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Zool 2 logo  Amiga Format Gold

W Zool 2 hat the hell would anyone want another Zool for? I mean, when you have got one ultra-fast scrolling, colourful-as-a-very-colourful-thing platform blast, what more could you want? Especially when the first one scored a massive 95 per cent.
Now, back when I gave Zool that huge score, putting it in the stratosphere of the AF scoring range along with a mere handful of other games that got so close to (but still so far away from) the perfect score, some people complained. They questioned my sanity, but the bloke in the white coat who checked me out proved to be even more insane than I was, especially after I showed him Zool).

Eat my words
I am a confirmed platform freak, but I have been playing so much Hired Guns and Cannon Fodder recently that I thought maybe Zool 2 would not thrill me in quite the same way as its illustrious predecessor did.

Hey! I can admit it. I was wrong. I was very, very, very wrong. Zool 2 takes everything that was great about the first game and retains it. It takes everything that was merely very good about the first game and improves it. Then it takes a few things that were not even in the first game, casts them into the melting pot, stirs the mixture well, leaves it for a while, and then whips off the lid to reveal the best platformer yet.

If there is a criticism that can be levelled to the original Zool, it is lack of depth to the gameplay. Zool) simply is not a platform puzzler. It is a straight ahead romp. Start at the beginning of the level and rush to the end, bopping baddies and gathering goodies on the way. Beat the clock, do not lose a life and you are laughing. So what has changed? Well for those of you who are not intimately acquainted with the first game, it featured a ninja alien from the ‘n’-th dimension. Do not believe anyone who tell you he ws an ant, because he was not!

Gurly on board
This time round Zool has a buddy, or should that be buddess? Anyway, the female of his species has joined him to help tromp the nasties.

The action takes place on six more graphically-themed worlds, and you can choose to play either Zool, or his alien gurlfriend, Zooz. The levels are more involved than last time, and each has more than one route to the end. Which way you go about completing the level depends on which of the characters you are playing, because each has different abilities, which open up different routes. Zooz, for instance, can jump and spin, in a similar way to Zool himself. But when she lands she can penetrate some floor areas, giving her access to lower levels that Zool may not be able to reach. Zool has some nifty new moves too, including a killer backspin he activates by kicking off a vertical surface. One big improvement is that Zool and Zooz can both climb up most (but not all) vertical surfaces, rather than having to jump up as in the first game.
This was by far the most annoying aspect of the original Zool, because getting Zool to ascend the walls by bouncing off, and sticking back on was a tad tricky to control, and when he hit a Chocolate Spiky he was flung off the wall in a way that was most difficult to handle. Now if Zool (or Zooz) crawls past any kind of wall-clinging nasty he (or she) just incurs an energy penalty.

In a spin
This time round you have five energy points to lose, rather than three. You will need them! Throw in a dog called Zoon (although I cannot find him), two baddies called Krool (Cruel, geddit?) and Mental Block, a Sonic 2 like tube section, the world’s best selling lollipop, and three different difficulty levels, and you end up with the year’s best platformer – for the second year in succession.

There is some slowdown on an A500/600, but on an A1200 this game is fast, smooth-scrolling and completely jerk-free. It is not unplayable on a Pre-AGA machine, but it is one good reason to dump that A500 and nag someone to get you an A1200 for Christmas, your birthday or any other good reason you can come up with. I would recommend playing it on an A4000, but that is going a bit far. And anyway, it does not work on an A4000 without going all that pesky boot options rigmarole first.

Well done Gremlin, this really is the game to make people forget all about that damned hedgehog (whatsisname?). Zool 2 is faster and franticer (TM Made-up-Words-R-Us) than any Amiga game ever seen. Did I mention that I like this game? Because I do! I am supposed to go on holiday tomorrow, but I do not want to, I want to stay here and play Zool 2. When, oh when, are Commodore going to come up with a portable Amiga? Turn on, boot up, freak out!
Rob Mead

Amiga Format, Issue 55, January 1994, p.p.76-77



"This is really the game to make people forget about that damned hedgehog."


