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Zool 1 logo  Amiga Format Gold

For an age now the Amiga world has been alight with tales of Gremlin's new Sonic-beater. Now it's here, can it outgun the blue bomber? We put it to the test...

Y Zool 1 ou may have heard about Zool, you may even have read reviews of it in other magazines. But you're not stupid enough to believe everything you read, are you? The truth of the matter is, Zool was finished four days before Amiga Format was due to be printed. Now normally, that late in our schedule it's too late to change anything, but we were so impressed with Zool that we had a quick reshuffle of our pages and shoehorned it into this already packed issue. So remember kiddies, this is the latest, greatest and the most up-to-date review of Zool you'll ever read. In fact, it's the first review of the finished game ever to see print.

Expensive PD Demo?
You know as well as I do that £25.99 is a lot of money to pay for a game. You wouldn't buy a record just on the strength of the sleeve (unless it was a Madonna disc maybe), so why buy a game on the strength of the screenshots? So let's play it shall we?

Well, the intro's good. I like this, a funky fresh soundtrack and some ultrafast scrolly visuals, this is as good as a PD demo, and only costs about 20 times as much. Now I'm getting a message, what does it say? 'Prepare Yourself', OK, if you say so, but what for, what do I need? Some string? A ten pence piece in case I need to make a phone call? Ah! A joystick and a comfy chair will see me right. Let's press fire...

Like, totally intense dude!
Whoa! The first thing you realise is that it's psychedelically intense, man, and stupendously bright. Now I understand what the 'Prepare Yourself' stuff was all about. First thing, install a pair of shades. That's better. Oakley's in place and I can bear to look at the screen without squinting. We are talking the most outrageously colourful graphics to ever be seen on the screen, and that includes any screen, SNES and Megadrive included.

So! This Zool dude, who is he anyway? It says here that he's a 'Ninja of the Nth Dimension' and who I to argue? He looks like a ninja to me, he's got one of those red scarfs tied over his eyes and everything. And he can do all those mystical ninja tricks, he considers the Tumo Heat, says a few mantras and ngags and the next thing you know he's leaping all over the place kicking and punching and shouting Ha!

And boy is he fast. Oh! You don't know do you, 'cos you haven't seen him yet. Well, let me tell you, he is fast. There's all this talk about Zool being Gremlin's sonic beater. Well he's not quite that fast, but he is very fast. Makes Mario look like he's on Mogodon, that's for sure. He looks good too, his arms and legs are a bit skinny, but I'm sure that just helps him to move quicker. I mean, you don't see many fat ninjas running around do you? They'd be sumos instead.

Zool's got to fight his way across seven worlds of fiendish foes, all of them things that you'd never expect to have an evil side. He begins by fighting sweets, yes sweets, or candy for those of you who've been watching too much American TV. As he runs across a world of chocolate smartie cake and jelly, Zool has to fight off Jelly Lumps and Chocolate Spikes. By ninja spinning at the top of lollipops he can release a shower of edible goodies to be collected, each of which yield 100 points.

There really isn't a lot more to it than that: you run, you jump, you kick your way through six worlds of high-speed mayhem. Sure, there's the occasional tricky bit, but we're not talking true 'put your thinking cap on' puzzles here, just bits of the game that require a less than direct approach to reach your destination.

There are areas of the Tool World that need gates activating, but by and large this is a straight-ahead, seat-of-your-pants blast. And fast is the way to play it. The game design is not so fiendish as to place perils just out of sight so when you take a flying leap into the unknown you land on a sea of spikes or fall down an abyss. The levels are so well put together that you can make the most of the game's extreme speed and smoothness.

The way to get the most from Zool is to put your brain in neutral, turn your reactions up to maximum and go for it. This is a mega-fast, mega-vast mega-blast. From the start of Sweet World to the very end of the game, you can't let your attention slip for a second, the baddies keep coming, the terrain just keeps being a little trickier than you'd hoped, those slopes being a little slippier than you'd imagined and those damned baddies just keep regenerating every time you retrace your steps.

