Tuesday, January 11, 2005
South American Idol: Zuma by Astraware Reviewed
Posted by Doug Raeburn in "SOFTWARE" @ 10:00 AM
What's the buzz?
If you've visited the popular online game services sponsored by portal sites such as MSN and Yahoo, you're probably familiar with Bejeweled. It was one of the first of these games to become a real hit. But Bejeweled has been around for a while, so for those who are looking for the next big hit, Zuma seems to be the likely followup.
In an attempt to take advantage of its online popularity, Astraware has just released versions of Zuma for Pocket PC and Palm. So if you're a Zuma fan (or like many players, a Zuma addict), how does the Pocket PC version measure up? Let's play a few levels and find out!
Figure 1: It ain't easy being green… and being made of stone ain't so great either.
While Bejeweled is more of a leisurely puzzle game, Zuma is a more action oriented survival challenge, owing some of its inspiration to games like Tetris.
Figure 2: Ready or not, here they come…
A stream of balls of various colors advances onto the screen on a track. The player is a frog in the middle of the screen. The frog has the ability to shoot the same kinds of balls out of his mouth. The goal is to eliminate all of the balls from the screen before they fall into the abyss at the end of the track. You do this by shooting the balls from the frog's mouth at the advancing line of balls to create groups of 3 or more balls of the same color. When you do so, the group vanishes. You aim the ball by touching the stylus to the screen at the point where you wish the ball to hit… the frog turns and fires in an instant.
When you shoot one ball, another appears in the frog's mouth. They come up in a random color order. The next ball to appear is indicated by a colored dot on the frog's back. By tapping on the frog, you can swap the current ball and the next ball, if the next ball is more useful.