Zuma is one of those arcade games that starts off really easy and becomes more difficult with each level. Somewhere along the way, when your hand starts to hurt, you realize that you are hooked and just can’t seem to stop! The idea behind the game is actually simple. You need to combine balls of the same color together and blow them up until no more balls come out for you to get rid of. The quirky thing is, you are a stone frog. Yes, a stone frog in the temple of Zuma. You spit balls out so that they will fall together with similar balls.
Sounds dull? Not really. Various elements are introduced so as to complicate the game play. If you do not bust the balls as fast as you can, the balls in the maze will fall into the hole and you are dead. Do not worry, there is a point in every level wherein you will have blown up enough balls and then you will hear the sound that will prove to be very sweet to your ears – ZUMA! Once you fill up the green bar at the upper right side of the screen, no more new balls will come out into the maze. You just have to get rid of the remaining balls. Then of course, as the game gets harder, you will find that you don’t seem to get the balls that you need. The balls come out faster, the maze fills up faster. That’s when you feel your hand cramping. To ease things up a bit, you can gain bonuses by blowing up more balls, blowing up special balls, and hitting a coin that pops out in the most unlikely places.
There are two modes of play – Adventure and Gauntlet modes. The Adventure mode is the default mode and is essentially described above. The Gauntlet mode might drive you crazy as the balls just keep coming and coming and coming. To make it even more difficult, they come faster and faster and new ball colors are added as you go along.
The graphics add to the whole experience. Very artsy and unique, but not too complicated. You can play this game on your old computer. Of course, make sure you have a sound card. You wouldn’t want to miss the tribal music and chanting in the background. Oh, and music to my ears – ZUMA!