Who needs hedgehogs...
not for the pause mode it would all be too much for a normal human to take (I mean you need a can of Coke every now and then, and you need to get rid of fluid occasionally too), but this is no territory for normal humans.

e we are deep in the arcade zone, the land of the player hardened by years of joystick wielding. This is a game that can hold its head up and look the consoles right in the eye. Yes, this is the game that makes Sonic and Mario look like the sad creations of teams of deluded child psychologists that they are. Sonic's got the speed, Mario has the size and the gameplay, Zool's got both. And when you're bored with playing games (and it will take you an age and a half to get bored of Zool) I'd like to see you use a console to digitise some pictures or write a hit record.

Zool 1 needs 1 Meg to run Let's face it, if Sonic was being reviewed in Amiga Format it would get ooh, about 91 per cent, sure that's good, but when you compare it to Zool's massive... ah, but that would be telling. You'll have to read on to find out, so don't cheat and go looking at the bottom of the page ahead of time. The only excuse for anyone to buy a console now would be Gremlin developing Zool for the GameGear.

game is far from faultless though, it would have been nice to see a few more puzzles, it would've been nice to be rewarded for obscure things like only collecting every fifth pick up. In short, it could have more depth. But as soon as you begin to play, any reservations you may have had evaporate in an instant. Let's face it, you just don't have time to play puzzle games when you're fighting caustic cuties at this frenetic piece.

Some people, our ex-Screenplay Editor Trenton Webb for one, criticise this type of game for not being intellectually stimulating enough, but by and large those kind of people who stay at home playing chess rather than going out hang-gliding. (I must apologise right now for implicating Trent in this vicious slur on couch potatoes, because he would be the first to jump off a tall building tied to nothing but an elastic band).

But what I am try to say is, No! This isn't an intellectually stimulating game, it's an exciting game. Possibly, no definitely the most exciting game ever seen on the Amiga, which is itself the most exciting computer ever. Which means, if I've done my sums right, that Zool is the... roll of the drums, most exciting computer game ever. Yes, there I've gone and said it. Any complaints, send them on a postcard to Amiga Power at this address, cause I really don't wanna know. This is the one brothers and sisters, the game that kicks out all the jams, the most unrelenting-computer gaming experience this side of the virtual orgasm

Zool is nothing new
Hell, I know I should really say more about the game, but what is there to say, you've seen dozens of games like this before. You shoot at things, you punch things, you kick things, and they die. Every so often the things you punch and kick turn into goodies, and you collect the goodies and you get points, and if you finish a level in a fast time then you get points for that too, and after three levels there is a Boss, and he's big and tough and you have to kill him too. And there are power ups, and it isn't always to get from A to B, so you have to take a round-about route, and No! No! It all sounds so mundane doesn't it.

I wish I could tell you that Zool breaks the mould, banishes the tedium, redefines the cutesy platform concept, but it doesn't. It conforms in every way to what you'd expect from a perfect cutesy platform game. And in doing so it has become the perfect platform game. If I were to go on Desert Island Floppies this would have to be right there with the Smashing Pumpkins album and a copy of Breakfast of Champions as one of the things I could not live without. Oh! And a ruddy great solar cell to power my Amiga with, too.

In fact Zool is so conformist that it even goes along with the current trend of having sub games. For those new to this term a sub game is a computer game that simulates piloting an underwater military vessel (No it's not, stop being sill and get on with it – Ed).
A sub game really is another game, subsidiary to the main game, but contained within it. And Zool has two. The first is level seven, or Shoot-em-up World as Gremlin have imaginatively called it. but, rather than being an arcade action game it's a shoot-em-up.

