PopCap makes some of the coolest, most addictive games for the casual gamer. All PopCap games feature simple game interaction, cheerful graphics and addictive psychology. The most popular PopCap games include Zuma Blitz, Plants vs Zombies and Bejeweled Blitz.
Many of these games are free to play or inexpensive to purchase. PopCap offers free game demos so you can try out games without buying them first.
The newest PopCap game to win popularity is Zuma Blitz. Available for free on Facebook, Zuma offers hours of addictive fun. The goal of Zuma is to shoot and match colored balls to score points. Speed is the name of the game, though you can boost your score by using special powers. Purchase powers with in game currency which accumulates slowly as you play, or quickly with the help of a credit card.
One downside of Zuma Blitz is it’s time limit of 60 seconds. The player may increase this time by making bonus shots during each round. For longer game play, download the free demo version of Zuma’s Revenge, the original game which inspired the Facebook application.
Check out Kristin’s Zuma Tips and Strategy article for more about gameplay.
Plants vs Zombies
The concept of cartoon plants battling zombies was just crazy enough to work for PopCap. If you don’t believe it, try downloading the free demo for your PC, iPad, or touch screen phone. The goal of the game is to prevent zombies from invading your home by planting flowers, pea pods, nuts, corn on the cob and more.
Some plants shoot missiles while others block or disable zombies. The full download of the game provides puzzles and bonus rounds which twist the basic concept into new challenges. Plants vs Zombies involves more strategy than luck, but is easy to pick up.
Another free Facebook game, Bejeweled Blitz is more about luck and purchasing abilities than other PopCap games. The goal of the game is to match jewels by swapping them with other jewels arranged on a grid. Why is it so addicting? Any well designed game provides a system of rewards so that players develop a sense of accomplishment.
The feeling of success encourages players to keep playing. Bejeweled Blitz capitalizes on this concept by providing a variable schedule of rewards for invested time in the game. The more you play, the higher the probability of a reward, which makes you want to play more. It’s the equivalent of an online slot machine. Quick reflexes play a role in how well you match, but the luck of the draw is just as important in scoring.
Check out Bejeweled Blitz for free and spend your next work break on some mindless fun. For a more strategic way to play, download a free demo of the PC version from PopCap. The full PC version gives you more time and has puzzle modes which require strategy.
The Best PopCap Games Summed Up
Check out free demos for Plants vs Zombies, Bejeweled and Zuma on the PopCap website or through Steam, a free online gaming platform. For the most casual play try out Zuma Blitz and Bejeweled Blitz for free on Facebook. If you are craving a casual game with hours of strategy and puzzles, purchase the Plants vs Zombies Game of the Year edition for your PC. PopCap makes many more games including Peggle, Bookworm Adventures, Chuzzle, Alchemy, Dynomite and Insaniquarium.
Zuma Blitz Tips and Strategy
Zuma Blitz Goals
The goal is to remove as many balls as possible from the game space. Balls are removed when matched to like colored balls. Matching occurs when you fire a ball which hits like colored balls in play. A secondary way of matching like colored balls happens when matched balls disappear, and the adjacent balls also match up.
You don’t need to spend money on Zuma Blitz to get a high score. While mojo and powers are useful, they don’t necessarily equal higher scores. Here’s how to improve your score without spending money.
As you learn how to match balls, you will notice that some balls have numbers and symbols on them. The numbered balls are multipliers which increase the points yield you gain from matching balls. The balls with an hourglass symbol add seconds to play time. More play time equals more opportunities to match balls and rack up points. Go for these bonus balls as often as possible without compromising our next great point earner, speed.
The faster you match balls, the more balls you remove from the board. It’s as simple as that. Practice firing balls as quickly as possible. At first you may sacrifice accuracy, but with time your firing and aiming reflexes will both improve.
Another advantage to speed is that shooting and matching balls quickly leads to the flaming frog. Shots from the flaming frog remove wide swaths of balls from the game space, without the need for color matching.
Flaming Frog Tips and Strategy
First off, you must fire balls quickly in order to achieve the flaming frog. When firing quickly, you must match and clear balls with at least every other shot in order to get closer to the flaming frog. The higher the frequency of matched balls, the faster you get to the flaming frog.
You know you are moving toward the flaming frog when your frog changes from green to yellow. From yellow, the frog will change to orange, and finally to a blazing red color which you can’t miss. From here you have three flaming shots to aim as you choose, so choose carefully.
The best places to fire flame shot are:
bonus balls (especially concentrations of bonus balls)
overlapping rows of balls (you clear more balls by hitting multiple rows in one shot)
bends in the board which block off other balls (useful if your shots are blocked by balls crowding the game space)
Earn extra points by matching balls behind a row of other balls. First wait for a gap in the closest line of balls to your frog. Next, make a match by shooting through the gap to like colored balls in the back row.
At times a piece of fruit will appear floating in the corner of a game screen. Hit the fruit to get bonus points.