Zuma’s Revenge!

8.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 7/10
Story: 8/10
Replayability: 9/10

Fun Storyline | Addicting Gameplay

Music Can Get Annoying | Not Enough Levels

Written by on August 7, 2012 in [, , , , ]

Back in 2003, PopCap released a game called Zuma and it sold well over 17 million copies over the dozen of platforms that it is on. This makes it PopCap’s second most popular game. Players have been waiting for quite a while to be able to play with the loveable frog again on the Xbox Live Arcade and just recently it became a reality when Zuma’s Revenge! was released on Xbox Live Arcade for 800 Microsoft Points.

The premise of the game is basically the same. You have a frog that shoots out multi-colored marbles, one at a time, at a snaking string of marbles, while you try to match at least three at a time. This string of marbles is heading towards a pit where it will be swallowed up if you do not complete a Zuma quickly enough. While there are some similarities in this sequel there are some marked differences as well.

Zuma’s Revenge! has a bit of a story behind it. This time it is taking place on an island and you have to move your frog along the island to complete the story. However, you have some help along the way. You will find that you collect “Spirit Coins” for completing the level with a certain amount of points, under a certain amount of time, and getting a Spirit score. In this game, you have to complete ten different sections per level before you come to a boss battle. This is also where there is a significant difference between Zuma’s Revenge! and its predecessor.

In order to move forward in the story and uncover more of the island, you have to battle a boss. Instead of the frog moving in its normal 360 degrees, it is now moving linearly. The premise is the same, create a chain of three or more of the same colored marbles to get them to disappear but now you have to also shoot the boss to defeat them. Put on top of that the fact that they are none too happy about the fact that you are trying to overtake the island and will “rain” upon you their fury, this is not always an easy battle. As with the first game, the farther you get in the game the more difficult it becomes to match up those marbles. However, in Zuma’s Revenge! there are a couple of unique differences in that in some levels the frog can jump from one lily pad to another, allowing you to aim at the snake of marbles from different angles. Also there are a few levels in which the frog only moves linearly and that can prove to present a challenge.

Throughout the game, you can unlock different Spirit Animals that you then have the chance to level up using the coins that you collect by completing each level. They give you different bonuses according to how high of a level they are. It is a balance process throughout the game to make sure that you have the correct amount of coins on each Spirit Animal to have the greatest success with each level. The Spirit Monkey gives you the fruit so you have to decide how important it is to you during that level to have fruit appearing, whereas the Spirit Cheetah gives you shot speed which may be more helpful on that level. However, in another level having the Spirit Rabbit, who gives you power-up balls may be of a better benefit or perhaps having the Spirit Hawk, who helps give you a higher level score, at a higher level. Again it is a careful balancing game that is within this game.

Another added feature to this game is the Weekly Challenges. Every week, PopCap picks a level for the community to try to out beat each other. They have done a fantastic job on the community leaderboards, that not only allows you to see how you are doing against your friends but those outside your friends list as well. This brings in the competitive element that many single player games often have missed. With a game like this that does not lend itself to multiplayer aspects, it is nice to see them recognize that people enjoy having some way to have a competition with their friends. A second level that has been added, once you have beaten the game, is Iron Frog mode. This is a level in which you have to go into a gauntlet and face it with no second chances. Each level gets harder and the only saving grace is that once you have entered once, you get to know what each level looks like prior to entering it again.

I am happy to say that there were many things that PopCap fixed with this second game. I often would find that my frog would get stuck in the first game and I would get frustrated. Never did this happen in this game. I am still finding myself coming back and playing the game and trying to best my scores and top my friends, even though I have completely beat the game. This and having the weekly challenges is something that will keep me coming back for more Zuma’s Revenge!

A copy of Zuma’s Revenge! was provided to TMG for the purpose of evaluation and review.


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Author: Kelly Brown View all posts by

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