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Zuma

Casual and hardcore (or ‘core’) games often appeal to one group of players while excluding the other. Aiming at just one slice of the gaming audience is well and good, but the holy grail of game development is bridging the gap by appealing to both audiences. Only one game developer has consistently managed to reach that lofty goal: PopCap. Now owned by EA, PopCap has finally returned to Windows Phone (7 and 8) with a port of its accessible yet challenging puzzle masterpiece Zuma’s Revenge.

As a Nokia exclusive, non-Nokia owners will have to wait six months to play Zuma’s Revenge. Read on to find out why it’s worth the wait.

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PopCap Games may be best known for their sublime Plants vs. Zombies (on sale for $2.99 this week!), but they actually produce a number of stellar franchises like Peggle and Zuma. We interviewed PopCap about those two series coming to Windows Phone last year, and we’ll continue to ask about them whenever we can. PopCap seems to work on one game for one platform at a time, and they’ve just completed a new Xbox Live Arcade release: Zuma’s Revenge. It just came out yesterday, but I’ve been playing the game for a week now in order to bring you this review.

The original Zuma Deluxe was an XBLA launch title way back in 2006. Basically an enhanced clone of classic arcade game Puzz Loop (aka Magnetica), the Zuma games put players in control of a stationary frog who can rotate in any direction and shoot colored balls from his mouth. In each level, more balls roll on-screen along one or more paths. The frog’s job is to stop them from reaching the goal at the path’s end by quickly making as many colored matches as possible. It’s sort of like Bubble Town 2 but much, much better and more varied.

Head past the break for our full impressions and more screenshots.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Zuminja

Remember the video game Zuma? If so, then the latest Windows Phone game from XIMAD will feel awfully familiar. Zuminja is very similar to Zuma except you shoot various colored ninjas from a canon instead of marbles. Zuminja is developed in the spirit of the Pandas vs. Ninjas games XIMAD has made popular.

It's a fun game and the only downside may be that there's not a trial version available.

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