When you first load up Zuma you’ll be impressed by the thoroughly South American flavour to the whole proceedings. It’s like you’ve stepped into a tribal village and have fallen into one of the huts, only to find it full of strange icons and masks. The base game uses Aztec styled poker symbols and weird-looking god forms on the reels, which you can align carefully to make your winning combinations. The whole grid is set in a wonderfully crafted stone like frame, which helps add to the look and feel of this machine’s visuals. A top class production that really stands out.
The music on Zuma is first class. Every-time you beat the reels into a spin, you’ll hear this crazy bass-driven beat that’s simply quite addictive. This is coupled up with reel noises that sound like guttural war chants as you stop in the important symbols on the reels. There’s something both primeval and primitive about the whole audio affair, which summons up visions of crazy dancing and chanting round a fire. Some slots completely miss the point of having sonics, whilst others, like Zuma simply outclass the rest of the field.
Zuma’s base game doesn’t offer up anything that’s too out of the ordinary. It uses a standard five reel casino slot set up, enclosed in a fifteen stop space grid. You can place your bets on 20 pay-lines and can adjust your coin size to find the ideal bet. Special symbols? Of course – there’s the rather cool Zuma wild that has its own special sound effect when it drops into the reels. In classic slot machine fashion this doesn’t just substitute where possible for any other symbol in winning combinations, but also multiplies the value of their prize between 2x and 10x the normal pay-out. Then there’s the special frog sub-game scatter. This triggers the shout of Zuma from the reels, allowing you to know when you’re getting close to that all important bonus feature round.
Hit three of the special Zuma frogs anywhere in view to take you to a special second screen sub-game where you get to shoot one of four Tiki bosses to grab a number of free spins. Shoot again to find out what multiplier you’ll receive for you free spin round and then it’s off to the second set of reels where you’ll get to take your free goes. As you’d expect the Zuma wild is still in full effect here allowing you to ramp up your reel wins into massive, colossal prizes.
Finally there’s the Zuma gamble game, which is like no other that you’ll find on today’s selection of modern slot machines. Simply hit the button after you’ve stopped in any winning spin on the reels to take you off to a second screen game where you can bet on one of four different reels, each with their own odds. This allows you to select your own bespoke gamble and turn any little win into a great big monster pay-out.