Being level seven you might expect it to become before level eight, but there isn't a level eight. So Gremlin, being bright chaps, thought they should find somewhere else to put it. In the end they hid it, and not just in one place where you might stand a sporting chance of finding it, but all over the place. So you might be tearing along fighting murderous marbles in Toy World when you will suddenly be transported by a chrono-synclastic infundibulum to a horizontally scrolling shoot-em-up. If this happens, do not adjust your set, normal service will resume as soon as you get killed.

Melody Maker and NME
The options screen at the start of Zool lets you select the soundtrack. The musicless sound effects are excellent, and really help you tell what's going on in the game, but the other audio tracks are excellent too, you can choose from rave, rock, green and funk. The rave track is the best for an in-game soundtrack, but the best music of all is the stuff they play over the 'Get Ready' screen. And while this is playing you get a cute little metallic robot voice telling you to... get ready.

These screens also feature a subtle but witty backdrop that scrolls behind the test at an amazing rate. It isn't the intro screens that matter though. Excellent as they are, it's the game they sandwich between them that we are here to pay homage to. If you like things cute and colourful, you'll love this, and if you aren't predisposed to platform games you'll still love it. If you don't you need an analyst for your deep-seated alienation complex.

If you only buy one game this year... you aren't spending enough on computer software.
Marcus Dyson

Amiga Format, Issue 39, October 1992, p.p.74-76

EVERYBODY'S PLAYING ZOOL (EVEN ZOOL)

When Zool reaches the Fun Fair World, he has to scale the side of an arcade machine. After he's gone up and over the top he can clamber on to the control panel and jump on the buttons. The screen says press start (the yellow button), now you can use the white and red buttons to jump the spikes and fire at the jelly Blobs. Guess what, he's playing Zool.
 
Zool playing Zool


"This is the game that makes Sonic and Mario look like the sad creations of teams of deluded child psychologists that they are."

ARE ALL WALLS WHAT THEY SEEM?

Zool finds hidden treasures

It's worth giving the scenery a good investigation, because not everything is as it seems on first impression. Standing at the bottom of this pit, you can't see the big Mint with a Hole, but after a few cyber-punches it becomes obvious that there's a hidden route afoot. The 100,000 points bonus won't go amiss either, especially when you consider that most pick-ups in Zool give a measly 100 points. But don't spend hours looking around, there's a time bonus too.

DISCOVER NEW WORLDS
There are seven worlds that Zool must conquer, let's take a look at them.
Zool 1 world two: Music World
WORLD TWO
Music World.
Sinful cymbals and dreadful drums make life a cacophony as you venture through this amplifier-strewn soundscape. Pause for a while on a giant keyboard and play a few tunes and look out for the remote control handsets, because they're your restart points.

 
Zool 1 world three: Fruit World
WORLD THREE
Fruit World.
Crazy carrots and touchy tomatoes look to cream you in this vegetable voyage. Take great care with the grapes, if you don't polish them off they either get you, or plant themselves and send out new wine fruit to you in. Chop the carrot heads for bonus pickups.

 
Zool 1 world four: Tool World
WORLD FOUR
Tool World.
Brutish ballbearings and wagish woodworm are out to nail you in this hardware shop from hell. Glide along the screw head slipways and greased glideways as you journey through this metallic mayhem. Watch out, it's a kind of Texas chainstore massacre.

 
Zool 1 world five: Toy World
WORLD FIVE
Toy World.
Murderous marbles and terrorist toy tanks make this level no playtime Mind the Meccano, the ripped ends are perilously sharp. The tanks are virtually indestructable, so give them a wide birth. Make the most of the numerous restart points, you're going to need them.

 
Zool 1 world six: Fun Fair World
WORLD SIX
Fun Fair World.
Horrific hammers and chaotic candyfloss come gunning for you in this unfairground. Don't just hang around on the bouncy castle, you've got a game to finish. But make sure you visit the amusement arcade, this is your big chance to have a game of Zool.

