7 Wonders 2 is a puzzle game for the 3DS that has you match runes in groups of 3 or more of the same color in order to destroy them. While similar in game play to the popular puzzle game Bejeweled, 7 Wonders 2 still has a lot to offer.

The player is tasked with overseeing the construction of historical monuments such as Stonehenge in England, or the Coliseum in Rome to name just a few. As the player matches up and destroys runes, they harvest materials to be used to make bricks for the construction of the monument they are trying to build. Once all the materials on the board have been gathered, the level ends and the player is taken to the construction site where they may decide how to place the bricks they made on the monument to unlock anything from new power ups to use in levels, or extra points to use towards extra lives.  This continues until the player completes construction on the monument, and is able to move on to the next wonder to construct.

The game features a plethora of power ups to help you progress through the levels. Ice balls show up when you match four or more runes together and they can be used to destroy an entire row of runes. Fireballs, on the other hand, destroy and entire row and column of runes. Properly utilizing the fire and ice balls will sometimes net you a dice bonus that will randomly destroy 15 to 20 runes on the board for you. Using these power ups is easy and very rewarding as they can help you get combos going.  You will also unlock power ups to use in levels as you construct monuments. These power ups can do anything from destroying runes to give you an advantage, to increasing your score multiplier or freezing the level’s timer momentarily for you. These power ups must be charged before you can use them, however, so it balances with the fire, ice, and dice powers nicely.  A shuffle feature is also incorporated into the game play, and allows players to shuffle around the runes if they find themselves stuck.

7 Wonders 2 is controlled completely by utilizing the touch screen.  Swapping runes, using power ups, and constructing wonders is all done with the stylus. Since the buttons on the 3DS are not utilized, playing the game is comfortable because you don’t have to juggle between the stylus controls and the 3DS’s buttons. While the bottom screen is where the game play takes place, the top screen will show case your workers harvesting materials that you provide as you play through the levels. It’s a fun little touch that adds charm to the game.

As you play through the levels of 7 Wonders 2, you will sometimes encounter pieces of the monument you are trying to build (like corner stones and edge pieces) that you must get to the work site. These pieces cannot be swapped around like runes, and so the player must destroy all of the runes underneath the piece so that it falls off the board and gets sent to the construction site. This adds a little variety to the game play and keeps you on your toes as you go through the levels.  Also included in each level will be a specific tile on the board that is a special color. Match three runes of the same color as the tile, and you earn a piece of a map.  Collect all of the map pieces to unlock a hidden wonder to construct as well as a special bonus round. In the bonus rounds you must destroy all of the runes underneath a star piece in a certain amount of moves. These bonus stages can be very tough, and the challenge of getting the extra building pieces and bonus stages in a level before the time runs out is where the game really shines.

All in all, 7 Wonders 2 has a lot to offer players who decide to give it a shot.  The graphics are decent and the game play is balanced and fun. There are plenty of power ups to utilize, and deciding which ones are your favorites is rewarding. For those who enjoy architectural history, the game offers bios on the monuments that you build which is a very nice touch. While the game might be considered a little short with 8 worlds (including the bonus world) at 3 to 4 levels each, there should still be enough to keep players happy. For a solid and fun puzzle game experience, this game deserves a 6.5 out of 10.