#576 Zuma

Posted: 14th July 2016 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

526th played so far


Genre: Puzzle
Platform: Internet
Year of Release: 2003
Developer: Oberon Media
Publisher: PopCap Games

Zuma has been lurking for a while, PopCap Games’ casual games like Peggle having been fun already and I knew more of them were a lot of fun to play. I know the basics of this game from other implementations, but it’ll be nice to play it in this more focused form.

Our Thoughts

Zuma‘s gameplay is, as you’d expect, simple at its most basic. You shoot marbles at a long string of marbles that slowly comes to your position (using a long and convoluted route). When you match three (or more) of a colour in a row, they disappear and pull the queue back for a while. When all marbles are gone, you win the level.

On its own, it’s a solid idea that could carry the game for a little while. The extra additions Zuma brings to the format is what makes it. Not just the tracks it runs down – there are some interesting variations here, with marbles looping on themselves, two tracks rolling together and diving over and under each other that make it trickier to keep track of where you need to go – but also the pwoerups that stop or slow down the board or move it elsewhere.

With the puzzles you encounter being fairly self contained, the challenge is in the ongoing cascade of more marbles making things worse for you. Well balanced, you rarely just lose outright, it’s always a slow descent into madness.

Zuma takes a lot from Aztec art as an inspiration – something that Peggle had in a few places, but is stronger here. It’s simple, but effective.

Final Thoughts

As with all good puzzle games, Zuma isn’t a complicated game, but it uses a limited number of elements for a bigger challenge and slowly builds on them. An amazing good time, even when you started it because your husband is asleep on the couch behind you after a Minecraft binge.