One of my favorite classic marble shooters is Zuma’s Revenge. It also happens to be at the #1 spot right now in our marble shooter games category on iWin. It’s no surprise that the game is at the top with its highly addictive gameplay and impressive, vibrant graphics that keep your eyes glued to your computer screen. Players can attest that this game can be quite challenging at times as well, so I’ve dug up some nifty tricks and tips for our Zuma fans.
- The strategy that should be employed when first playing Zuma is the slow and steady approach. The keys to being successful at the game are accuracy and efficiency. The game starts out slow and forgiving, so take time to fire intelligently. Watch what happens each time a group of balls is destroyed. Knowing the basic principles and physics of the game is just as important as accuracy.
- The frog houses two balls at a time. The ball in his mouth is the ball “in the chamber.” The color on the top of his head represents the color of the ball that is “on deck.” The two can be switched at any time by clicking on the right mouse button. Use this to your advantage at times when the second color would be more useful.
- Each level has a target score represented by the orange progress bar at the top of the screen. When the orange bar is filled, “Zuma” is achieved. The state of “Zuma” means that the balls will slow down and roll backward temporarily. Use this time wisely to assess the situation and ready the best strategy, like setting up combos to clear the balls quickly.
- As the game gets harder, it’s important to remember which scoring tactics are the most rewarding and efficient. Shooting fruit is always the best way to get points. It takes the least amount of time and has the highest yield. There is a trick to shooting fruit, as they always lie behind balls on the curve. It’s safe to say that a fruit positioned behind two lines on the curve isn’t worth working on. Opportunities to hit these fruit usually present themselves rather randomly. However, a fruit behind only one line of balls is easy to hit with a double tapping technique. If a group of like-colored balls is directly between the frog and the fruit, fire a ball of the same color directly at the fruit. Follow up quickly with a second ball (of any color) and it should hit the fruit. Double tapping the mouse button should fire quickly enough to avoid hitting any balls that might potentially be sucked back.
- That being said, balls of a like color attract. If a group of balls explodes, the remaining balls on either end of the explosion will draw toward each other if they are the same color. This principle is used in making combos. If those two remaining balls draw together and another group of three or more is formed, it will explode, creating a combo. Two or more explosions generated by a single shot are considered a combo. With each explosion, the bonus becomes greater and greater. While the point total is very good, it’s not very practical to spend a lot of time setting up combos slowly. As you play the game, it might become second nature to create these combos while doing other things. This is one of the most efficient ways of scoring.
- Another bonus is the chain bonus. If five or more subsequent shots each generate an explosion, this is considered a chain. Starting with the fifth, a bonus is added for each subsequent explosion. This is the easiest way to generate bonuses, but it also has the weakest point pay-off. The best time to employ this method is on the levels with a double curve. There are two independent curves with their own ball clusters and, generally, there is much more curve exposed, so there is a better possibility of keeping the chain alive.
- The final bonus is the gap bonus. This bonus is achieved when shooting through a gap in the balls to cause an explosion. The smaller the gap, the higher the bonus. The best way to employ this is using the double tap method discussed above. Firing to create an explosion on the closest part of the curve and then firing quickly at the balls behind the gap you just created is the best way to get points. If the second shot creates an explosion, the bonus can be quite large as long as the gap is small. Watch for opportunities behind two (or more) gaps. They don’t come around often, but the point yield is such that you won’t want to miss it.
- The single most important reason to collect as many points as possible is obtaining extra lives. An extra life is earned at 50,000 points. A good way to gather points is with speed. The faster you clear a level, the better chance you have of receiving a bonus. Each level has a pre-determined “Ace” time. Beating this time can bring in a bonus as high as 25,000 points. The best way to finish quickly is to garner as many points as possible as quickly as possible. Usually a combination of shooting fruit, gaps, and chains is the best method. If the board is a double curve, take the chain bonus as far as possible while hitting any fruit you can, while also paying attention to any gaps you create.
Done reading? It’s time to make use of what you just learned and reach for your new high score. What are you waiting for? Game on!
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