Hands-on with Zuma for the PlayStation Network

Zuma is another one of Pop Cap Games’ classics that has made its way on to the PlayStation Store.  In  contrast with Bejeweled 2, I haven’t had previous gaming experience with this strange new animal.  So much so in fact, I discover that this game isn’t new at all, its a few years old, which figures.

The gameplay however, is what I’d like to describe as ‘hardcore classic’.  It’s one of those games where the controls and the gameplay are just so ‘spot on’ that all that’s stopping your progression or high scores is your gaming ability.  This allows for some serious hardcore gaming sessions, the likes of which I don’t think I’ll be able to muster!  Why?  Read on…

The concept of Zuma (like many classic games) is simple.  There are different colured balls following a winding track that eventually leads to a skull where upon arrival at the skull: it’s game over.  Standing between you and almost certain doom is a friendly little frog (which I guess is either Aztec or Mayan in origin, hence the name ‘Zuma’ but that’s not particularly important when considering the merits of the game) which you can spin in any direction, firing out the same coloured balls from it’s mouth.  Match 3 or more of the same coloured balls in a row, and the snaking coloured balls that you matched will disappear whilst the remaining balls making their way to the skull will be pulled backwards to close the gap, giving you precious extra time.

Remember I mentioned that there’s scope for some serious hardcore gaming?  Increase the speed of the balls, the number of skulls and the increasing variety of coloured balls and your eyes will probably bleed.  In a good way, I guess.  But there you have it.  That’s Zuma pretty much summed up in a nutshell.

Like Bejeweled 2, Zuma is a small game that is great to blow off a bit of steam.  If you’ve only got 15-20 minutes to spare one evening, but you still need your gaming fix, then Zuma will satisfy.  Trophy support, as always is a nice touch and offers extra incentives to plug away at the game.  As for the level of polish, I’m not too sure if it quite matches Bejeweled 2 as the backgrounds seem a bit low resolution yet that’s just a minor niggle.

So, does Zuma please the sun god?  Quite pleasantly I’d say, although the same high price that was slapped on Bejeweled 2 refrains me from wholeheartedly recommending it.  Yet if puzzle games are your forte, then I would suggest you give Zuma a go.  Others may want more game for their hard-earned pounds.

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