Monday, September 21, 2009

Zuma's Revenge

Developer: PopCap Games
Publisher: PopCap Games
Release Date: Sept. 15, 2009
Systems: PC (reviewed), Macintosh
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Shoot colored balls at other colored balls.

0:00 I'm a huge fan of Bookworm and Peggle, but I've never actually played the first Zuma. That said, I did play Zuma knockoff Luxor for about five seconds before getting bored, so my hopes for this one are not too high. Then again, it is PopCap...

0:01 Lightning flashes over the PopCap logo, and a sea roils in the background during the initial loading. A frog on a raft with boxer short sails floats by. When the loading is done, the sky clears and an island with huge tiki torches appears in the background.

0:03 "Strange frog, why do you intrude on us?" says a hooded black figure. "This island is no holiday resort! Five fierce chiefs guard our mysteries!" "Ribbit," replies the frog. First up, the "Jungle of Mystery."

0:05 So I control the frog in the center of the screen, rotating him with the mouse. A click makes him spit a colored ball at an advancing line of similar balls spiraling around the center. Match three of the same color and they blow up. Match enough and the "ZUMA!" bar fills up and the line stops getting new balls. The mouse-based controls couldn't be more intuitive, and the interface makes it really easy to aim shots accurately. The graphics and sound effects are the usual infectious PopCap fare ... light and airy. I finish the first level in 38 seconds ... the "Ace Time" is 30. "Who are you, tasty frog?" asks the lion waiting a few levels down.



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