Zuma's Revenge!

PopCap is the king of creating simple and addictive titles. Despite appearing on practically every device capable of playing games, the studio has somehow avoided ever producing a stinker.

After much delay, PopCap has finally brought the ball-firing joy of Zuma’s Revenge! to the best-selling handheld device in the world. The result is pretty much exactly what you’d expect.

The plot is simple. You, playing as a stone frog, wash up on a tropical island that boasts caves, jungles, and a volcano. You then make your way through a series of ball-matching levels to defeat five different tiki gods before facing off against the evil god of the island, Zhaka Mu.

String theory

As with previous Zuma games, the gameplay revolves around matching three coloured balls (or stones) in order to make them disappear. Clear enough balls and you’ll achieve a state of ‘Zuma’ and no more balls will appear, allowing you to mop up what remains.

Two new level types have also been introduced for Zuma’s Revenge!: dual lilypad levels that allow you to jump between two pads, and horizontal or vertical track levels that let you move along a fixed line while firing.

Both new additions make a pleasant change to how you approach a level, but they're incredibly awkward to play, thanks in part to some rather clumsy controls. Movement requires you to touch and drag your stone frog, which then releases the ball when you finish moving, which leads to plenty of inadvertent ball-firing.

In general, though, the increased accuracy and responsiveness of the stylus makes this version a lot easier to play than the home console iterations.

However, it isn’t without its faults. Facing off against bosses or playing on those aforementioned new level types reveals just how cumbersome Revenge! can be.

These control problems could have been easily solved if PopCap had just allowed the stone frog to move between lilypads or along fixed routes. Not only would it have made things a lot quicker, but it would also have vastly reduced the number of accidental shots you fire off.

Havin’ a ball

Zuma’s Revenge! hasn’t changed much in its transition to Nintendo’s handheld. The addition of a Daily Challenge mode keeps you coming back once the adventure is over, and, quite honestly, Zuma has never felt more at home on the DSi.

If you haven’t played Zuma’s Revenge! before, then this is a worthwhile purchase that will keep you entertained for hours. However, if you've played another version of Revenge! then you wont find anything new of real interest.

Zuma's Revenge!

As good as it’s always been, this is really worth a look if you’ve never strayed into the delights of Zuma before, but veteran players need not apply
Vaughn Highfield
Vaughn Highfield
Quite possibly the tallest man in games, Vaughn has been enamoured with video games from a young age. However, it wasn't until he spent some time writing for the student newspaper that he realised he had a knack for talking people's ears off about his favourite pastime. Since then, he's been forging a path to the career he loves... even if it doesn't love him back.