 
Zool 1 world seven: Shoot-em-up World
WORLD SEVEN
Shoot-em-up World.
You can find yourself playing shoot-em-ups when you least expect it, like right in the middle of one of the other levels of Zool. This level is hidden throughout the games, and it is about as tough as horizontal scrollers come. When you get killed you go back to the main game.

Zool
Gremlin * £25.99
  • A mind-blowing trip with the volume turned up graphics, get thermonuclear protection before you look at these screens.
  • Scrolling that's smoother 'n' the cream in those horrible American cakes.
  • Ultra-responsive control method makes dodgin', weavin', duckin' and divin' a cinch.
  • From Yorkshire.

  • A mega-fast, mega-vast mega-blast.
verdict: 95%



Zool 1 logo

Gremlin hat sich in fernen Dimensionen umgesehen und einen drolligen kleinen Plattform-Ninja entdeckt – flugs wurde das eigenwillige Kerlchen in den Amiga-Orbit gebeamt, wo es jetzt der Konsolen-Konkurrenz das Fürchten lehren soll!

Zool 1 Keiner darf sagen, die Company aus Sheffield würde sich auf ihren Erfolgen ausruhen: Nachdem Gremlin zunächst die Motorsportfans mit Megahits wie "Super Cars" und "Lotus Turbo Challenge" begeisterte und dann mit "Plan 9 from Outer Space" einen intergalaktischen Großangriff auf die Lachmuskeln der Abenteurer startete, soll Zool nun die Amiga-Plattformen im Sturm erobern. Aber kann so ein Dimensions-Ninja auch gegen alteingesessene Jump & Run-Veteranen wie Nintendos Klempner oder Segas schnellen Igel bestehen?

Das erforderliche Knuddel-Potential, um gegen "Mario" und "Sonic" anzutreten, bringt Zool jedenfalls mit, denn das eigenwillige Figürchen mit der grünen Hautfarbe, dem schwarzen Dress und der roten Ninja-Maske sieht schon irgendwie entzückend aus. Zudem kann der Gute hüpfen wie ein Karpfen und klettern wie eine Gemse; er schießt schneller als John Wayne, und wo er hinhaut, hat auch ein Claude Van Damma nix mehr zu melden! Diese und noch ein paar weitere Kunststückchen führt Zool in sieben thematisch unterschiedlichen Plattform-Welten vor, die nochmals in je drei Abschnitte unterteilt sind – nach Adam, dem Riesen, mach das insgesamt 21 abwechslungsreiche Level. Wo der anständig groß gezeichnete Held auch hinkommt, trifft er auf schön gestaltete Hintergründe (bei vollem PAL-Screen) und originelle Gegner, außerdem wartet natürlich pro Welt ein bösartiges Schlußmonster. Aber zuerst wartet mal ein optionsreiches Hauptmenü...

Hier darf man zwischen drei Schwierigkeitsstufen wählen, sich seine Soundbegleitung aussuchen (Rock, Green, Rave, Funk oder FX pur), die Spielgeschwindigkeit dem persönlichen Geschmack anpassen und entscheiden, ob man mit bis zu fünf Continues ins Rennen gehen will. Sind alle Würfel gefallen, landet Zool per Druck auf den Feuerknopf im Alptraum eines verfressenen Konditors, der sogenannten"Sweet World". Der Weg führt über Rampen aus Lebkuchen, vorbei an Riesenlollies und einem Meer von Smarties. Bei Horizontalscrolling werden herumwatschelnde Zuckerstangen und fliegende Bonbons auf's Korn genommen, auch die leckern Extras sollte man nicht verschmähen. Da gibt es so das Übliche wie Smartbombs und Supersprünge, aber besonders gut geschmeckt hat uns ein Doppelgänger, der dem Original wirklich alles nachtut! Irgendwann verdunkelt sich dann der Screen ziemlich abrupt, und der Amiga schnaufelt den nächsten Abschnitt in den Speicher. Als Höhepunkt der Leckerschrecker wartet noch ein garstiges Süßigkeiten-Monster, ehe der Spaß in der "Music World" weitergeht.

