If there’s any game I have a weak spot for, it’s Zuma. The match three gameplay with simple controls makes for a fun gaming experience. PopCap has finally released Zuma’s Revenge on XBLA and I’m here to tell you it is worth the 800 Microsoft Points.
If you haven’t played a Zuma game (Zuma, Zuma Blitz on Facebook, or Zuma’s Revenge), you have colored balls that progress onto the playfield. You are a stone frog that must shoot the colored balls to create matches of at least three of the same color to remove them from the playfield. Once the progress bar on top fills, the balls stop spawning and you must clear the board. Once cleared, the level is over and you move on to the next. While it is a fairly simple concept, and is fairly simple in the beginning, things do begin to get more difficult as you progress.
During the course of the game, you get power-ups that do everything from grant you a multiplier bonus (which helps fill the progress bar faster), a spread-shot bonus, a laser bonus (which clears all balls of the color you shoot), and more. You also unlock fruit that appears outside of the ball progress. If you can hit the fruit you get a greater score increase, which in turn fills the progress bar faster. Obviously, that is your goal. Filling that progress bar to end the level as fast as you can gives you a time bonus at the end of the stage which increases your standing on the leaderboards.
This title also features three medals per level that you can get. One is for a score total, one is for a time total, and one is just for beating the level. These medals can be spent to upgrade your ‘Spirit Animals’, which grants you a higher percentage chance of fruit appearing, faster shot speed percentage, end of level ‘Spirit Animal’ bonus, and bonus ball appearance percentage. For a certain number of medals you can level these up and get much better percentages, which increases your chances at beating the level and attaining a higher score.
You also have a couple of different play modes here including ‘Adventure Mode’ which is the standard story progression mode, ‘Iron Frog’ mode which is ten stages of super-difficult boards and only one life, ‘Weekly Challenge’ mode which is one board that you attempt to get the highest score on for the leaderboards, and ‘Boss Rush‘ mode which is all the games bosses in a row to beat and achieve a better time to climb the leaderboards.
While the graphics aren’t going to drop your jaw (it is a match three game, after all), the colors are bright and easily identifiable. If you shoot the wrong color where it doesn’t belong, then that was your mistake, not a difficulty in identifying the colors.
Overall, I have to say that I was very impressed with this game. My only gripe is that it just wasn’t long enough. I took out ‘Adventure Mode’ in three days, on top of taking care of my son and working. I probably had this beat in 5 hours or so. There is a lot of replay-ability, though, as you try to best the ‘Iron Fog’ mode of collect all medals. Some of those bad boys are not easy.
If you are looking for a fun game on XBLA, you can’t go wrong with this. It is a fun, family friendly game that will keep you coming back for more.