Saturday, February 9, 2013

Zuma Fusion

ZUMA is back! And if you can believe it, Zuma's Revenge is even better than the original!

PopCap Games introduced the original Zuma in 2003 and brought to the foreground a genre that was, up to then, oriented exclusively towards kids. Zuma created a new school of games: from the excellent Luxor Series to the recent Inca Ball, the playful Beetle Bomp and (my favorite!) Atlantis: Sky Patrol, Zuma-clones came in all shapes and forms. Some introduced new ideas and some of them improved the original concept. And the new ZUMA has incorporated most of them.

If you have already enjoyed the original game, let me tell you what is new. First off, yes, the graphics and sounds are much improved. Also, your frog does not have to simply rotate all the time. As with the Luxor games, in some stages you can slide across a predefined path (not always horizontal) whereas, in others, you can hop between multiple Lily Pads.
Moreover, there are now three new special abilities: the Laser beam, the Lightening and the TriShot. With the Laser you can target specific balls (advisable to aim at the bonuses!); the Lightening will remove all balls of the same color as the one you targeted; and with the TriShot, well, it is pretty much self-explanatory: you fire off three metal canon-balls that wipe out everything in their path.
Finally, every 10 stages there are now bosses you cannot harm until their henchmen get smashed (an idea from Atlantis: Sky Patrol)  or their specific weakness is figured out - and of course you will be fighting the color-stream at the same time.

If you are not familiar with the game this is the gist of it: a series of colored balls (with the number of different colors increasing every few levels) streams in and you have to shot and match them in sets of three or more in order to remove them - and prevent them from reaching the end zone. There are now numerous different modes (Adventure, various Challenges, Iron Frog) - and all are exceptional addictive!! So take care not to have any deadlines or immovable obligations looming!

This is a perfect example of what has come to be known as Casual Gaming. It would be a good idea to download the limited-time free trial version from a casual gaming site (such as PopCap Games or Reflexive) and decide for yourself whether this is indeed your cup of tea. It comes to about 100MB so a fast connection will be needed for that.

Everybody can make a good game that will run only on a super-computer. This is an example of pure programming genius!

WARNING! Highly addictive!

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