Popcap’s smash sequel to PC/Mac game Zuma just ported to iOS. Its available as an iPhone/iPod Touch version as Zuma’s Revenge, or as a universal build under the name Zuma’s Revenge HD. I confess that I am a full-on Zuma addict on any platform, which made this review a tough one. My expectations were very high. And, while it took me a few rounds to adjust to the touch controls, after getting accustomed, I’m in fast-paced casual gaming heaven.
Zuma’s Revenge is a match-three action game. You play as a frog who fires off colored balls at a snaking chain of orbs, trying to create sets of three which then explode off the playing field. Players are tasked with making sure the snake never gets long enough for the front end to fall into the gaping mouth that waits at the end of each maze.
Of course it’s not quite that simple. You also want to create chain reactions, hit fruit for bonus points, clear curves, and there are power-ups in some balls like direction reversals, precision aim, or canon blasts. Zuma’s Revenge has the standard adventure mode broken into five Tiki-themed environments with hard-core boss battles at the end of each. There is also a challenge mode where you play levels against the clock while trying to get the minimum acceptable score to move on.
The graphics are rich and true to the original, and gameplay is spot-on. If you’ve enjoyed Zuma or Zuma’s Revenge elsewhere there is nothing not to like. The port is missing the insane Iron Gauntlet challenge, but otherwise there’s nothing unexpected. And that’s a good thing. This game has the most pleasing sound effects – a satisfying thwack – when balls connect, and a distinctive ironic style.
If you haven’t played before, the touch controls work perfectly; if you’ve been playing with a mouse it’s harder to adapt. But once you do, you’ll find shots are a lot more accurate. I was able to get through adventure mode with greater success my first time out than ever on my Mac because my aim was so precise.
Popcap just gets the casual gamer. They don’t just make popular games, they make gaming icons like Plants vs Zombies, and Bejewled. Zuma’s Revenge HD does the brand proud in its new iteration and outshines the iOS copycats. Whether it’s your first or 500th encounter of the frog kind, do yourself a favor and snap this one up.