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Review: Romance of Rome





Table of Contents

Quick Information

Rating: Pretty Fun
Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religion
1 1 0 1 1
Age Rating Suitable for everyone
License: Commercial
System used: Martha
Available From: Gamer's Gate
Steam

Game Screenshots


Senator Quint has a task for you


Searching a ship for treasures


At the marketplace

General Notes

When I purchased the Cradle Bundle, I was looking forward to some Match 3 gaming. This is the third game in the bundle, included seemingly as an afterthought. However, it turned out to be the most enjoyable of the three games, and I'd highly recommended it to anyone that enjoys hidden object games or just relaxing casual games in general.

Story Summary

This is the story of Marcus, a young man who traveled to Rome to find adventure. As he began his journey to Rome, he got lost in the woods. As fate would have it, this led to a series of chance encounters that end up getting him caught up in something much greater than he'd ever dreamed.

Someone has stolen some of Rome's priceless treasures, the Imperial Relics! Not only that, but the Emperor himself has offered his daughter's hand in marriage to whomever recovers these treasures!

Feeling this was the adventure he was looking for, Marcus sets out to search Rome and find those missing treasures.

Gameplay Summary

Romance of Rome is a hidden object game, and it adds to the typical formula in several ways. Firstly, you have your choice of which scene to play. You can freely leave any scene to play another at any time, and your progress is maintained. Even better: there's a little tally under the symbol for each scene that shows how many things you have left to find in that particular scene.

There's a reason why you can wander from scene to scene: each of them features something you can manipulate to expose another item you need to collect. Additionally, each scene has at least one item you'll use to manipulate something somewhere else. For example, a hammer collected from one scene might be used to smash a pot in another.

While you're gathering items you'll earn coins that you use to improve Marcus' status in Rome. This consists of purchasing better clothing, jewelery and other treasures at the Marketplace. Once all of the treasures are purchased and the scenes completed, the chapter ends and the story continues.

Pros

Everything is tied together with a grand story
While the main story is about gathering the stolen Imperial Relics, you'll also come across a small cast of Roman citizens that could use a little help with things. These conversations at the beginning of various scenes provide you with another reason to rummage through the place and make the game's world seem more alive.


The soundtrack is perfect
Throughout the game you'll be listening to a quiet musical score. It's definitely fitting for the tone of each scene and you won't get bored of it.


Plenty of voice acting
Speaking of the how the game sounds, every line of dialogue is also spoken aloud. In many cases this either sounds flat and lacking emotion or it sounds like somebody is trying too hard to sound serious, but it's a welcome touch. Personally, I think Octavio's voice actor did the best job.


Awards (faux achievements)
Although it's on Steam, there aren't any achievements to earn in the usual sense. Instead, you can earn Awards, which are in-game badges or trophies. These are basically the same thing as achievements, they just don't become part of your Steam profile.


Multiple user support
This game can store the progress of several different players, which is great for households with more than one child.


Cons

The story is incredibly predictable
On the downside, this game is clearly aimed at a younger audience. This results in the story's twists and turns being extremely easy to see coming. By the end of the first chapter, you'll probably have all of the "shocking" revelations figured out.


Almost feels like an edutainment title
Romance of Rome is a great relaxing game, but between the unhurried gameplay, quiet soundtrack and young target demographic, the game feels like a well made edutainment title. This might not sit well with gamers that prefer fast, exciting action games, so keep that in mind before you get it for someone else.


Concerns and Issues

There's a little violence in the cutscenes
During the course of the story, various characters end up in trouble. This starts out with a young woman being threatened by a pack of wolves, and later moves to Marcus getting knocked out by a blow to the back of the head. No blood or anything though, so nothing too major to worry about. A typical episode of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon is probably more violent than this game.


Both Marcus and Titus trespass at one point
Marcus checks just about everywhere for the Imperial Relics, and this includes an illegal visit to the Roman Treasury. As it happens, Titus was also sneaking around in there to recover some of his goods that had been impounded. Both parties agree to keep their visit a secret.


Some magical and mythical references
As this game takes place in ancient Rome, it's not shy about making casual references to Roman deities or mythical concepts. One example is a magical elixir Octavio attempts to make. Another, more direct reference is the fact that you'll need to purchase a hamsa (presented as a good luck charm) to improve Marcus' status. If you don't buy the item, you can't continue the game.