Ever play Bejeweled? Want to risk prolonged eye strain? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then you may want to seriously consider the new budget-puzzler 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Playing like a bizarre cross between the famous free PC title and falling asleep in Ancient History class, 7 Wonders might be the ho-hum puzzler fix you need before something better comes along for your PSP.
The gameplay is simple: match three or more of any rune (color/gem) to rack up points and make them disappear from the playing field. Now comes the tricky part: each rune appears on a tile and you’ll need to eliminate each tile on the grid in order to pass the level. To do that, you’ll simply need to match and eliminate runes on said tiles. Additionally, there are Cornerstones - special blocks that need to drop all the way down through the playing grid, in order for the level to be completed.
Don’t be worried by this seemingly overwhelming barrage of strategy, ‘cause it doesn’t exist. You’ll spend most of your time simultaneously watching the timer deplete and waiting until you have enough runes positioned near the final remaining tiles in the those pesky hard-to-reach corners of the grid. The game then rests more on your deal with Lady Luck rather than your strategizing prowess.
Adding to this appalling lack of strategy is the actual size the gameplay takes place on. One of the coolest features of the PSP is the 4.3” color widescreen display that lets you play Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and watch Spider-Man 2. In 7 Wonders, the HUD - consisting of tiny slaves, sorry, workers building the monuments - eat up much of the screen, leaving you approximately 1 ½” by 1 ¾” of tiny runes in your playing area. Yes, we measured. After twenty minutes of game time, you'll be better off focusing on far away objects.