Zool 1 Ist auch der Kampf gegen diverse Instrumente, wildgewordene Kopfhörer, Microphone, CDs und Kasseten gewonnen, tritt man gegen allerlei Werkzeug wie Bohrer und Hämmer an, etwas später macht man in der "Fruit World" mit explodierenden Radieschen, Killer-Karotten und anderem Grünzeug Bekanntschaft. Es folgen Abenteuer am Rummelplatz, in der "Shoot 'em up World" und schließlich im Spielzeugland. Überall gilt es, vertrackten Hindernissen auszuweichen (manche können auch einfach weggeballert werden), Seile oder Leitern zu erklimmen und steile Wände zu überwinden. Das tut Zool, indem er sich in die Luft wirbelt, ander Wand festkralt und dann weiterwirbelt – mit derselben Kreiseltechnik können auch Gegner ausgeschaltet werden. Mit unschönen Problemen hat man dabei kaum zu kämpfen, denn die Steuerung ist fein abgestimmt, die illustre Feindesschar verhält sich sportlich fair, und das durchdachte Leveldesign wird kaum je von lenken Stellen getrübt.

Keine Frage, Zool is ein brillantes Plattformgame! Vom Spielfeeling her erinnert es stark an Segas Kult-Igel "Sonic the Hedgehog", und auch die Präsentation bietet all das, was die Konsolen so populär gemacht hat: Die Grafik ist kunterbunt und vielfältig gezeichnet, Freund und Feind wirken eher auf liebenswerte Art witzig als brutal (genau, wie es auch die Eltern gerne sehen...). Die Animationen sind durch die Bank sehr ordentlich, die des ulkigen Hauptdarstellers sogar ganz ausgezeichnet; lediglich das Scrolling konnte bei unserem Presse-Testmuster noch nicht voll überzeugen, aber daran will Gremlin bis zur Endversion noch feilen. Was den Sound betrifft, können die Jungs ihre Feile getrost wegpacken, denn die Musik ist ebenso abwechslungsreich wie mitreißend, und die Effekte gehen auch voll in Ordnung.

Wird Zool also über kurz oder lang wirklich und wahrhaftig den gleichen Kultstatus erlangen wie Mario, Sonic und Konsorten? Vermutlich eher nicht, dazu hat Germlin zu wenige wirklich neue Ideen in das Spiel gepackt – es ist vielmehr ein rundum gelungener Mix aus bereits bekannten Features. Deshalb hat es auch für einen Joker-Hit nicht ganz gelangt, aber für einen der besten Plattform-Hüpfer am Amiga langt es bei dem Alien-Ninja allemal dicke! (C. Borgmeier)

Amiga Joker, October 1992, p.p.34-35

ZOOL
(GREMLIN)
JUMP & FUN
83%
"GUT GEHÜPFT"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
87%
84%
87%
81%
80%
82%
VARIABEL: 3 STUFEN
PREIS NOCH OFFEN
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
512 KB
2/NEIN
NOCH OFFEN
NOCH OFFEN
ANLEITUNG


Zool 1 logo  CU Amiga Screenstar

Tony Dillon checks out Gremlin's self-proclaimed Sonic beater, to see if it lives up to such claims...

Zool 1 CHEERS
We have a lot to thank the likes of Nintendo and Sega for. Although we may never experience Mario or Sonic on the Amiga, they have opened the way for a stream of highly-playable clones, such as Millennium's Robocod or Ocean's The Addams Family. The latest of these console-esque platform extravaganzas is Zool – The Ninja Of The Nth Dimension, and, as far as I'm concerned, it's the best of the bunch.

