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Zuma Deluxe Strategy
Posted by: Admin, 08-12-2013, 15:56 - 0 comments

The Zuma Deluxe game is quite a speedily-paced game developed by PopCap Games. It can be played for free on our website online without any registration required, and can be purchased for a number of platforms as well, including PDAs, mobile phones, and the iPod. An improved version, the Zuma Deluxe, is available for purchase in different platforms like Windows and Macintosh OS X versions and as an Xbox Live Arcade download for the Xbox 360 which is popular. However, we would recommend skipping all the hassles and enjoying game play in a community with us for free.

In brief, the objective of Zuma Deluxe is to eliminate all the balls rolling around the screen along a given path (the path is clearly visible in all of the levels except the last level), before these balls reach the yellow skull structure, which will open to varying degrees as a warning of oncoming balls. As soon as one ball reaches the skull, the rest follow and the player loses one life. The frog idol would be your savior here.

INTRODUCTION


Zuma Deluxe is one of my favorite games in the Xbox 360 Live Arcade. It has a very unique and nice blend of action and strategy but there is very little information available about it so I've tried to gather it all here.  I assume the PC version is very similar but I haven't played it so I can't verify that all of this information applies to that version.

BASICS WHICH YOU MUST KNOW

In the game, you control the frog in the center of the screen, which you can aim in any direction by simply pointing the mouse device  in that direction.  (I've occasionally encountered a bug where the line flies around and doesn't obey the mouse very well--I don't know what to do about this except to note that it usually fixes itself eventually.)

Notice that there exists a colored ball in the frog's mouth and one on its tail. Press left click to fire the ball in the frog’s mouth, or simply swaps the two balls. You need to be able to keep track of both colors and be ready to fire off either one at any time.  If you have a clear shot to the edge of the screen, you can
discard balls you don't want by firing them there, although in practice there is almost always somewhere better you can send it. The goal is to destroy all of the incoming balls before they reach the skull at the end of the track.  Remember, Frog is the savior and it ought to be good. How? Well, that’s your job! Any time three or more balls of the same color come together, they will explode, although it is common for chains longer than that to roll in initially--you just need to add one more to these groups to destroy them. If the balls reach the skull you will lose one life and have to start the level again.  If you lose all your lives, the game ends.  You start with three lives and receive a bonus life after a certain set of points.

GAME MODES

There are two basic modes of play, Adventure and Gauntlet.  In adventure mode, you need to clear all balls from each map to progress to the next map.  After a certain number of maps (a handful in the early levels, but more at higher levels) you will progress to the next level. Once you have reached a new level, new adventure games will start at the first map on that level by default.  However, you can select an earlier level by moving the cursor on the screen that appears after you select "Adventure".

The list of people who have this final and tough achievement is fairly short. So who knows, you might just be the one of the few. The other game mode is gauntlet.  In this mode, you only play on a single map and you can never clear it or "win" the game--the goal is to get the highest score possible.  As you go along, it will progress in difficulty from "Rabbit 1" to "Rabbit 2" and so on up to "Eagle", "Jaguar", and "Son of Sun" difficulties. When you have achieved a higher difficulty level on a map, you can start the next gauntlet game on that map at that difficulty or any easier level. 

SPECIAL BALLS

There are four kinds of special balls that have additional effects when they are destroyed:
  1. Accuracy: This ball will cause your frog to shoot balls faster for a few seconds.
  2. Bomb (round spot): This ball will create a large explosion, taking out all balls near it even if they are a different color.  These balls are particularly powerful where a track U-turns or crosses another track.
  3. Slowdown (double bar "pause" symbol): All balls on the track will immediately slow down for a short while. I believe it also causes other special balls to appear/disappear more slowly during this time.
  4. Backwards (triangle): The best one of all, this causes the balls to run backwards on the track for a few seconds.

The echoes of the word "ZUMA!"

On each level you need to reach a certain number of points before you will hear voices shout "Zuma!" and the track will reverse for a few seconds.  Your progress is measured by the orange bar (called the Zuma bar from now on) in the upper right corner.  When the bar is completely full you have achieved "Zuma!" and it will turn green. 

In adventure mode, when it starts moving forward again, no new balls will enter the track.  Eliminate the remaining balls and you will progress to the next level.  In gauntlet mode, the bar will be cleared, you will advance one difficulty level, and the game will resume.

Unlike some games where high-scoring moves are just risky bonuses, in Zuma you should always concentrate on getting the most points.  Until you hear "Zuma!", you will face a never-ending attack of colored balls so there is no point in playing timidly.

THE STRATEGY TO WIN

Well, I have found that there are basically two modes of play and to be successful you have to be able to use both, switching back and forth as the circumstances demand at a time.

Tactical: Playing tactically means living in the moment and matching colors as fast as you can.  Keep an eye out for coins and gaps for bonus points, get all the special balls you can, and don't break chains if you can avoid it.  This is the best mode for learning, for handling emergencies, and for getting large chain bonuses.

Strategic: This is the harder, and riskier, way to play but very important as the game gets harder at upper levels.  The idea here is to eliminate balls by firing the fewest shots possible. This means leaving large combo setups alone until they are ready to trigger, which results in the line moving perilously close to the skull as you build up single balls into pairs, punctuated by huge bursts of combo and chain action.
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