Zuma’s Revenge sees a welcome return from our amphibian friend as you shoot your way through many stages, bosses and other challenges that lie in your way. If you’re familiar with Zuma then you’ll no doubt probably fly the levels with great impatience, trying to earn every spirit coin within the game. Although beginners, there is no need to threat because PopCap have this welcoming value to every single one of their games and you’ll grow to utterly worship each and every one of their titles. First thing to pick up on is the sheer flush of colours that tantalise your visual appraisal. It’s a real pleasure to witness a brightly coloured game that compliments every inch of your High Def television. Artwork is genius with a ‘Tiki’ style of design that surrounds every stage, character and image that you will witness. PopCap never fail to bring a pleasing presentation and zuma’s Revenge is one of my favourites to gawk at.
Balls! The main objective of the game is to clear the stage of remaining coloured balls. You play as a charming frog that shoots coloured balls from the mouth towards the stage of coloured balls which are on a rolling rail. The colour of the ball that you are about to shoot must match up to the colours along the rail. Match a minimum of three with the same colour and they will vanish building a high score. Match more than three balls to build an even higher score and with a possibility of scoring chain combos results in some fantastic and addictive high scoring. The balls are making their way to the skull pit which immediately will end the level, reset your score and place you back to give you another try at succeeding. You’ll find that some stages present a massive amount of never ending balls but its then down to you to decrease that amount by using skill and judgement from your angle of shooting. Also you’ll come across some incredible power ups that will aid you significantly throughout many of the stages. They will become almost essential towards some of the later levels if you wish to progress.
Within adventure mode there are 10 stages per sector of the island which there are 6 sectors. Bosses wait for you at the end of each segment and they bring a whole fresh way of succeeding to eventually progress onto the next segment. Some of the boss fights require you to make good use of power ups and technique. It presents a real fun idea and motive to the original Zuma play style. Other modes that you’ll enjoy are weekly challenges, Iron Frog and Boss Rush. Weekly challenges offer replay value and will most certainly have you coming back to improve scoring and beat friends and other players on the leaderboards. Iron frog sees you testing your endurance against 10 stages to see how far you can progress without losing a level. My favourite however is Boss Rush in which you have to face every boss within Zuma’s Revenge one after another as fast as you can to post some pretty slick times to the leaderboards.
Each stage has the required goals to obtain Spirit coins. You’ll inevitably obtain a spirit coin by just completing the level but you can acquire other spirit coins by scoring high in points and beating the required time set. These coins can then be spent on spirit animals which can upgrade bonuses such as an increased percentage of fruit appearance, shot speed, appearance of power ups and level percentage of score. These bonuses once filled will give you that extra push towards huge high scores and help you climb higher in the world wide leaderboards.
I’ll conclude by saying that Zuma’s Revenge is a real fun title that anyone can pick up and enjoy. Its replay value as a true arcade title is most definitely there. Zuma’s Revenge will have you hurrying back to score even higher points and earn all three spirit coins for each and every stage. Achievements come quick and swiftly for those hunters of higher gamerscores. Variety of stages that bring in new methods of completing levels such as lilypads makes for a fresh approach to gameplay and adds just that little extra to the original which would now be considered a little repetitive compared to the new-fangled Zuma’s Revenge. It’s definitely one to pick up and thankfully the game hasn’t fallen into the 1200 microsoft points you commonly see on the marketplace with many present arcade titles. This is a cheap and cheerful arcade title at only 800 msp and it’ll have you playing for hours. It’s instant and quick to play which stays true to the arcade experience all XBLA fans will appreciate. PopCap never fail to entertain with their titles and Zuma’s Revenge is above all the most colourful, most addictive and most visually compelling XBLA title to date.