The plot is so thin it makes Lena Zaveroni look positively porky. Zool is a dimension-jumping Ninja with more tricks up his sleeve than Simon Drake. Only he's got lost while leaping from pillar to post (in a metaphysical sense) and now needs a little help to get back. This is where you step in. As everyone must already know, the game is billed as a 'Sonic The Hedgehog Beater'. Having played both, all I can see that Zool has in common with Sonic are the huge sprites, its gaudy use of colour, and its incredible speed.

There are seven dimensions to work through, each made up of three enormous levels. Each level is basically a two-dimensional maze, and your task is to locate the exit which, while normally accepted to be the far right of the level, is never quite where you expect it to be. Each level is built up from three component parts: platforms, bonuses, and the enemy. At least, that's it in a wildly underestimated sense, as there are countless different kinds of each. Platforms vary between solid, moving, collapsible, deadly spike or obstacle-coated ones. Bonuses can also be anything from small pieces of fruit which top up your score, to magical bonuses which arm our ant-like hero with assorted magical capabilities.

VARIED INHABITANTS
Zool 1 Each level features an individual set of monsters and bonuses, as well as world-specific elements which either help or hinder. In Music World, for instance, there's a giant piano keyboard which tinkles away for bonus points when it is run across. In addition, in Fruit World, open baked bean cans serve as handy springboards, whereas in Tool World, drill bits can be used as sturdy platforms, provided they're not spinning at the time, otherwise you're likely to lose a leg.

Zool himself is probably the most amazing character ever to grace an Amiga monitor. He may look sweet, but underneath that innocent exterior lies the heart of a killing machine, and an extremely capable one at that. Zool can pull off so many different moves that you'd think the controls would involve serious amounts of physical dexterity. For example, from a standing start, he can jump, run, punch, perform a spinning kick, or send enemies flying with a mean sliding tackle. He can also cling onto vertical walls and perform four different magic spells. It may sound like a lot for a platform game, but the numbers and speed of the enemy make every move vital, and they actually prove very instinctive to use.

EDUCATING ZOOL
All the moves are accessed via the joystick, and, complicated though it may initially seem, they can be mastered with a little practice. The two most powerful moves you have at your disposal other than your magic cannon (which should only be used rarely due to its limited resources) are the spinning jump and the sliding kick. The spinning leap, performed by depressing the firebutton while Zool is airborne, causes a blade to extend from either side of him to kill anything he touches. Equally powerful is the sliding tackle which makes any creatures, it comes across lose their footing and fall into oblivion.

Zool 1 Zool's magic extends way beyond mere smart bombs, although one of the four spells he can perform is a firework to clear the screen of bad guys. On top of this, he can also cast three temporary spells. The first lets him jump higher than normal. Whilst another offers temporary invincibility. Most impressively, though, you can also call in some extra firepower in the form of Zool – The Ninja Of The Nth Dimension. Hang on, there can't be two of them, can there? Well, yes, but only for a short while. This duplicate of our hero mirrors the moves you make exactly and effectively doubles your firepower. The spells are cycled with the space bar and selected by holding down the firebutton, which causes the dome-topped one to kneel for a moment ad a rocket to fly upwards before exploding into action.

SPELL IT OUT
Each spell has a limited amount of uses, which can be extended by collecting the bonuses hidden around the levels, and believe me, they can be anywhere -–from hidden rooms to within key enemies.

The basis of Zool is fun, and everything about the game shows that. From the zany – and that isn't a word I use lightly – soundtrack, which is full of light-hearted and unnecessary samples of snoring, cocks crowing and breaking glass, to Zool's rich and humorous personality. It's amazing how much feeling you can get from a small bunch of sticks held together by a large, blinking black rugby ball.

Zool is one of the most playable games ever released – mind you, that's hardly surprising when you consider that the team behind Venus The Flytrap and Switchblade II are the coders of the project. In fact, the game is so playable you wonder why all games aren't this good.

