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We love puzzle games, and we frequently have trouble tearing ourselves away from them. We have to admit, though, that we were happy to stop playing 7 Wonders II. The game itself isn't so bad, but the obtrusive advertising it comes with annoyed us thoroughly.

To install 7 Wonders II, users must first download the Free Ride Player, which then allows users to download the actual game. Although the player is a mere 720K, 7 Wonders II is 25MB. We didn't love the fact that Free Ride Player downloaded three additional games without asking for our permission, either. The game itself is a matching puzzle game; line up three or more like gems to clear them from the board and earn points. As you do this, you create stones that tiny workers at the bottom of the screen use to build the Seven Wonders. Users start with Stonehenge, completing several rounds of puzzles to construct it, and then move on to the next wonder. The gameplay is similar to every other puzzle game of this type that we've encountered, although there are a lot of special pieces and other little quirks (which aren't always very clearly explained). We liked the game well enough, but its interface is surrounded by ever-changing advertising, which is quite annoying and distracting. It also periodically interferes with the game's performance. We were shocked when our game was interrupted by a 20-second video ad that we had to sit through before we could resume play. Overall, we're not big fans of 7 Wonders II; there are too many other games that are similar and that don't bombard players with advertising.

7 Wonders II installs three desktop icons without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this program with reservations.

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