Mar 032012

If you can’t stop yourself from giggling like a school boy when you hear the phrase Zuma’s Revenge because you’re thinking of someone with the Hershey squirts, don’t worry because you’re not alone. It is likely your mind is reeling at the gross-out factor a title like this could have, however, this action puzzler from Pop Cap has nothing to do with bowel movements or the alleged curse doled out by a Mexican emperor in the 1500’s. What this game is actually about, is an adorable little frog statue with a penchant for spitting colored balls.

You’ll be doing anything BUT giggling as you traverse the game’s 60 levels, because playing Zuma’s Revenge well is a real challenge. The main gameplay mode is one that should be familiar to most gamers in this day and age. A stream of colored balls slowly snakes across the playing area, and it is your job to shoot matching colored balls at clusters of two or more in the stream to make them vanish. You must clear a predetermined amount of balls from the field before you can advance to the next stage. If you are too slow, or slam your balls into spots that do not make matches, the globular procession will reach a trap at the end of their route and you will lose a life. There are oodles of power-ups to aid your cause, such as ones that temporarily reverse the flow of balls, slow them down, or blow up a few in a small radius. Later stages of the main game mode will leave you begging the mighty Aztecan gods for their mercy and grant you a power-up, because the amount of objects to get rid of steadily increases as the game progresses. Once you get through all the stages in a particular area, you will face a boss that you must defeat in order to proceed to the next area.

Controlling the game’s action is easy, thanks to the DS’s touch screen and stylus control you can aim with extreme precision by simply tapping where you’d like to shoot. While you are tapping away, you will be treated to ambient and unintrusive music with a vibe that is totally appropriate for some sphere slinging action in the Central American jungle. Your eyes will be feasting upon colorful cartoon graphics, drawn in Pop Cap’s signature and whimsical style.

What sets this particular game apart from its brethren and clones is the addition of a “Daily Dungeon” mode. Once a day, you may select this option and spin three small wheels (slot machine style) to get three different types of challenges to try. One category is “Astro”, where our little stone amphibian gets a space suit and must survive ten waves of orbs. The middle wheel is a “Blitz” in which you have a minute to get as many points as possible, and the third wheel will let you re-challenge any bosses you have already defeated in the main story mode. There is also a challenge mode that will issue certain stipulations you must meet before being declared victorious. These will be conditions such as “obtain 45,000 points”. Toss these modes in with local wireless two-player (two games required), and you have a ton of ways to make your favorite frog idol burp its beautiful bullets.

Overall, Zuma’s Revenge is a game any puzzler fan would love to have in their DS library. Pop Cap has honed their casual gaming formula quite nicely over the years, and their expertise in this particular genre really shines through. Bright and jovial visuals and several different modes of good, steadily paced puzzle gameplay make this a game well worth it’s $20 price point; and if that’s too rich for your blood, you can wait for the Nintendo eShop release that is coming in a few weeks. With the addition of online multiplayer, the value for this title would have skyrocketed, but as it is it’s a fun game – but sadly you’ll have to make your own diarrhea jokes.

Zuma's Revenge

Zuma's Revenge is a great puzzle game with many levels and lots of different ways to play that are sure to keep you occupied for a long time, and it's cheap! Even at $20 this could seem a bit pricey to some, but the eShop release will fix that.
VerdictIf you are a fan of casual puzzle games, or Pop Cap games in general, this is worth checking out.

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