Zuma's Revenge! ReviewPhillip E. Price
Like many PopCap games, "Zuma!" has been around for as long as many of today's gamers can remember. For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past decade, Zuma is a game about a frog that spits out different colored balls in order to eliminate more balls traveling along a given path. Balls are eliminated when the frog/player spits a matching ball into a set of two or more of the same color. This is done to prevent the balls from reaching the end of the patch which would cause the frog to lose one life and have the start the stage over.
The fast paced, yet simplistic tile-matching puzzle mechanic kept us entertained for years, and there really was no reason to improve on the game, let alone make a sequel. After all, what more could you possibly add to a game frog spitting balls out of his mouth without ruining the formula that has been successful for so many years? How about adding several new modes, new stages, daily challenges, and boss battles?
"Zuma's Revenge!" for the Nintendo DS contains four new modes, each of which brings refreshing, new challenges to an old dog that no one expected to learn new tricks. Adventure mode is still present but now features over seventy new stages spread out across six different zones. Once a zone is cleared, players have the ability to start a new game from the beginning of any zone; once each stage is cleared, it then becomes available for players to revisit at any given time in the new Challenge mode.
Another welcome feature in adventure mode is the boss battle; yes you read that correctly, Zuma's Revenge has boss battles. Each of the six bosses has his own unique methods of attacking, and weaknesses. No two bosses feel the same, and some of the earlier bosses are much more difficult than later ones. Exclusive to the Nintendo DS version of Zuma's Revenge is a "Dailey Dungeon" mode; this mode spins a slot machine of sorts once per twenty-four hours revealing three different Zuma games. Successfully complete one and you unlock a piece of a stone calendar.
While unlocking content in Zuma's Revenge is fun, and does provide a good reason to keep playing, the amount of content that is locked is a bit staggering. The "Iron Frog" mode, as well as the third wheel in Daily Dungeon is completely inaccessible until all six zones, and all six bosses have been defeated in Adventure mode. While getting through the first five zones poses a healthy challenge, the difficulty level in zone six increases dramatically, and may even be enough to turn some gamers away.
Locked content aside, Zuma's Revenge still radiates with staples of the Zuma franchise that we've all come to love. Vivid colors, fast paced action, and plenty of moments that will have you holding your breath will keep fans of the original Zuma game entertained for hours on end while providing that challenge that will keep newcomers to the series coming back for more.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.
Phillip E. Price has been a "hardcore gamer" for as long as he can remember. His earliest memories of gaming were playing Pole Position and Frogger on his father's Atari 2600. Since then, he has owned almost all the systems from NES to PlayStation 3. Phillip loves single player games and misses the days of split screen co-op.
About the Author: Phillip E. Price
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