“ Manufacturer: PopCap / Games Genre: Puzzle „
I was recently lucky enough to obtain a free copy of Zuma for my Xbox 360 (thank you Microsoft, and your bizarre promotions!). I had played a demo of it before, but it hadn't grabbed me enough to make me want to shell out for it, but I had liked it. It was nice to see it given away free then, as it's the kind of game that struck me as great fun to play but annoying to pay for. Like those Flash games you can stumble upon online.
The premise, like most puzzle games, is based on manipulating various balls of different colours. Quite why you have to do this, I'm not sure, but there is some sort of ancient Aztec temple theme going on here, so maybe that somehow explains it. You control a giant stone statue of a frog (?) which rotates at your command in the middle of the screen. Next to you is a rather strange golden skull design. Your job is to prevent a string of mixed coloured balls that originates off-screen from reaching the golden skull. These balls are slowly making their way down a path that weaves around the whole screen (beginning in a spiral shape, and gradually growing more complex until they end up resembling the pipes in Pipe Mania) and wind up in the golden skull. Your froggy friend has the ability to shoot coloured balls at them, and if he makes contact with two or more balls of the same colour, they explode. This will break the chain, slowing down the balls and buying you some time. Therefore, accuracy is a vital skill here, as well as prioritising and resource management. Sounds like a job interview, but plays like Bejewelled on espresso.
The balls keep on coming until you earn enough points to fill up the golden bar at the top of the screen, so once you hit that, you've only got the balls left on screen to destroy. Your frog is given a randomly-selected coloured ball to spit out, and this can be swapped with another by pressing 'B', but only two balls can be alternated between at any time. There are four power-ups to collect which can give you a boost. These are earned by exploding special balls, so make sure you focus on eliminating those as quick as you can. The 'Backwards' ball is the most useful, as it temporarily reverses the flow of balls. 'Slowdown' is the most fun, as it makes you feel like Neo off that Matrix film. 'Explosion' takes out a fair whack of balls in one swoop and 'Accuracy' speeds you up.
In Adventure mode, your frog explores a series of ancient temples. This is the "main" game, so each level gets harder until you haven't got a clue what you're firing at. Bonus points are awarded for finishing in good time and for combos and fancy shots. Shooting in a gap between balls tends to earn you impressive point bonuses, for example. Gauntlet mode lets you pick a level that you've unlocked and play it endlessly. The stream of balls never ends, but the difficulty gradually increases. You'll make your way up the ranks - which are Rabbit, Eagle, Jaguar and Sun God - and each one brings with it faster speed. This is my preferred method of playing the game, as it enables more intense and strategic play without having to change levels every two minutes.
Zuma is a nice twist on the tried and true "Get coloured balls to do different things" system that is adapted to all kinds of puzzle games because it relies more on on-the-spot thinking and a responsive trigger finger than brain power. Its difficult and gets repetitive after about half an hour, which makes it quite a chore to work through the entire Adventure mode. The Gauntlet mode is more useful for pick up and players, and is definitely how I spend my time on this.
It's a classic idea, and as it's so cheap (400 points on Xbox Live, which equates to just over £3), it deserves a place on most hard drives. Try out the demo first, see how you respond to its highspeed puzzler gameplay, because it is a matter of personal choice. If I had the choice to go back in time and pay for it instead of getting it free, I would have.
The aim of the zuma game is to get rid of all the balls going round a track. To do this you have to get 3 balls of the kind together for them to pop and go. You are in the middle of track waiting to shoot the colour ball to the right colour for them to go. As you get further into the game the tracts in which the balls follow become more complicated and you have more balls to get rid of as well as other colours. You also get special balls, that make the line of balls move slower, pause, blow a lot up and so on. I downloaded this game of the xbox live market place using my microsoft points. As soon as i played the game i was hooked all day. You can also play survival where you get a constant row of balls and seeing how long you can go until the balls reach the end. i would recommend this game yo anyone who enjoys a good puzzle game.
i have found a new addiction from my previous arcade review of uno. Its simple games like Zuma which really just catch you in and make you play more. In zuma you are a from like character, somewhat representative of an aztec symbol. Each stage various colored balls make their way round a 'track' made of spirals, your objective is to shoot the balls with balls that the frog is holding, eg you shoot a clump of red balls with another red ball. 3 balls in a row will disapear and the object of the game is to make every ball dissapear untill before they get too close the the hole, if they fall down that then the game is over and you loose a life. The game itself is very addictive but being microsoft its not free.
the game is 400msPoints which isnt bad considering i paid 800 for feeding frenzy, the game probably is this price because its not in HD and on those big tv's we all love it creates a patterened grey border arround the image.
I think this game is great but i dont think its worth £3.00 worth of those beloved points, but if theyre going spare then deffinately purchase this one
I downloaded the Zuma demo on Xbox Live Marketplace and instantly fell in love. I bought the game with microsoft points and now i'm addicted.
Zuma is a puzzle game developed by PopCap Games.
It is much like the puzzle game "Puzzle Bobble" in which the player rotates a bubble-firing gun with a coloured bubble inside it. A long line of bubbles slowly roll towards you in a given track. When 3 or more of the same coloured bubbles are put together, they disappear. The aim of the game is to get rid of all the bubbles before they reach you.
There are added perks to the game such as exploding bubbles to wipe out more of the oncoming bubbles, or a ball that pushes the bubbles back, buying the player more time before the bubbles reach him/her. I think these perks are what make the game what it is. it adds constant variety to every game. No game is ever the same!
Zuma received the "Game of the Year" award in 2004 from RealArcade*, and this remake for Xbox Live Arcade does not disappoint. It is suitable for players of all ages and gives hours of entertainment. I would recommend it to anyone. It's certainly worth the small amount of microsoft points, and is probably one of the best Xbox Live arcade games around, up there with the big titles such as Feeding Frenzy and Worms.
*Statistic taken from http://www.wikipedia.org/