Admittedly, the controls take a little getting used to – although you can survive simply by mastering the basic run and jumping skills – but it's incredible how instinctive they become after a little time, and you find yourself fully in control of one of the most versatile characters this side of a Magnetic Scrolls adventure. I can't say it really beats Sonic outright and the The Addams Family is slightly more polished in appearance and control. However, it is definitely one of the best platform games released on the Amiga, and you'd be absolutely out of your tree to miss it.

CU Amiga, August 1992, p.p.66-67

IT'S NOT ALL LEAPING AROUND
There are seven worlds for Zool to conquer. Sweet World is where Bertie Bassett goes on the rampage with a bazooka; Music World is where Mantovani and Metallica stand side by side; Tool World is populated by carnivorous wingnuts. There's also Fruit And Veg World which gives brussel sprouts their chance to get their own back. Fun Fair World promises to turn your stomach, and Toy World shows what would happen were there ever a revolution in Hamleys. All of these levels have Zool in battle armour, leaping about all over the place, kicking the stuffing out of everyone. You may have noticed that I've only mentioned six worlds. The last, Shoot 'Em Up World, is actually a scrolling blast, in the vein of every shoot 'em up since Scramble, and is big, hard and very fast. How much more variety can you have? A Text adventure as well, perhaps?

buyers guide
release date:
genre:
team:
controls:
number of disks:
number of players:
hard disk:
memory:
July 1992
Platform
In-House
Joystick
2
1
No
Any machine

GREMLIN £25.99
Excellent console-type platform fun...
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
91%
89%
85%
93%
OVERALL 91%



Zool 1 AGA logo  AGA  A1200 Speziell

Zugegeben, Gremlins Plattform-Star durfte sich bereits im Oktober letzten Jahres auf zwei Joker-Seiten breitmachen – aber diesmal hat es das urige Vieh ganz speziell auf den A1200 abgesehen!

Zool 1 AGA Wir haben es also mit der ersten Spezialversion eines Spiels zu tun, die von der Power des neuen Wunder-Amigas Gebrauch macht. Und das ist doch wohl allemal ein halbes Seitchen wert, selbst wenn sich am Gameplay selbst nicht das geringste geändert hat...

Nach wie vor tut es der springlebendige Knuddel-Ninja seinen Konsolen-Vorbildern "Sonic" bzw. "Mario" gleich: Mit turboschnellen Sprungstiefeln düst Zool über die Plattformen und bezwingt seine Gegner per Kopfsprung, Schwert oder Ballermann. In sieben abwechslungsreichen Welten (darunter eine horizontal scrollende Ballerstage) gilt es, Bonus-Utensilien aufzusammeln und Endmonster zu killen, damit sich die Tür zum jeweils nächsten Level öffnet. Wie gehabt ermöglicht eine geniale Steuerung das Laufen, Springen, Schießen, Raufen und sich an Felswänden Festkrallen – nun allerdings in konkurrenzlos farbenprächtiger Bonbob-Grafik! Gescrollt wurde schon seit jeher in alle Himmelsrichtungen, neuerdings aber parallax und absolut ruckelfrei. Die Akustik überzeugt durch vermehrten FX-Einsatz, außerdem klingen die vier alternativ anwählbaren Musikstücke etwas klarer.

Wenn sich an der Gesamtnote trotz aller Verbesserungen nichts geändert hat, dann weil sie halt wirklich rein kosmetischer Natur sind. So wurden etwa die (wenigen) unfairen Stellen nicht ausgemerzt. Und besonders hat es uns gewurmt, daß am ständigen Wechseln der beiden Disks auch hier kein Weg vorbeiführt – das wäre doch gerade am 1200er locker zu vermeiden gewesen! (rl)

Amiga Joker, February 1993, p.34

ZOOL
(GREMLIN)
JUMP & FUN
83%
"FARBENPRÄCHTIG"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
87%
84%
87%
81%
80%
82%
VARIABEL: 3 STUFEN
PREIS DM 89,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
2 MB
2/NEIN
NEIN
NEIN
ANLEITUNG


Zool 1 CD32 logo  CD32  Amiga Format Gold

Programmers: Gremlin in-house * Publisher: Gremlin 0742 753423 * Price £25.99 * Release: out now * AF Rating: FG93%

Zool 1 CD32 F rom the breathtaking intro the end of World Seven, you know you are playing one heck of a game. Zool is very fast, very furious and filled with all kinds of psychedelic obstacles and baddies for you to overcome.
Widely touted as a console-beater when first released, the triumphant arrival of Zool on the CD32 should help establish the machine as a viable game-playing format and consign pretenders like the lacklustre Oscar to the bargain bins of history.

