Nintendo DS Review: Zubo

Zubo is unique, but is unique always a good thing?

Zubo is the new, original property from EA’s Bright Light Studio designed exclusively for the Nintendo DS handheld system, and perfect for kids ages 7 and up.

Launched into the fully 3D world of Zubalon, players meet the colorful and zany stars of the game, the Zubos. Zubalon is under siege by the evil Big Head and his army of Zubo clones, the dastardly Zombos! While traveling through the game, players can befriend any Zubos they meet along the way; feeding and nurturing them, helping them gain skills and strength, and assisting them in chasing off the evil Zombos in strategic battles with an innovative rhythm action mechanic.

With 55 Zubos available to find and recruit to a player’s squad, over 100 fully animated comedy battle moves, 10 lands of Zubalon to explore, plus a wealth of interactions and mini-games, Zubo offers a deeply rewarding Nintendo DS experience. This stylus-tapping adventure promises hours of entertainment kids (and adults) are sure to love!


  • Explore the 10 Worlds of Zubalon- get lost in the multiple lands, including Wild West, Fairytale, Pop and Horror!
  • Befriend Over 50 Zany Characters – Create your dream team to battle the Big Head’s army of Zubo clones- the evil Zombos!
  • Take the Zombos on in Style – Master the accessible strategy system and rhythm action mechanic across more than 100 hilarious animated battle moves and 10 custom composed team musical themes.
  • Challenge your friends – Put your team of Zubos to the test with the adhoc multiplayer.Zubo is an odd game; it mixes elements from many other genres to make its own type of game. Combining things like puzzles, RPG elements and music are what sets Zubo apart from most, although it’s maybe a little too strange for some. I can imagine that it will put off many people with its strange ideas, but RPG and music fans should delve into it.

    Going through the game, you’ll get Zubos…think of them in a Pokémon form and you’ll get what I mean. You use them in battles against Zombos, the evil version of Zubos. Battles take the form of turn-based attacks with a noticeable difference; you time the attack with the stylus by watching 2 bubbles collide and tapping it at the right moment to make your attack stronger and perhaps get another round without them attacking back. As you do this, you’ll earn power pills which can let you access even more powerful attacks in battle, it’s handy for the later battles…but early on, it won’t mean that much.

    Despite the originality of the battles, the rest of the game is fairly least that’s what I thought. You heal your Zubos with items; level up like in any other RPG. The story itself is also somewhat of a disappointment, although I can imagine younger gamers might enjoy it more than I. I just felt that it wasn’t as original as I had originally thought, sure the combat is unique but that’s not enough in my book….you need more.

    You can battle friends over local multiplayer, there’s no WFC support which is a small shame. It would have been nice to pit your Zubos against the world and see whose are best. It would have also been nice if multiplayer wasn’t limited to battles, maybe adding something else would have given the game a much higher score. During the quest, you’ll come across a few mini-games such as playing the drums; escape the Heart Maze, pop balloons, dig for treasure, Whack-A-Zombie and many more. The levels themselves are well varied and well balanced, as are enemies. I don’t think you’ll struggle too much with the game, you’ll probably struggle more with trying to understand what it’s all about.

    The Verdict

    Zubo is a unique game, one that stands out with its original combat and minigames aspects. Multiplayer is a bit basic and the rest of the game is weird, although slightly predictable. It’s different, but it depends on how much you like different to enjoy Zubo.