The puzzle video game known as Zuma was released in 2003 by PopCap Games, the designers responsible for titles such as Bejeweled and Plants vs Zombies. It was an instant hit, winning "Game of the Year" and becoming available on platforms ranging from PlayStation 3 to the iPod. In 2009, a sequel called Zuma's Revenge was released.
PopCap Games has always been savvy about licensing their products, and this desire to generate additional profits resulted in the decision to create Zuma slots. These duties fell to Blueprint Gaming, a group of designers who has already adapted several of the company's puzzle games to the online gambling market.
In this article, we'll be taking an in-depth look at the Zuma slot machine. From the basic rules and paytable to the bonus features, reading this text should adequately prepare you for a profitable gaming session.
Zuma falls into the category of a tile-matching puzzle video game. The player controls a frog-like turret that spins around and fires colored balls. Meanwhile, other colored balls roll around a track and inch ever-closer to a yellow skull pyramid.
If the balls reach the pyramid, the player loses a life. The objective is to fire balls of matching colors, which causes a chain of three or more to explode and disappear. This halts the advance of the orbs, giving the player some breathing room by filling a yellow bar. When the bar is full, additional balls are no longer produced off-screen, and the player can concentrate on eliminating the existing orbs and completing the round.
Bonuses and power-ups are also available during play. The basic form of play is known as "Adventure Mode," while "Survival Mode" allows previously-beaten levels to be tried again at a faster rate of speed.
After beating 12 stages of the game, the player is taken to a final level called "Space." If the player manages to beat this difficult level, they win the game and receive an additional 50,000 points for any remaining lives.
Rules of the Game
Like all slot machines, Zuma has some basic rules associated with it. Most of these are common sense, but we've still presented them here for your convenience.
- All line wins, with the exception of scatters, pay from left to right.
- Line wins are multiplied by the amount risked on the winning payline.
- All pays and plays are void in the case of a game malfunction.
- If the player achieves a wild-only win, it's ignored when the average win with a wild multiplier would be greater.
- All the feature symbols in the game are scatters, and these are paid out in addition to reel wins.
- If the player gets wins on multiple paylines, these amounts are added together to determine the total prize.
- For each payline, only the highest win amount is paid out.
- During each spin, multiple scatters can be won. The highest win for each scatter is awarded.
Size of Wagers
One coin is wagered per payline, and you can play anywhere from one to 20. The minimum bet per line is $0.05, which means you can participate for as little as one nickel. If you're a high roller (or just want to feel like one), you can risk up to $50 per line for a maximum bet of $1,000. For those on a budget who still want all paylines active, this can be accomplished for as little as $1.
The top payout on the Zuma slot is 10,000 coins (multiplied by your wager). If you decided to activate all paylines, this payout could be worth as little as $500 or as much as $500,000.
The following icons make up the pay table for the Zuma slot machine from Blueprint. We've listed each of the symbols and their payout values, although their similar appearance makes it hard to describe each one as accurately as we'd like.
If three to five of these frog-faced symbols show up on the reels at the same time, you'll unlock the Free Spins bonus.
- Zuma Logo
The game's simple logo serves as a wild symbol, substituting for all other icons except the scatter and multiplying any win by five. Pays the top prize of 10,000 for five matches, 500 for four, 100 for three, and 10 for two.
- Zuma Chieftain
Holding a staff and spear, this angry Zuma leader looks ready to sacrifice someone on an altar of skulls (or something similarly creepy). Pays 500 for five matches, 125 for four, 20 for three, and 2 for two.
- Lion Zuma
With the visage of a roaring jungle cat, this icon may terrify more sensitive players. Pays 250 for five matches, 100 for four, 20 for three, and 2 for two.
- Angry Zuma
We don't know what he's mad about, but this statue looks quite upset. Pays 200 for five matches, 50 for four, and 10 for three.
- Blue & Green Zuma
These two symbols are just as fierce-looking as the ones listed above. They pay 150 for five matches, 40 for four, and 10 for three of a kind.
- Ace & King
These top playing card values are used as filler, just like with most slot machines. They pay 50 for five matches, 15 for four, and 5 for three.
- Queen, Jack & 10
Three more playing card icons, this time with a value of 50 for five, 10 for four, and 5 for three.
The least of the playing card values on this game, the lowly nine is worth 50 for five matches, 10 for four, 5 for three, and 2 for two.
This percentage indicates the money returned to the player over the long term. In the case of Zuma, this amounts to 95.74%. Therefore, a player who wagered $100 could expect (on average) to get back $95.74. This gives Zuma slots a house edge of 4.26%, which is about average for an online slot machine.
If you're fortunate enough to get a winning spin, the Zuma slot allows you a unique opportunity to increase your money. If this option is turned on via the orange button on the game's control panel, then the player is give the following choices:
If this option is selected, four gamble reels appear with a different win multiplier and a total of 20 positions. If the player is successful in this endeavor, their winnings can be increased by a multiple of 2, 4, 5, or 10.
Once per round, the player is allowed to bank half their winnings.
This option allows the player to collect their full winnings without any sort of additional risk.
Free Spins Bonus
When three or more scatter symbols appear on the reels, this feature is activated. You'll first be asked to select from one of several Zuma warriors, with each concealing a number of free spins. Once your number of complimentary spins is revealed, the bonus round begins immediately.
During the free spins phase, the feature can be re-triggered. When this occurs, the player is awarded the same number of spins as the original win.
Once all the free spins have been used up, four Zuma warriors appear on the screen. Each conceals a multiplier, and it's your job to reveal one of these. Once the multiplier has been revealed, it's added to your free spin winnings to provide the final bonus payout.
Zuma Game Controls
Almost all slots feature a number of options above and below the main screen. These activate the basic functions of the game, but some also allow for customization. In the Zuma slot, the following are included:
Displays the size of the wager. As discussed earlier, this can range from $0.05 to $50.
The number of active paylines. The minimum is one, while the maximum is 20.
This green button activates the game.
Activates the Gamble Feature, which was discussed in a previous section.
A list of the various payouts. We've detailed all of them above, so there's nothing new to be discovered here.
- Total Stake
Located in the upper left of the screen, this is the total amount of a player's current wager.
For those who manage to win, this field displays the enormity of their payout.
The payout percentage of Zuma slots is on par with most games, but it's the presentation and extra features that set it apart. From the rhythmic sounds of the tribal drums to the innovative gamble feature, this title is sure to attract both new fans and those who remember the original video game.