Zuma's Revenge Review

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Zuma's Revenge Publisher: PopCap Games
Developer: PopCap Games


Platforms: PC and Mac
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 700 MHz Processor, 256 MB RAM, DirectX 8.1, internet connection, Windows XP or more recent operating system

The lovable ball-barfing frog from the original Zuma has been washed far away from his Mesoamerican homeland by a catastrophic storm, only to land on a tropical, Polynesian island replete with tiki-toting spirits. Only by keeping his cool can the frog avoid an onslaught of colored spheres and take out the tikis that would do him in.

Rating:
Kyle Ackerman


I'm a rabid fan of the original Zuma, so it's no surprise that I was predisposed to love Zuma's Revenge. Zuma was released before the days in which PopCap Games was a behemoth in the industry, and now that PopCap has the resources to throw the kitchen sink at past classics, every gamer has benefited. Zuma's Revenge adds new power-ups, new play modes and boss battles to the original formula without ever detracting from what made the original so much fun to play for hours on end.

The premise of Zuma's Revenge is the same as Zuma's. Colored balls progress slowly down a convoluted track. A froggish ball-dispenser shoots balls at the oncoming stream, and whenever three or more balls of the same color come into contact, they are eliminated. Zuma is far from the first game to pursue the formula, but it is easily my favorite. That's primarily because the play was polished to a spit shine, with exactly the right balance of cute and sinister underlying the clever sounds and visuals. Zuma's Revenge simply extends that experience, delivering much more of what Zuma fans dreamed of.

Perhaps the simplest and yet most exciting leap forward is the ability to play Zuma's Revenge at high-resolution on a widescreen monitor. This doesn't stop the game from working on older computers, but allows Zuma fans to enjoy the game in a little more detail. Zuma's Revenge also does a wonderful job of supporting play at a wide spread of ability levels. The 60-level "Adventure" mode is fairly easy, and open to all comers. The "Heroic Frog" mode ramps things up a little using the same adventure sequence, but there's also the challenging Iron Frog mode and plenty of specific challenges to attempt in which players must achieve difficult goals within a level.

There are three, new power-ups to add a little bit more strategy to the game. The tri-shot blasts a swath of balls, while lightning eliminates all balls of a color, and the laser is capable of strategically eliminating a few specific balls. Each adds to the depth of Zuma's Revenge without overwhelming the frenetic, color-matching play. A more revolutionary touch is that the frog is no longer always anchored in place. On some maps, he can slide along an axis, while on other maps, he can leap from pad to pad to fire balls from more than one vantage point.

Finally, the game adds six boss battles spaced out through the adventure mode. Ordinarily, I'm not a fan of boss battles, but the tiki bosses in Zuma's Revenge are each entertaining puzzles that require a different approach than traditional Zuma puzzles to defeat. I can honestly say I'm a fan of Zuma's Revenge's boss battles. Except for one. The reason Zuma's Revenge gets four-and-a-half stars rather than five is that the game did actually get stuck on the fifth boss in adventure mode, forcing me to restart an entire section of Tiki Island.

That one small glitch aside, Zuma's Revenge is brilliant fun for gamers both casual and hardcore, easy to enjoy and hard to put down. I highly recommend Zuma's Revengeto anyone able to grasp a mouse.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on September 25, 2009 12:04 AM.

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