Cradle of Rome Review
Cradle of Rome box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: D3 Publisher 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Cerasus Media 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 18, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

However, our main issue with this game is its screen sensitivity. Throughout the entire experience, we had to deal with the frustration of watching our gems move in unintended directions. More often than not, pressing on one tile caused a different tile to highlight, and sometimes gems would switch instantly upon contact with the touch screen.

Cradle of Rome screenshot

The only way around this was to tap once on the screen and then tap again lightly on the same tile, and usually this would cause the intended tile to finally highlight. But when time is of the essence, this type of issue becomes a make-it or break-it proposition. Ultimately, Cradle of Rome still remains quite playable, but the poor screen sensitivity (and we tested the game on two different DS systems with the same results) is, without a doubt, a source of contention throughout the entire process of building up your empire.

It also doesn’t help that Cradle of Rome is so utterly plain in its presentation. Nothing looks ugly per se, but there just isn’t much to look at here. There are no cutscenes, no story elements, and there are only a small handful of still images that sit behind puzzles. The building screens are ho-hum, and overall the game feels very low-budget.

The music fares a bit better, though it too lacks variety. Themes are somewhat soothing and seem to fit the game’s motif of antiquity. Sound effects are sparse, but the game does a fine job of alerting you when power-ups become available.

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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.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.8
Graphics
The game doesn’t look terrible, but there is an apparent lack of effort in all its visual elements.
2.4
Control
The gist of the game is solid; the execution, not so much. The screen sensitivity is a constant source of frustration.
3.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The themes are relaxing, even if there isn’t a great variety. Sound effects are sparse, but do a fine job of making you aware of when power-ups become ready for use.
3.4

Play Value
The game is extremely bare-bones, and yet, it’s undeniably addictive in spite of its utterly frustrating controls.

3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • 100 fantastic levels.
  • 20 historical sites from five eras to build.
  • Combine secret bonus tools to achieve your goals faster.


  • Screenshots / Images
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