Zuma Review

On mobile, Zuma retains all the challenge and addictiveness that has made it one of PopCap's most popular games.

Mobile gaming's brief history has proven that PopCap Games--the purveyor of those infamously addicting Flash games--is an excellent source of viable wireless game concepts. Sorrent has optioned and ported Zuma, a game that could be described as Bust-A-Move with spirals. Sorrent has done an excellent job adapting the game for handsets, such that you'll hardly miss your mouse. On mobile, Zuma retains all the challenge and addictiveness that has made it one of PopCap's most popular games.

Hectic, isn't it?
Hectic, isn't it?

Zuma is set in Amazonian temples, which have one or more Inca Sun God idols at their centers. A series of globules, magnetized according to color, advance toward these idols. Your goal is to create groups of three or more of these balls, thereby causing them to vanish. The game ends when the balls reach the Sun God and he gobbles them all up.

Using the navigation pad, you control a frog, placed in the center of the temple. The frog launches balls from his mouth, the color of which can sometimes be switched. By pressing the OK button, you can launch these balls toward the oncoming spiral, setting up chain combos, Puyo Puyo style. When your combos create space between like-colored balls, their magnetic property will prompt them to snap together, sending the entire line hurtling backward and buying you some extra time. Forethought is therefore a big part of this game. When you manage a chain combo, a different sound plays for each successive group cleared. These are very rewarding and have the potential to become as iconic as the "clear" noises in Tetris.

Cleared!
Cleared!

The game's stages are incrementally more challenging, and always in novel ways. One temple, called Dark Vortex, spirals a distinct line of balls behind another. In the heat of gameplay, it's easy to mistakenly shoot balls at the wrong line, ruining any combos you're working on. Each temple carries a forbidding name, like "Rorschach" or "Osprey Talon," and bears several tribal symbols that just scream "authentic Incan."

Essentially, 100 percent of Zuma's appeal stems from its magnetism component. This is a mechanic that works just as well the 10,000th time as it does the first. As the goal of a puzzle game is to develop a simple system that grows and evolves with the player's skill, it's safe to call Zuma a success. While more levels could have been included, and--of course--an online competitive mode would be a welcome addition, Zuma is one of the best puzzle games available for the LG VX7000.

The Good
Addictive
Excellent design
addictive gameplay
well-adapted to mobile
great compensation for the loss of the mouse
The Bad
No competitive mode
Needs more levels
8.2
Great
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Zuma (2005) More Info

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  • First Released Mar 16, 2005
    released
    • Mobile
    On mobile, Zuma retains all the challenge and addictiveness that has made it one of PopCap's most popular games.
    7.8
    Average Rating102 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Glu Mobile
    Published by:
    Sorrent, Glu Mobile
    Genre(s):
    Puzzle
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
    No Descriptors