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Zuma, tribal puzzle game for iPod video.

A necessary premise before going into the merits of the game: the iPod is not a portable console; a multimedia player with some accessory functions. It should be taken into account every time you decide to start a game session on the Apple player.

Likewise, the games, sold on the iTunes Store, have a fairly low price and do not pretend to represent who knows what milestone of the video game art.

The philosophy of a video game on the iPod is closer to that of the mythical "jawbreakers", so in vogue a few years ago. These are the aspects that must be kept in mind when deciding to connect to the iTunes Store and download one or more games for the iPod.


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In our exploration of video games for iPod we started with Zuma, a puzzle game produced by PopCap Games. Tribal settings surround a simple and intuitive gameplay: by controlling a ball-spitting toad, you will have to prevent the advance of one or more rows of colored balls, destroying them all before they can reach some idols positioned at the end of the path.

Audio & VideoGraphically Zuma satisfies the eyes of the players; nothing that makes you cry out to the miracle, it is clear, but the backgrounds are pleasant and the (very few) animations do not present snapiness or flicker of any kind.

Let's postpone instead on the music: the same boring tribal theme will accompany you for the duration of the game, with some very slight variations that will not make it pleasant at all. Fortunately it is possible to set the sound so you can play accompanied by the songs loaded on the iPod, continuing to enjoy the sound effects, the latter without infamy or praise.

Game & PlayThe game structure of Zuma recalls the various PuzzleBubble, with only the different position of the player and the balls. The toad located in the center of the screen; with the clickwheel you can rotate only on yourself, shoot the balls with the central button and select one of the two outgoing balls with the 'forward' and 'back' buttons.

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As in the most tested recipes for puzzle games, it will be enough to make triplets or more, to destroy adjacent balls of the same color, often causing chain reactions, gaining bonuses and scoring points, precious in order to stop the continuous entry of other balls.

Just the clickwheel represents the cross and the delight of Zuma. The rotational movement of the toad adapts perfectly to the sensitivity of the circular control; however the clickwheel is too inaccurate in this case, not a small defect for a game in which the trajectories have a decisive importance.

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This congenital inaccuracy might be seen as a challenge, but in some cases it is quite frustrating to have to make mistakes attributable more to the approximate commands than to our finger. The game itself suggests using the index finger for more control, but things don't work out. much.

This defect sometimes invites almost to abandon the game, representing a mole for the longevity of the product. Speaking precisely of this last feature, the interest over time in a game like Zuma can vary greatly in relation to the user. Surely those looking for a more varied gameplay soon get tired of spitting colored balls; vice versa the aficionados of the classic puzzle games will appreciate the ideas that the game of PopCap Games can offer.

ConclusionZuma is a good game, easy and immediate assimilation, which meets those who want to try a new puzzle game, without departing from a traditional game structure. Too bad for the imprecise controls and the audio accompaniment to forget, defects that undermine the overall evaluation.

iPodNet Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Pro– Proven game layout – Simple and intuitive gameplay

Versus– Audio accompaniment – Poor originality – Clickwheel not very precise.

Zuma can be purchased on the iTunes Store directly from this link at a price of 4.99 Euros.