ZOOL 2
PROGRAMMERS
George Allen and Ade Carless
PUBLISHER
Gremlin Graphics 0742 753423
PRICE
£25.99
RELEASED
Out now

 

GRAPHICS
09 out of 10
I was playing this on a 600 and someone asked me if it was the AGA version.

SOUND
07 out of 10
The sound effects are great. The music is just like any other platformer. Turn it off.

ADDICTION
10 out of 10
.

PLAYABILITY
10 out of 10
I am gobsmacked, how could they do this? How could they improve Zool?.

VERDICT
"This game is quite simply stunning. Zool 2 is playable, addictive, fast and fun. In fact, it really is the perfect successor to the original. Do not miss it!"
93%



Zool 2 logo

Vor gut einem Jahr hüpfte Gremlin’s Plattform-Ninja aus der „n-ten" Dimension erstmals auf dem Amiga - vom zweiten Dimensionssprung hat die kämpferische Ameise nun Verstärkung mitgebracht!

Zool 2 Am Grundkonzept des erfolgreichen Hüpf-Cocktails mochte Gremlin nicht rütteln, aber immerhin sorgt nun ein neuer Bösewicht für Streß: Der fiese Krool will alle Phantasie des Universums auslöschen! Grund genug für Zool & Co., in altbewährter Manier durch megabunte Comic-Landscahften zu sprinten, tonnenweise Boni aufzusammeln und Krools herzig gezeichneten Schergen per Wurfstern die Meinung zu geigen. Und wie könnte es anders sein, natürlich prangt auch diesmal wieder das Logo des Süßigkeiten-Herstellers und Sponsors Chupa Chup am Cover der mit Zool-Postkarten, Poster, Aufkleber und Lutscher gefüllten Pakkung.

Die neueste Neuerung ist also Zools Freundin Zooz, die alternativ über die Plattformen turnt - der Zwei-Spieler-Modus erlaubt es nur, hintereinander anzutreten. Das interdimensionale Hüpf-Girl unterscheidet sich aber nicht allein optisch von seinem männlichen Pendant, es hat auch einen individuellen Wirbelkick im Repertoire, mit dem es mühelos poröse Steinmauern durchbrechen kann. Zool hingegen ist der bessere Springer und Klettermaxe, manche Orte (zumeist Bonusräume) sind somit nur jeweils einem der beiden Charaktere zugänglich. Zool wie Zooz bezwingen ihre Gegnerschaft auch mal durch gekonnte Jumps auf den Kopf, Sammelextras für Smartbomben, frische Energiereserven oder Schutzschilde bringen zusätzlich Hilfe.

Die Landschaften sind bei alledem deutlich pfiffiger gestaltet als beim Vorgänger: Es gibt komplette Bonuslevels, die Hintergründe sind teilweise animiert, und manche der Endgegner kommen richtig originell daher, während Spiegeleier-Katapulte, Flipper und Bumper, unsichtbare Plattformen oder dicke Laserbündel, auf denen man hin- und herspazieren kann, für Abwechslung sorgen. Auch an kleine, feine Details wurde gedacht, beispielsweise weist ein Pfeil den Weg zum Levelausgang. Weniger schön sind dagegen die fehlenden Levelcodes und die oft unfairen Gegnerattacken, zudem kann man an manchen Stellen nur ins Leere springen und das beste hoffen - wie gut, daß man nach dem Exitus bloß bis zur letzten Wegmarkierung zurückmarschieren muß.

