Marble Saga: Zuma marble gaming entertainment at its best
The simplicity of match-3 games is what makes them so easy to pick up and play, ideal for occasions when you just want to kill a little time. Being a fan of the genre I was happy to find Marble Saga when looking through the download charts on Google Play. Based on Zuma marble games that have come before it, the developers, ITREEGAMER have released their own take on the puzzle game.
Gameplay: The aim of the game is to clear the screen of marbles. The marbles are destroyed by matching at least 3 of the same colour with one that you have fired, as some marbles are grouped into more than 3 when they appear one screen. The marbles travel around the screen on a predefined track, coming out of a feeder making its way towards the black hole. If a marble reaches the black hole then I’m afraid it’s lights out for you. The marbles are fired from a central cannon by tapping anywhere on the screen. In a very Puzzle Bobble-eque way you can change between your current and next marble colors by tapping on the cannon itself which added greatly to the gameplay.
Each level has a different track layout and thus difficulty. What really makes this game thoroughly addictive and a joy to play are the power marbles which randomly appear on a particular marble and are activated by matching at least three of the same color much like normal marbles. The power marbles have special abilities ranging from slowing down the marble train; reversing the direction; power arrow which destroys all marbles it touches; to fire bombs which detonate upon matching.
Marble Saga really comes into its own in the later levels where it’s crucial that you set up your chain combos. Doing so not only gives you additional points but also reverses the marble chain back filling the destroyed marbles. You really have to think on your feet whether to take your time to set up your combos or to fire off marbles as fast as you can disregarding the benefits of the chain combos. In practice you have to do both depending on the situation.
Presentation wise Marble Saga gets two thumbs up. The graphics are sharp, smooth and nicely themed. I have to particularly mention the star of the game, the marbles themselves, are excellently designed and animated. The texture design of the marbles give a convincing rolling effect when moving and the sound of the marbles hitting each other is pleasing to say the least. One crucial indicator of music quality for puzzle games is how annoying it gets after extended play and I can I never felt like I had to turn it on mute which must mean it aint half bad.
Verdict: 4/5 Marble Saga is a very addictive and enjoyable match 3 puzzle game, with over 108 challenging levels will have you returning time and time again. Just make sure you don’t lose your marbles!