Zuma Blitz: First round preview beta now open!

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For some time now, we've known that PopCap was going to be bringing their hit, marble-breaking game Zuma to Facebook in a version similar to the tremendously popular Bejeweled Blitz. Now, the time has come for some very lucky players to get in on the first preview beta round of the game.

The preview beta can be found by heading over to the game's official page on Facebook, adding the application to your account, and then clicking on the "Play" button to play at least one, one-minute round of the game. This will apparently lock you into the game throughout this first preview beta, but the catch is that only the first 15,000 people who attempt to enter will be allowed.

For more details over the gameplay in Zuma Blitz, meet us behind the break.

We were one of the lucky ones to land a spot in the beta, and can say that the game functions much as you would expect. You'll have one minute to clear as many marbles as possible, by creating a match of at least three like-colored marbles.

Two chains are on screen at once - one coming from the top of the screen, and the other from the bottom. Certain marbles will be multipliers, meaning that if you make a match with said marble, your score will increase 2x, 3x, and so on, just like in Bejeweled Blitz. Furthermore, if you create a gap in the chain and then earn Gap Bonuses (create a match by shooting a marble through the gap in the chain), you'll earn even more points, on top of those earned for simply making matches one right after the other, creating a normal "Chain."

Unlike Bejeweled Blitz, the game has a leveling system allowing you to level up as you play and earn points. This will unlock power-ups, like those that give you extra time to shoot marbles, as but one example. You'll be able to compare your score with those of your friends on a leaderboard as well.

We'll be sure to bring you more coverage of this exciting new Facebook game as it becomes available, but for now, make sure to take a chance at joining the beta!

Did you get into the Zuma Blitz beta? Let us know what you think of the game in the comments!
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