ZUBO, a new game from Electonic Arts, takes the collect-creatures-and-have-them-fight-for-you game mechanic that made Pokemon games so popular, and adds humor and music rhythm minigames to the mix to create a truly special Nintendo DS game for kids. Kids enter as a hero or heroine destined to save the world of Zubalon from ruin by the evil Big Head and his army of mischief-causing Zombos. As you explore this world, you will meet over 50 Zubos who want to join your cause. To rid the world of Zombos, you have to find them and then defeat them in a "battle" that involves using gags.
The game play involves solving puzzles, going on quests, and helping the Zubos that you encounter as you wander through the 10 lands of Zubalon. And every few minutes, you will be challenged to a battle by a roaming Zombo. To battle, you choose 3 Zubos to represent you in a turned-based battle. Zubos and Zombos both fall into three categories: Fighters, Defenders, and Performers. The battle mechanic has a "Rock, Paper, Scissors" aspect to it in that Fighters are stronger than Performers, Performers are stronger against Defenders, and Defenders are stronger against Fighters. When battling, participants have funny moves that they use to chase away or knock down their opponent including playing a guitar so loud that they deafen their opponent or tickling him with a feather so that he laughs so hard he falls down. Also unique to this combat system is the introduction of rhythm games during the combat. As your Zubo goes through his funny animated motions, a red outline appears around its body. Periodically, a larger orange glowing outline will appear and contracts until it meets the red outline. Your goal is the tap the screen when the two lines meet to increase your battle score.