Sponsored Game Review: Cradle of Empires

Cradle of Empires is an Android game that asks players to restore a fallen city to its former glory. Players can do this by playing the Match-3 gameplay to earn more gold, find more food and supplies that the city needs. Rather than simply offer players yet another match-3 game, Cradle of Empires offers players a rich storyline and asks them to restore a city with the help of Nimiru and Egyptian settlers. Gameplay offers players 6 different sort of match-3 games and players will quickly be able to break Amrun's curse and bring the city back. So, let's take a closer look, shall we?

First of all, match-3 fans and arcade gamers will have to download Cradle of Empires from the Play Store and then fire it up to get started. Players are introduced to the City that that they need to restore, and there's some good artwork to take a look at when getting started with the game.

A lot of the game revolves around restoring buildings to their former glory, and the game does take players through how to do this right from the get go.

Cradle of Empires is a game that mixes match-3 gameplay with elements from city building games, but at the heart of the game is a solid match-3 puzzle game. The game also introduces players to how this gameplay works, too.

The match-3 gameplay steadily evolves into something more difficult and challenging, but the game gets players started nice and gently. As I was earlier, I'm impressed with the overall quality of the game's art style here.

At the end of each level, you're given a score and some feedback on how well you've done, which is always nice to see.

Moreover, there's a level-up system involved here in Cradle of Empires, which further gives players a sense of achievement as well as a sense of progression. Achieving higher scores and collecting more resources per level is something that Cradle of Empires uses to progress the player forward, instead of other games that just do this purely for the sake of it.

When players first start playing, they'll not have much to work with in terms of the overall City, but the game is good to look at, and I don't want to spoil too much by showing a more restored city.

Quests are available for players to undertake and the more that the player does, the more food and resources they will have to make their city even better.

The main aim of the game is to better restore the city, and after a little hard work, Cradle of Empires will offer players a City to be proud of.

Over time, the match-3 levels also become quite tricky, and one thing that helps here is the excellent artwork that's a real joy to look at.

Cradle of Empires also includes six different game modes - step-by-step, night, colorless, timed, blitz and skull - which change depending on which building you're in and will give players different obstacles to work around.

After spending some time with Cradle of Empires and working towards my ideal city, I found a lot to love about the game. I enjoy the simple - yet challenging and difficult to master - gameplay of the match-3 puzzler, but so many games just leave players with this simple gameplay and nothing else. In Cradle of Empires, the match-3 gameplay itself is varied and has a lot to challenge players over time, with the need to match different tiles as well as clearing certain sections of the board and so on. Not to mention that players are matching these tiles and scoring as high a score as possible in order to better the entire city, rather than just for the sake of it. While I did find the game to run a little sluggish on my device, I was happy with the overall look and feel of the game, and the artwork is really quite attractive and is of a high resolution and quality.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) - While the game could be a little quicker, there's a lot of action going on and lots of graphics to load and in that regard Cradle of Empires runs fairly well.
  • Theme (4/5) - Performance aside, Cradle of Empires looks great. The artwork is high-resolution and looks unique, with some great sound effects to match, too.
  • Features (4/5) - The match-3 gameplay at the heart of things works well, and offers players an accessible style of play while also posing a challenge. On top of a great match-3 game, Cradle of Empires also offers players the opportunity to revamp an entire City, too.
  • Overall (4/5) - While the performance of the game should be better, the overall experience is good and there's a lot to get stuck into with Cradle of Empires over time.

Pros

  • Gives puzzle fans a lot more to get into rather than just playing through level after level for no apparent reason.
  • Restoring parts of the City gives players a real sense of accomplishment and gives them more game to play with for a long, long time to come.
  • Good game for tablets, as the high-resolution graphics look good on larger displays, something some games often overlook.
  • Excellent quality of art which also has some good sound effects to go with it, too.

Cons

  • Takes a long time to get into the main game after all the tutorials and early levels.

All-in-all, Cradle of Empires is a game that a lot of players should find something to love. It's got a great mix of solid match-3 gameplay as well as a city builder sort of game. While it looks great and has a lot of good sound effects Cradle of Empires seems to run a little slowly. Performance hiccups aside, Cradle of Empires is a great game that I'm sure a lot of people will really enjoy, and it's free to download and play, so there's little to lose here. It's also available on iOS in the App Store as well as the Amazon Appstore for Android.

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About the Author
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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.