There isn’t really much I can say about a game like Zuma as it’s one of those extremely repetitive, yet addictive games that you can download from the Playstation Network (PSN) and play to kill 20 minutes or so.
The aim of the game is to eliminate all the spheres before they disappear down the hole in the centre of the puzzle. If even one sphere drops, then all of them will and you lose a life and have to start that puzzle again.
Zuma is mix between Beehive Bedlam and Jewel Quest in that you have to match 3 or more of one colour to eliminate the spheres on the puzzle. The earlier stages aren’t really too long as it allows you to get into the swing of the game and how to control your little frog character which you use to fire spheres into the puzzle.
Some of the spheres on the puzzles will give you a couple of helpful abilities, like accuracy shot which fires the spheres faster and more accurate which comes in handy in the later stages when it’s all moving a little fast. There’s also a reverse sphere which moves the sphere’s back a little bit to give you more time and a slow sphere which slows the speed of the line.
Once you’ve eliminated all of the spheres on the puzzle you move onto to the next and do the same thing again. The further you get in the game, the faster the spheres come onto the board and the faster and more accurate you have to be with your aim.
The soundtrack is very limited throughout the game to a solitary tune, which gets very annoying after a while.
There are only to game modes, Adventure and Gauntlet. In Adventure, you go through the levels to see if you can get all the way to the end and this is where you have lives. So as soon as your lives run out, it’s game over. Gauntlet is a never ending puzzle and you just keep going until you can’t go anymore. You only get one life with this, but there are sections to it, For example, you start on Rabbit 1, but if you get to Eagle 1, once you’ve reached game over, you can start at Eagle 1 etc.
I found it very poor that you can only have one save file at a time in adventure, so if you’ve got someone else who wants to play their own game, they either have to overwrite your file or start from where you left off.
There are a few trophies that you can collect playing Zuma, but it hardly gives the game anymore longevity.
There could have been a 2 player split screen mode to make it a bit more exciting by going head to head with a friend, but even something as simple as that has been left out.
Overall I wasn’t that impressed with Zuma, but if you’ve got a spare £6.99 lying around and you like this kind of puzzle game (you’ll no doubt have already played Tetris and Bejeweled), then it could be worth having a look, otherwise I wouldn’t waste my money.
2 and a half out of 5
Danny ‘Ender’ Martin has been part of the Zath team from pretty much the very beginning since he met Zath himself at Leeds Met University whilst studying Business IT. He’s an avid gamer and a big film buff. Danny graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Computer Animation and SFX and now currently works at one of the biggest UK games developers, which will hopefully see some of his ideas hit the gaming world.