Your challenge is to rebuild the Ancient Roman empire, and your object is to collect gold, supplies, and food in order to provide for your new empire as it grows. Just like a baby grows from infant to adult in stages, your new empire rises from its modest cradle among the Seven Hills to its glorious Golden Age in stages called Epochs.
Use our helpful Cradle of Rome gameplay walkthrough to guide you to Roman Fame and Glory!
The Five Epochs in Ancient Roman History
Five Epochs span the ages that you will conquer in your challenge to rebuild Rome, each with its own architectural challenges necessary for successfully developing it.
- Seven Hills
- New City
- Birth of Empire
- Gladiator’s Arena
- Age of Glory
There are multiple game levels in each Epoch. In total, there are more than 100 different levels to challenge your brain. Here you will race your match3 skills against the clock, matching up 3 resources in vertical or horizontal rows. The games within each Epoch start out easier and get progressively more challenging. Swap adjacent tiles in order to produce three in a row, and collect your prized resources, whether they are gold, supplies, or food.
Tiles explode as they line up, increasing your resource points, which are displayed in the game screen’s top left corner. Then they are replaced by falling tiles from the layers above landing into the new empty spaces. Any tiles falling into three or more in a row will also explode, adding to your points. Tiles will continue falling into place until the board is stable. Don’t wait to watch the tiles falling – keep swapping and matching tiles in the stable areas, and don’t waste time!
Hoard as many resources as you can in each puzzle before the water in the lovely clay jar runs out. You can watch for this in the game screen’s bottom right corner. Some tiles have a blue background – these are called plaques. Some, but not all, plaques are chained. These are more challenging to clear. Because chained plaques don’t move, you must form matches above, below, or beside them, as the game allows. When you clear all the plaques, you win the game, and win resource points for however much water is left in the jar. Check out the resource list and their point values in the Tips and Tricks Section, below.
Here’s where you can use your strategy skills – can you collect more resources by lining up tiles while you still have time, or collect more resources by finishing quick and taking your resource points from the leftover water? You can do either one, or both!
As each level is completed, you are returned to the beautiful valley where your Roman Empire is rising. Along this screen’s bottom row are the architectural features you will build during that Epoch. Learn historical facts about these features, and pay the required price for them from the points you win in each level.
Over the five Epochs, you will build a Sawmill, Foundry, Quarry, Mill, Village, Fountain, Field Plot, Tavern, Farm, Harbor, Ship, Tabulareum, Rostra, Forum, Coliseum, Trajan’s Statue, Titus’ Arch, a temple for Venus, a temple for Saturn, and the Pantheon. Each new architectural feature you pay for is added to your rising empire.
Additionally, as soon as you buy a new feature, you can win citizens for it on the very next match game by lining up 5 tiles in a row. Resources related to the new addition will be available to win on the following level, as well. Check out the building list with available citizens, and tips for how to win these people in the Tips and Tricks Section, below.
With each Epoch successfully completed, your public status will increase. You will rise from Peasant to Merchant, and then to Priest. From there, you’ll go on to Senator, and finally rise to Emperor. Only by rising to Emperor will you will have a chance to reach Olympus.
As levels increase in difficulty, bonus tools are also possible to earn. Including a hammer, lightning, bomb, hour-glass, plus-sign, star, shield, and orb, they are collected like resources, three in a row. You will notice them as they power up in their places in the toolbox along the game screen’s bottom row. They will give you big advantages to help you win that level easier, but once you use them you must power them up again by collecting matching points.
As you buy each building within the five different Epochs, bonus tools will become available for the related building. The first game level you play after buying the building will have the related bonus item available to collect. After that game level, however, if you have more than one bonus item collected, the bonus item available on game levels after that will appear randomly. Check out the Bonus Tools Tips and Tricks Section, below.
Every building in your rising Roman empire requires resources to sustain its development. Resources come in three categories: Gold, Supplies, and Food. Various icons are pictured on the tile faces in each game, representing the resource points you will accumulate by lining up three icons in a row.
Three tiles lined up in a row will get you a match, but four or more lined up tiles will earn far more resources. Three in a row will be awarded 3x the points per tile. Four in a row will be awarded 8x the points per tile. Five tiles in a row will be awarded 20x the points per tile!
The following list indicates each icon type and its associated point value.
Silver coin = 3 points
Gold coin = 5 points
Ring = 6 points
Pearl = 7 points
Diamond = 8 points
Goblet = 9 points
Brooch = 10 points
Meat = 3 units
Flour = 4 units
Barrel = 5 units
Watermelon = 6 units
Fish = 7 units
Lumber = 5 units
Stone = 7 units
Buildings with Winnable Citizens
Once you buy a new building for your rising empire, you will receive the following citizens – but ONLY if you complete the following requirements:
Building, Citizen, and Requirement:
Sawmill — win a Farmer — if you make a Match 5 in the level following the purchase
Foundry — win a Blacksmith — if you score 10,000 points in less than 10 levels following the purchase
Quarry — win a Miner — if you score 2,000 points for Supplies in one level following the purchase
Mill — win a Miller — if you make 15 successful moves following the purchase
Field — win a Peasant — if you score 3,000 points for Food in one level following the purchase
Tavern — win a Wine Maker — if you make 2 successive combos following the purchase
Tabularium — win a Scholar — if you make 3 successive combos following the purchase
Port — win a Fisherman — if you make a match 5 three times in succession following the purchase
Forum — win an Orator — if you score 3,000 points in Gold in one level following the purchase
Colosseum — win a Gladiator — if you make a chain reaction with 15 blows in one level following the purchase
Pantheon — win a Priest — if you complete the level in less than 3 minutes following the purchase
Hammer — breaks one tile, plaque or chain. Break chains first for more advantage
Lightning — breaks any 20 tiles, plaques, and chains all over the game board
Bomb – breaks a three-by-three grid from tiles, plaques, and chains
Hour-Glass – provides extra time to win the level
Plus-Sign – replenishes a resource or powers up a bonus tool faster
Star – breaks all the tiles with the same icon on the game board
Shield – breaks all the tiles in one row
Orb – remixes the tiles on the game board
Congratulations! You’ve completed our Cradle of Rome Walkthrough!
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This guide is meant to help you through the game’s basics, and does not include hacks and cheats.