Zuma Deluxe
Graphics 7
Sound 8
Gameplay 7

Someone that has never played a version of this game using a computer mouse would probably enjoy it more but it is definitely not a bad game. The gameplay is very addictive and there are more than enough levels to keep you playing for a long time. Checking out the demo first is highly recommended however.

Gameplay: Would have been better if the controls were more precise.

Graphics: Nice but nothing special.

Sound: Catchy tunes that will stick in your head

Summary 7.3 Great
Graphics 7
Sound 7
Gameplay 7
Summary rating from 1 user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 7.0 Good

Zuma Deluxe

Developer: Oberon Media | Publisher: PopCap Games | Release Date: 2005 | Genre: Puzzle | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Xbox Marketplace

If anyone can make a puzzle game where you shoot colored balls out of the mouth of a rotating stone frog idol fun its Popcap. The idea might sound bizarre but if you have played games like Puzzle Bobble before you’ll know exactly what to expect. Instead of trying to match up colored bubbles hanging from the top of the screen you are confronted with colored balls rolling down a set path around the frog idol on the way to a drain in the center of the screen.

The idea is simply to match up three or more balls of the same color to make them disappear. The balls keep coming until you have filled a yellow bar at the top of the screen after which you can clear out the remaining ones. If any ball touches the drain however the whole lot will plunge down costing you a life and restarting the level. Some levels have paths that go over and under each other making it harder to line up your shot and some levels even have two separate paths with balls to content with. Since you can only switch between two ball colors at a time and have no control over what color balls the frog shoots next things become very tricky very quickly. Speed and accuracy is very important in this game but unfortunately this is where the controls let things down somewhat. Controlling the direction of the stone idol while shoot the balls using the left analog stick is very tricky and makes it much harder than it should be to perform accurate shots. I have played the PC version of the game as well and a mouse offers far superior control. It is possible to get used to the analog sticks but it will always feel somewhat awkward and imprecise especially when trying to perform accurate shots quickly.

To help you out there are some power-ups that appear on the board and activating these will grand effects like moving the row of balls backward for a short amount of time, slowing their speed down or causing an explosion that will clear out all surrounding balls. Coins will also randomly appear on the level and provide you with extra points if you can hit them before they disappear. Initially just matching colored balls will be sufficient for clearing levels but with more than 20 levels the difficulty soon ramps up. You will have to be able to shoot the ball through small gaps and perform combos very quickly if you want any hope of clearing later levels. Besides the “Adventure” mode there is also a “Gauntlet” where you attempt to set the highest score while a never-ending flow of balls rush past you. The game has no form of multi-player however which is a strange omission for a puzzle title.

Visually the game has an Aztec setting which looks nice but the flat, 2D graphics will definitely put off some people. All I can say is that this is definitely not a game that should be judged on visuals alone. The Aztec theme carries over to the audio as well with some tribal rhythms and chanting going on while you play. It is all very catchy but a bit repetitive.

The game is a lot of fun to play and very addictive but I recommend checking out the demo first so you can see whether or not the controls are going to be an issue for you. One thing is for sure; once you become hooked by this game you can kiss your free time goodbye.

*Review originally published 2005.

Related posts

Dead Or Alive 5

Dead Or Alive 5

Apart from the more realistic visuals and a couple of new characters, Dead Or Alive 5 isn't that much different from the previous game. Fans of the series will still enjoy it as it contains all the outlandish female characters and breast physics that made the games famous. Those expecting a complete redesign will probably have to wait a bit longer. Gameplay: Not a drastic leap forward for the series but still entertaining. Graphics: A more realistic approach than past titles. Sound: Passable.

Project Gotham Racing 4

Project Gotham Racing 4

If you are looking for a fast paced racing game featuring some exotic cars (and bikes) then look no further than PGR4. The visuals are outstanding and there is enough content here to keep you playing for a long time. With a career mode as well as some arcade modes this is one racing game you won't soon tire of. Gameplay: Pure action packed racing done right. Graphics: The rain is a visual standout, but the overall graphics are very good. Sound: Very good sound effects and a soundtrack that should satisfy all tastes.

Arcana Heart

Arcana Heart

A 2D fighter with an all female cast places Arcana Heart in a somewhat niche genre but don't let that deter you. Beneath the cute visuals lies a good fighting game that should appeal to anime and fighting fans. The mixing and matching of Arcana and characters also set the game apart. Gameplay: Nothing groundbreaking, but still fun. Graphics: An interesting cast of characters. Sound: Better than I expected.

Leave a comment

18 − 3 =