Free colorful match-3 puzzle game
Zuma is a trial version of the match-3 puzzle game developed by PopCap Games. In this popular and highly addictive arcade game, you control a frog that can spit out balls of different colors. Once these launched balls match at least two of the same color from the moving line of balls, they explode out of play.
Because of its success, Zuma has seen a number of other similar games in the market, most notably Luxor and Tumblebugs. These games sport the same gameplay mechanics with slightly different designs, with the PopCap Games creation serving as the template for all others.
Make all the balls explode
The basic objective of Zuma is to complete levels by making all the balls explode. Each level has a clearly defined path through which a series of balls pass through. At the end of this path is a sacred golden skull, and once the balls reach this skull, it’s game over for you. Before this happens, you have to eliminate the slowly-moving balls by completing sets of three or more from your trusty ball-spitting frog.
Your frog is fixed on a position and can only rotate on its axis. Aside from the active ball at the mouth of your frog, you can also see a spare one at its back, allowing you to switch between the two balls to make a better shot whenever possible. Also, there are bonuses such as coins for doing trick shots such as passing balls through gaps in the line or power-ups that slow down the movement of the balls or make them go backward for a short time.
In terms of gameplay, the Aztec aesthetics give the game a unique identity that has helped it stand out from other games in the genre. Also, the game becomes more complicated as it goes on. Some stages have a longer line of balls while other stages have multiple golden skulls you have to guard against the balls. This gives the game additional challenges, despite its repetitive gameplay mechanics.
Lacking in variety
Zuma has two main modes: Adventure and Gauntlet. In adventure mode, you get to play through the levels, which are divided into “temples” and “worlds.” On the other hand, the gauntlet mode lets you play any level you’ve previously completed. This lets you practice your aim and your response, or you can play the survival mode where the continuous stream of balls gets faster over time. Unfortunately, there’s not much difference between the two game modes, in terms of difficulty, gameplay, or features.
Also, another shortcoming of the game is its gameplay mechanic doesn’t change. From the first to the last level, you are tasked with the same objective of eliminating the balls. Of course, as your response and aim improve over time, the latter stages start to become less challenging, making the game boring in the long run. This makes the game less enjoyable, especially for the more competitive players.
Fun for the whole family
Zuma boasts easy controls, an intuitive gameplay mechanic, and a visually appealing design–making it a perfect game for a wide range of players. Its steadily progressing stages, as well as its in-game bonuses, create opportunities for extra achievements for players willing to go the extra mile such as shooting through gaps or aiming for specific balls. Highly recommended.