Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. 59
    The Roman Empire was left behind by the march of progress, and the same can be said of Cradle of Rome.
  2. Cradle of Rome is surprisingly addictive, easy to play, and challenging from a number of different angles.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. While this does give the player a reason to continue playing, the game's frustrating mechanics could be enough of a reason to leave Rome as nothing more than a pile of rubble.
  6. 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.
  7. As a combination of puzzles and history lessons, you can't get much more entertaining, really. [Jan 2009, p.84]
  8. If you look past the fact that Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome isn't as polished as it should be then you've got a reasonably fun puzzle game that's good for short spurts of play, perfect for train rides on red steam engines or big red bus journeys to Redditch.
  9. Although there are all kinds of these games out on the DS, this one is definitely worth your time.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Cradle of Rome is an entirely inoffensive puzzle game that relies heavily on its central mechanic of flawless match three gameplay.
  13. 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.
  14. 60
    It's still a fun Bejeweled clone, and you'll need a few hours to clear its puzzles, but we needed something innovative.
  15. Another shining example of how the simplest concept can be the most addictive. [Nov 2008, p.84]
  16. Save your sesterces for something else. [Dec 2008, p.80]
  17. I can’t really recommend this game to anyone. Even at the budget price of $20, this game isn’t good.
  18. 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.
  19. While Cradle of Rome does have some unique additions to the formula, it’s not quite enough to make it really stand out.
  20. The mix between strategy and puzzle is entertaining, but not a highlight.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Dec 5, 2013
    Although it tries to refresh the match-three formula by adding some minor RPG elements, it unfortunately fails to deliver a worthwhile experience. You have to build an entire village by buying new buildings and upgrades using all the resources and money you keep gathering by matching 3 of a kind of each. As you further progress you are rewarded by unlocking new power-ups which can be used in-game. Those upgrades could be useful if it weren't for the fact that it takes a lot of time for their meter to charge and by the time you reach the best ones you are already too tired of having played dozens of levels that really offer you no rewarding challenge.

    It's not unplayable but it's definitely one of the most monotonous games I've played in a while. You can totally skip this one without any remorse.
    Full Review »
  2. DaraU
    Apr 3, 2009
    Cradle of Rome is one of the most relaxing and addicting games for DS. Just enough challenge to keep it interesting but also it lets you progress before you pull your hair out. I love this game. Full Review »