The Exclusive and Elusive 3 Million: Expert Strategy

Okay, I know I’m a total slacker.  This post has been long in the making and I hope it’s not too anti-climatic in its simplicity.  I had a few notes written down on expert strategy and I thought once I sat down to clean them up I’d think of a bunch more to fill it out, but that is not the case.  The truth is, after a certain point it’s mostly practice.  Here is the most important comment if you’re trying to be an expert though:

Know each level and modify your play for the board.  This does take flexibility and thought.  You can’t just go on autopilot.  An example of this is not looking for gaps on a board without many layers, like Riverbed Mosaic, but utilizing them on boards like the Dark Vortex. (And yes, by this point you should know these names.)

Secondly, place balls as combos are occurring.  As balls are moving back from the previous combo, place balls for the next.  You have to be very quick and accurate, but this pushes the chain way back and gets you lots of points without wasting any time.  (If my wording is confusing, watch the Scoble interview again.  I talk about it in there and demonstrate the technique.)

The next two pieces of advice come from readers of my blog.  They are certainly things I had thought about before, but had not made it to my list before they mentioned them:

1.  David Arnold, Comments on Level 12-7 video post – “You should shoot where the ball travels the least.”

My notes:  This is especially important in level 1-3, a Riverbed Mosaic board.

2.  Brad C, Comments on 2 Million Club post – “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.”

My notes:  This is one good strategy to be aware of, but it does undermine the usage of other strategies, so use with caution. 

There are many other good strategies that people have written about in the comments, so don’t forget to go through and read them.  I don’t see a need to copy them all in this post, just to highlight two of the most useful ones. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to address a question I get frequently about swapping balls.  Yes, I am constantly changing balls.  It’s compulsive.  I do think it helps in the long run, but sometimes it messes me up.  No, I don’t think about it.  I’m not sure I’d recommend anyone do it as mindlessly and frequently as I do. 

I with you all the best of luck.  If you’re at the point where you can even fathom getting 3 million points in a game you certainly are already a Zuma master and you have my highest respect.  Keep playing and having fun. 



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