limited in this game, but you will find them essential to clear out some hard to reach tiles. Once all tiles are cleared, players will experience the new puzzle element to 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven.

Now here comes the fun, original part of 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven. Upon clearing all tiles via match-making, a 7 Wonders Keystone will appear, along with a dotted path. The goal is to get the Keystone into a designated Key Hole. Players will need to clear the runes beneath the Keystone, as well as turn the board using the L/R buttons or arrows on the right side of the screen. I definitely preferred the L/R buttons rather than using the on-screen arrows. Guiding the Keystone to the Key Hole adds a clever new puzzle element to the game. Paths become more complex, which are further impeded by portals and locked Key Holes that must be cleared by matching a designated rune color. Getting to the Keystone & Key Hole challenge part becomes the highlight of 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven. There is another compass matching element that comes into play after getting three runes, which advances the player to the next region on the map. It’s a really simple element which doesn’t add too much to the game.

7 Wonders 3 (DS)Puzzle gamers will find 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven worth diving into for its new Keystone challenges. There are only Story and Free Play (replaying completed levels) game modes, so replay value is somewhat limited. Three player slots allow you to share save spots with other friends or family, which is great because you can pretty much bet once others see you playing the game, they will want to get in on the action too. 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven is a universally welcoming game, for experienced or casual players. For anyone who thinks the match-3 game cannot be amped-up, 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven breaks new ground with a fun and unique twist.

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Thanks to MumboJumbo Games for making this review possible!

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Real Steel (XBLA, PSN) from Yuke's

Real Steel
Available for Xbox 360 (XBLA) and PS3 (PSN)
Game Developer: Yuke’s
Release Date: October 12, 2011 on XBLA, October 18, 2011 on PSN
Official website: realsteelgame.com

Review summary:
Real Steel is the videogame adaptation of the recent Hugh Jackman movie of the same name. The movie seems to have been well received but unfortunately (as happens all too often) the game is mainly a bucket of bolts. The graphics are sub-par, even for a downloadable game, and the DLC options scream “gimme your money.”

Game rating:

2 out of 5 stars

Read the full review here.

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Dead Island

Dead IslandDead Island
Available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Game Developer: Techland
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release date: September 6, 2011
Official website: www.deadislandgame.com


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Dead Island review summary:
Dead Island‘s disaster-like tone and daylight setting are unique in the world of zombie video games. The scarcity of firearms and primarily melee based gameplay forces players to get up close and personal with some of the most powerful zombies ever created in a game. A weapon crafting system and RPG leveling system makes players more effective fighters over the course of the 30+ hour campaign, but players never become super powerful. The first-person perspective is limiting in some situations, especially when driving a vehicle, but small details make the overall experience more immersive than other games on the market. A frustrating respawn system does make areas of the game more difficult than they should be but a group of players working together through the main campaign will find one of the most rewarding cooperative experiences available on consoles this year.

Read the full review here.

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Deus Ex Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Game Developer: Eidos-Montreal
Game Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Official website: www.deusex.com

Review summary:
Deus Ex: Human Revolution continues the sci-fi RPG experience with heavy doses of stealth action and first-person shooter mechanics. Customization mechanics compliment Adam Jensen’s augmentations and alter gameplay decisions and experiences. The excellent soundtrack and visual presentation within the game make Deus Ex: Human Revolution enjoyable but the experience can be clouded by shoddy voice acting and inconsistent AI at times. Read the full review to learn why this game is still worth your hard earned penny, and see why Deus Ex: Human Revolution kicks off this year’s AAA game releases.

Game rating:

4.5 out of 5 stars

Read the full review here.

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Runespell: Overture review

by James on July 28, 2011

in Game Review Bits

Runespell: Overture (PC/Mac)

Runespell: Overture
Available for: PC & Mac (via Steam)
Game Developer & Publisher: Mystic Box
Release Date: July 20, 2011
Official website: www.runespell.com

Review summary:
For casual players, Runespell: Overture provides an enjoyable entry into the Puzzle/RPG genre by offering satisfying, poker style gameplay and streamlined RPG elements. Hardcore players may be turned off by the simplicity and lack of multiplayer, but most will find the card collecting elements addictive. As a download-only game, Runespell: Overture offers plenty of enjoyable gameplay for the money and any gamer willing to make the investment will find a perfect casual puzzle/RPG to add to their collection.

Game rating:

3.5 out of 5 stars

 

Read the full review here.

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