Entry into the 2 Million Club: Intermediate Level Strategy

My basic idea is to do three posts on tips, tricks, and strategy: one for beginners, one for intermediates, and one for budding masters.  This is an interesting thing to do because I have to remember what it was like to be at each of these levels.  A lot of skills overlap between levels.  Obviously, we’re always trying to be quicker and more accurate.  Some things never change. 

And I have to state the obvious:  This is my strategy.  It works for me; however, I don’t know what will work for everyone, so make sure to leave me comments if you try one of my tips and let me know if it helped or didn’t help.  If you have a totally different approach to the game, I’d love to hear it.  Consider this a barter:  strategy and tips for comments. 

I consider intermediate players to be those working for their score champion achievement (awarded for earning 2,000,000 points), having already earned at least 1 million points.  You should be familiar enough with the game that you can focus on strategy while playing and have mastered the points in my basic strategy post.  You should regularly be getting coins, gap bonuses, and combos.  Okay, here it is:

  • Get accuracy balls.  They’re always a help. (they’re the target looking ones)
  • You get points based on how far from the golden skull you shoot your last balls. Always end as far back as possible by getting combos, using magnetic force (see tip 3), and shooting back arrow balls.  This will help you not die as often too. 
  • Like colors attract.  Use this magnetic force to pull balls back away from the golden skull.  To do this:  When you have a large gap it will have 2 different colors on either side.  Get a ball that matches one of those queued up.  Shoot it to the side opposite its match.  The balls will pull back.  This can be more effective than a back arrow ball.
  • Get a gap set up and play mostly through that.  You will quickly rack up points.  The smaller the gap, the higher the bonus, but the more difficult to keep it open.  Balance these attributes.   
  • Resist exciting moves that screw you:  like explosions.  If you have a good setup for combos, don’t blow it by hitting a bomb.  Wait until it goes away.  Don’t use the slow down ball when most of your balls are in a tunnel.

These tricks do take work to learn, but I believe they will increase most players’ scores with time.  Have fun!! 


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  1. * Brad C. says:

    I thought I was a pretty decent Zuma player until I watched that level 12-7 video. Wow! I’m just not that quick spitting out balls – I’m more careful and tend to rotate more to find the right spot.

    In the couple months I’ve been playing, the number one strategy that allowed me to advance in points and levels is this: Consecutive clusters (5 or more) will earn you points a LOT faster than non-consecutive clusters will (watch the orange bar!). When you hit your fifth consecutive cluster, you will hear a zzziiiiippp sound in addition to the normal clinking of the zapped balls. Keep hitting consecutive clusters and you will keep earning at this increased score level, allowing you to hit your Zuma much earlier in the game. Do whatever you can to hit 5 or more in a row (and keep going) consecutively, without playing a “dead” ball (one that does not form a cluster or misses the chain completely and goes off the board). You will likely have to make liberal use of the B button to swap colors out in the later levels.

    Of course there are some secondary strategies that fall out from this. Keep swapping balls if you need to in order to avoid playing a ball that does not form a cluster. You might even want to wait a second or two to see if something new comes out/comes into range that will allow you to play one of your two balls to form a cluster. If you absolutely MUST play a ball that won’t form a cluster, realize that you are breaking your consecutive chain. Since this is probably happening because you have a lot of single-color balls in your chain, use this opportunity to set yourself up for lots more consecutive clusters: add one ball next to a single ball of the same color to form pairs. Once you have several pairs, you’ve set yourself up for a good run of consecutive clusters again, and you can again go for 5 or more consecutive ones to quickly up your earning potential.

    Also, hitting a coin counts as a cluster. Don’t be afraid to break your consecutive run if you have a coin available.

    I always try to have no gaps when I hit a backwards ball. If you have significant gaps, the backwards ball will just fill these up instead of pushing the whole chain backwards.

    When I get down to the end, I always shoot towards the front of the chain rather than the back. By eliminating balls from the front, the amount of space to the skull gets larger. If you eliminate from the back, the amount of space to the skull basically stays the same while you eat up balls from the back.

    Posted 11 years, 6 months ago
  2. * Cindy says:

    I appreciate this info….. some of it I never thought of but do it from experience and others I will look out for in the future…..what I do is:… I know the various quests and they all require a little different method, so some you really need to shoot through gaps big time, other’s switch balls a lot, some shoot from the front and other from the back, I also wait a bit on several because I know I am gonna get what I want if I am not too hasty, others I am fast ……. there are a few I just switch balls a lot ( probably too much at times )and sometimes I do what I think Zuma doesn’t expect me to do * avoiding the obvious* it can work but at times it has killed me.

    Posted 11 years, 5 months ago

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