The aim of the game is to get the "Protector of Creative Thought and Defender of Positive Action" through seven themed worlds – Sweet, Music, Fruit, Tool, Toy, Funfair and Shoot-em-up – collecting bonuses and zapping a motley collection of baddies as you go.

Zool CD32 plays like an absolute dream. You are hooked within the first couple of minutes of play as the scorchingly fast Ninja leaps from platform to platform. There are lots of great touches – like the ability to cling to the side of objects – and his spinning bamboo attack puts even the toughest baddies in their place.
As well as (obviously) including the enhanced graphics and sound effects on the AGA version, Gremlin have also added some marvellous 3D animated sequences and a selection of – hey! – real music for you to blast through your stereo. All in all, Zool is an incredibly slick, day-glo platformer with a real sense of character. You are hooked into his Technicolor world right from the word go and it is almost impossible to put the controller down. The pace is frenetic and you can make Zool move even faster by toggling the Inertia and Speed settings on the Options screen. There are three difficulty levels too.

Controlling Zool is simplicity itself. Press the Red button on the joypad to make him jump, the Green button to fire and both together for a baddie-beating leap. The D-pad is used for Zool’s eight other gravity-defying moves.

No game is perfect, though, and Zool has more than its fair share of faults. For one thing, the backgrounds are so overwhelmingly colourful at times that it is hard to tell what is in the foreground. This means you end up being clobbered by baddies you thought were part of the scenery and the sight of Zool pirouetting madly from platform to platform against such a distracting backdrop can actually make you feel quite ill. I also hate the way baddies keep coming back to haunt you no matter how many times you kill them.
However, these are minor niggles in an otherwise cracking platform game. Rush out and get yourself a copy today.
Rob Mead

Amiga Format, Issue 54, Christmas 1993, p.116


Zool 1 CD32 logo  CD32

Gremlins Ninja-Ameise hat bei ihrem Hüpfer auf das CD32 neben einigen bunten Bildern und wirklich gelungener CD-Musik auch ein paar zusätzliche Levels mitgebracht. So durchdachte Plattformen, so witzige Animatione und ein derart flottes Gameplay hat auf dieser Maschine sonst nur „James Pond 2“ zu bieten, weshalb wir der 69-Mark-Scheibe mit Freuden 83 Prozent spendieren. (rl)

Amiga Joker, December 1993, p.83


Zool 1 CD32 logo  CD32

Gremlin £29.99

Zool 1 CD32 Zool is quickly becoming an even more ubiquitous character than Dizzy, cropping up on ever console and computer format from the PC to the Game Boy. This is his third incarnation on the Amiga (not counting Zool 2, reviewed earlier in this very issue), and it is a further (small) step from the A1200 version, in that there is a whole new extra world to play with.

The graphics are still the pretty-but-slightly cluttered efforts of the A1200 game, but the soundtrack is (predictably) lots better, with some neat rave-y tunes and lots of shouting which gives things a really busy, happening kind of atmosphere. Oh, and you get a really nifty animated 3D intro and between-level sequences now.
STUART CAMPBELL

Amiga Power, Issue 33, January 1994, p.98

THE BOTTOM LINE
CD32 As you would expect, it is much like Zool A1200, but with a groovy soundtrack, better control and an extra level. Fine stuff, if a bit old hat.
83
P E R C E N T