MumboJumbo is another casual game specialist for all major platforms. Their new 7 Wonders HD continues the epic journey around the world building majestic wonders in a familiar Match-3 gameplay. 7 Wonders 2 HD for iPad has noticeably more polish over its predecessor and offers non-stop power-up chase and bonus games.
7 Wonders 2 HD takes us to 7 brand new locations and buildings. While the first 7 Wonders game mostly focused on Roman, Greek and Egyptian buildings, the new 7 Wonders 2 HD game takes us to every major continent to help build Stonehenge, Taj Mahal, the Great Wall, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat and more. As you travel to each new location, your goal is to beat various levels to collect enough stones to build the Wonder and unveil new maps. The gameplay has a smooth moving tempo that's not to rushing but filled with purposes and actions.
During the first playthrough, you will need to unlock new locations, but after you've beaten the game for the first time, all locations are unlocked for your future "Freeplay" rounds. The game has a timer that's mostly forgiving. If you lose all the lives on the timer, the game will make you replay the location from the beginning. The Match-3 game board has enough variations to keep things interesting, but to a Match-3 veteran player, the level designs aren't that new. It's similar to the levels you will see in games like Cradle of Rome. What keep the game interesting are the power-ups you collect and when you hit the qualifiers for bonus games in which you solve puzzles in much shorter time. The gameplay feels smooth with enough interesting actions and power-ups, yet it's not overwhelming with too much action or too frantic to enjoy the tiles and scenes. The game has Game Center support and an in-game scoreboard.
7 Wonders HD 2 for iPad has much better graphics compared with the first 7 Wonders game. It's not just because the graphics update for the new iPad's high resolution, but also the animated tiles and power-up special FX have also improved. Every tile becomes live with animation when you select it, and each represents one of the cultures that built the 7 Wonders. When you deploy power-ups, each of them has a special FX designed to illustrate the power it represents. The game cleverly uses beautiful pictures of each Wonder as background, in which the tiles are set upon, to add a touch of the dramatic feel. All animations including menus, power-up screens and more are smooth, and touch screen controls work very well.
7 Wonders 2 HD for iPad has a few sound tracks as BGM for the gameplay, but not as expansive as one might hope for given the diverse cultures included in the Wonders selection and the matching tile selection. The game mainly has a couple of tracks playing in the background, and an Asian style track for the levels in Asian Wonders locations. There is also a jarring transition between the main tracks, making it sound less smooth. The tracks included in the game are relaxing however.
7 Wonders 2 HD for iPad is a solid Match-3 game that offers a good amount of gameplay and lots of replay value. The update graphics looks sharp and animations are smooth. We did enjoy the selection of power-ups which can work in any level once it's unlocked. The game offers both a set path on the first playthrough and the flexibility to play any Wonder once you've unlocked it. Bonus games are also fun to play.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4.5 - Bright and sharp, animations are smooth, very pretty scenes. Sound: - 3.5 - Relaxing tracks, not many though. Controls: - 5 - Touch controls are very smooth and effortless. Gameplay: - 4.5 - Smooth gameplay, plenty of action yet not overwhelming. Good replay value.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Use your bottom left corner power-up wisely since it takes time to regenerate.
-You can undo during bonus rounds as long as you have time left on the clock. Try different moves to solve the puzzles.