My growing love for puzzle games took a major leap forward when MumboJumbo sent 7 Wonders 2 my way. A DS port of a popular PC game, gamers manipulate the various icons in the columns to create blocks of three or more, Bejeweled-style, creating building stones for the loyal workers around the world who will transform them into works of architectural wonders.
Over the 2010 Christmas holidays, my DS was my constant companion. There were several car trips in and around Atlanta that are a little on the long side, which provides a lot of time to catch up on portable gaming. Thankfully, MumboJumbo sent along a couple of games perfect for travel gaming, pick up and play games that are perfect for short(er) spurts of entertainment and offer more practicality than an involved RPG.
This was my first experience with the 7 Wonders franchise and it couldn’t have been more straightforward. Line up three or more of the same icon either horizontally or vertically to create cement blocks the workers on the top screen will use to build some of the most famous buildings in the world. Special stones, capstones and cornerstones, also show up in the puzzles which you need to make drop off the bottom of the screen in order to get them in the hands of your workers. The more runes you line up, the more points and bricks you will acquire for your Wonders.
Each rune stone corresponds to one of the seven Wonders you will be erecting over the course of the game. When you combine the runes that match the building you are currently on, your efforts will create more resources for your workers. You don’t have to guess which one matches what Wonder – at the beginning of each new location the game will give you a heads up, and if you do forget you can always consult the manual.
When placing the blocks you’ve earned onto the building, you are able to unlock new bonus items to help clear levels faster, bonus blocks, and even points to bolster your running total. I found that I kept forgetting I had bonuses (the X Power and Score Multiplier are the ones I used most when I remembered) charged and ready to use until I started on my final building. I’m sure if I’d remembered I had full Shuffle bars and fireballs ready to destroy the items in my path I wouldn’t have had to restart a couple of those levels. My hindsight is your gain.
Sometimes all you really want on hand is a fun puzzle game that challenges you to think fast and think ahead without any back story. It gives your brain a great workout and helps pass the time when you are bored or just looking for something quick to enjoy. 7 Wonders 2 is that kind of game. Perfect to have at the ready without having to invest hours in a sitting (but you can if you want to), I compare it popcorn fluff books. You know those ones, the Shopaholics of the literary world. Nothing heavy or too involved, just pure, simple brain candy.