World Riddles: Seven Wonders takes players sightseeing with enjoyable minigames and Picross-style play.
If you’ve been meaning to check out the puzzle game Picross for a while, then here is an excellent place to start. World Riddles: Seven Wonders eases players into the grid-clicking action with a steady difficulty curve, various other minigames to break up the action, and smooth polished gameplay. Certain elements can be a little dull, but overall there’s plenty here to enjoy.
Building on the original World Riddles: Animals, Seven Wonders takes you on a trip around the world to catch a glimpse of, well, the Seven Wonders of the World. On each continent you’re presented with a variety of minigames to beat, although for the most part you’ll be filling in Picross-style grids.
For anyone not familiar with Picross, the idea is to use the numbers situated around the grid as an indication of how many squares are full on each row and column. Clicking a correct tile will reveal a globe, while right-clicking an empty tile will smash it with the hammer. Your task is to slowly eliminate the entire grid and reveal a picture made up of the full squares.
Picross can be a challenging game to play, but World Riddles: Seven Wonders does a great job of leading the player through the general tactics involved, starting with relatively simple grids and introducing more and more difficult ones. It’s a great way to learn Picross and is suitable for both children and adults alike.
Apart from the main Picross puzzles, there are lots of different minigames that are thrown into the mix now and again. These include the likes of missing objects puzzles, connecting one area of a grid to another in a Pipemania-style fashion, filling in a family tree and completing a jigsaw. They’re a little hit and miss, with some providing an interesting alternative to the Picross action, while other are quite a chore.
Each Picross level awards gold medals based on how well you played. There are expert times that need to be beaten, and if you do not use any hints or don’t make any errors, even more gold medals will be coming your way. Collecting every gold medal for a Wonder will unlock a gold section of the main medallion – it’s a great accomplishment to work towards, and will keep you coming back to past puzzles.
In between filling grids, slotting jigsaw pieces and switching picture blocks, you’re treated to a fair amount of information in the form of historical facts regarding the current Wonder and its surrounding area. Some of the facts are genuinely quite interesting, and it’s a great tool for teaching children about the history of each.
What makes World Riddles: Seven Wonders so charmingly playable is the amount of polish applied to every corner. Funny Bear Studios has really built on the original Animals game, and for something as simple as a Picross game, it really looks the part and feels lovely to play. Of course, it helps that it’s utterly addictive too, and you’ll catch yourself wondering where the hours went as you ponder whether to play ‘just one more’.
Throw in over 200 puzzles, including a bunch of “Super Levels” which will really test your skills, and you’ve got a Picross experience worth taking a tour of the world for. If you can’t decide whether it’s your kind of game, at least give the demo a download.