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PC Casual Game Review – Zuma’s Revenge

September 18th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Well, I had no idea a new Zuma game was coming. I just randomly saw it on Steam. So I picked it up. I loved the original Zuma and could play it hours at a time, so I was hoping the sequel would be just as fun.

So does it live up to its predecessor? Read on and see!!

Developer: PopCap
Publisher: PopCap
Date of Release: September15, 2009
Platforms: PC

Genre: Action puzzle
Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Looks and Sounds
The game is now in HD. And it looks awesome. The graphics are more detailed, the environments look a lot better than the first game, the balls look fine, the animations, even though there’s not that much of them, are smooth and really well done. I have no complaints whatsoever about the graphical side of the game. It’s simplistic, but it works and looks great. And I haven’t experienced any slowdowns either, which is great.

On the sound department, it’s just a little disappointing. It sounds great, don’t get me wrong, but most of the sounds are just ripped directly from the first games, and they don’t sound any different from before. The voices after levels have been re-recorded it seems, and there’s a few new sounds for new power-ups, but otherwise it’s exactly the same sounds as the first game.

Overall though the game looks awesome in HD and the presentation is still fun like in the first.

The basic gameplay hasn’t changed at all from the first Zuma. You’re some kind of stone frog thing, you’re placed somewhere on a level with winding paths, and colored balls move along those paths in lines (pushed by the balls that are further back in the row). Your job is to shoot colored balls at the colored balls on the path. On your frog, you see 2 balls: on his back you see the next color you can use, and in his mouth there’s the current ball you can shoot. You can Right-click to shoot the one in your mouth, or Left-click to switch to the one on your back. Making a line of 3 or more balls of the same color in a row destroys them.  This creates a gap, slowing down the advance of the balls up front. If 2 balls of the same color are on each side of the gap, they attract each other. If more than 2 balls touch each other that way, it does a chain reaction.

So the basic goal here is to destroy lots of balls and gather points with combos(for each ball shot that destroys balls in a row, you get a point bonus) and chains or fruit that appears on random spots on the stage to fill up the meter on top of the screen. When that’s done, balls will stop spawning from the starting point and all you’ll have left to do is finish off the remaining balls. You lose a life if even just 1 of the balls reaches the ending point of the stage, displayed by a skull thing that gradually opens up as the balls get closer to it. When you finish a level, you’re gradded on how well you performed, and how fast you finished the stage. And each stage has a time target that nets you extra points if you do it faster.

Some balls have power-ups that will appear in them at random, and are activated when you destroy the ball where the power-up resides. There’s the classic power-ups: Explosions that destroy anything close, accuracy boost which shows where balls will land when you shoot them(and sped up the ball as well), the reverse power-up that moves back balls that are in front of the line and the slow down power up that slows down all the balls. There’s a few new power-ups here too. Lasers that give you 4 shots so you can destroy one ball each, lightning that removes all balls of the color you’re aiming at on the line you aiming it in, and the Tri-shot power-up that shoots 3 piercing balls that destroy everything in their paths (each shot at a different angle, all at the same time). The new power-ups are great, and the old ones are just as fun as before.

To add variety to the gameplay, there’s 3 new stage types, and minor additions. The biggest “minor addition” would be the addition of walls in the stages, which qui changes the way you play. As for the new stage types: One new stage type makes the frog shoot straight in front of him at all times(he switches direction if you move your cursor behind him), but he moves on a rail, so you can move him where you want on that rail. Another new type is pretty much the same as the normal type, but you have 2 lillypads you can rest on, both placed on different vantage points so you can go where it’s more advantageous for you. The last new type is pretty cool: Boss Fights! Yeah, most boss fights are basically just the boss floating on top, with a wall of balls protecting them and you have to shoot them a few times. But after the first boss, they all have some kind of defense mechanism. The boss fights still have the skull at the end of the balls’ path, so you have to prevent the balls from getting to the end while making gaps in the line to hit the boss and avoiding attacks that might slow you down or downright prevent you from shooting at all. Those parts are simple, but pretty interesting. Overall the new game types really add something new to the Zuma formula.

Last thing I can talk about is the modes. There’s 4 modes here: Adventure, Iron Frog, Heroic Frog and Challenges. Adventure and Heroic Frog are the same  thing, though you need to finish Adventure first, and Heroic Frog is more of a Hard mode. Iron Frog is a survival mode, where you’re game over if you fail one stage. Challenges basically require finishing levels fast, or with a high score.

Zuma is still as fun as before, and the new level types and power-ups keep things fresh. There’s tons of replay value and lots of modes to conquer. Anyone who liked the first, this is more than worth checking out. For anyone else, at least check out the demo.

– Great presentation
– Gameplay still as fun as before
– New level types add variety
– New power-ups
– Lots to do, infinite replay value

– Recycled sounds

The Save Factor
Zuma’s Revenge has a starting price of $20. I feel that it’s a bit high for this type of  game. 15 dollars would be the soft spot. So the Save Factor for Zuma’s Revenge is:

$15 (Lots of value for any puzzle/casual game fan, but it’s great for everyone)

Categories: Games, PC, Review
  1. September 18th, 2009 at 16:29 | #1

    Was $20 the pre-order price or something? I see $30 on Steam.

  2. September 18th, 2009 at 18:51 | #2

    David A. :

    Was $20 the pre-order price or something? I see $30 on Steam.

    It says $19.99 on Steam… And on PopCap’s website it’s $19.95