Hinzu kommen Probleme beim Diskhandlung: Die häufigen Nachladepausen sind lästig, und die Zweitfloppy wird kurioserweise zwar angesprochen (der Motor beginnt zu laufen), aber nicht wirklich unterstützt, so daß gelegentliche Diskwechsel nicht ausbleiben. Dem gegenüber steht eine detaillierte Grafik mit butterweichem Scrolling in alle Richtungen; bei der geplanten Version für den 1200er sollte dan selbst das leichte Ruckeln der Sprites kein Thema mehr sein. Außerdem hat man die Wahl zwischen gleichermaßen gelungenen Sound-FX und Musikstückchen. Trotz der kleinen Macken kann man Zool 2 also ein gutes Zeugnis ausstellen, denn der neue Plattform-Held zählt auf alle Fälle zu den originelleren Vertretern seiner derzeit so weitverbreiteten Art! (rl)

Amiga Joker, January 1994, p.18

ZOOL 2
(GREMLIN)
JUMP & FUN
80%
"FLOTTER HÜPFER"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
84%
84%
82%
80%
71%
78%
VARIABEL: 3 STUFEN
PREIS DM 69,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB
2/NEIN
NEIN
NEIN
ANLEITUNG


Zool 2 logo

After his cancelled world tour fiasco, Zool is back, and he has been proclaiming his thanks to his new soulmate, Zooz.

Game: Zool 2
Publisher: Gremlin
Authors: Andy Finlay, Ed Campbell, Patrick Phelan
Price: £25.99
Release: Out now

Z Zool 2 ool has finally sold out. No longer can it be claimed that he is to the Amiga what Mario and Sonic are to the Toys’R’Us consoles. That is right, he is appearing at a Sega and Nintendo console near you know. I do not know about you, but quite frankly I do not care what Zool chooses do. He never once said that his relationship with the Amiga was a monogamous one. Good luck to the lad – you have got to take work where you can get it these days. Right kids? Get your name about a bit. Rub shoulders (mandibles, thoraxes) with influential people capable of furthering your career. And once you have managed that, do not think that it is all plain sailing.

ANTAGONIZE
It had been rumoured that Zool wanted to create his own version of Dante’s Inferno (That better not have been an ‘ant’ gag, Steve. - Ed) for one of the levels in the new game. Inevitably though, when the hot air of art meets the cold steel of business, illusions of grandeur are oxidised in a vaporous whiff of condensed ozone (or something like that). In other words, it is the old story of the star of the show being a powerless puppet whose strings are pulled by dodgy characters in the background (or whose movements are controlled by a joystick-wielding gamer more like).

Also bear in mind that you have got to make numerous mind-numbing public releations appearances at shows and the like; get your photo taken with people who smell, children who are sick over you, sycophants who embarrass you, journos who sneer at you and parents who laugh at you. There is just no end to the rigmarole the stars of today must endure in the name of their art.

PUBLICITY
If that lot has not dampened your aspirations of becoming a computer game cartoon character, consider this. You are constantly in the public eye. They push you around, waggle their joysticks at you in a provocative manner and expect you to fill a gaping void in their otherwise sad lives. And if that still is not degrading enough, you are relentlessly compared to other rival game characters in a none-too-flattering manner. People tell you thin gs hat would make your great great aunty turn in her grave to switch off her hearing aid in disgust. Think for a minute of the pressure that fame and unmitigated success bring (AP’s Les Ellis awarded the original Zool a slightly over-enthusiastic 90%). It is a not-too-well-known fact that Zool’s hard shelled chitin nearly cracked. He could not take the adulation, the praise. He felt alone, as if his life was being scrutinised from behind a screen. As if he was being controlled and manipulated by unseen hands. He threatened to pack it all in. Back to the merry old nth dimension ant-hill for him. Gremlin, seeing that they were in grave danger of losing a potential goldmine in revenue, arranged for a mate for Zool. After all, ants, even Ninja Ants from the Nth dimension, are basically sociable creatures who prefer their own kind to solitary confinement. And so Zooz was born (Zool is not an ant, Steve. – Ed).

BIRTH CONTROL
Hatched from a genetically tampered-with egg, Gremlin nurtured her in the wiles of ant chemistry and psychology. She is a smooth silky sultry sex siren, an alluring ant angel, a tantalising tease temptress, an electric embryo of enhanced enchantment, a filibuster of fabulous feminity... well, you get the idea. I met Zooz at the Future Entertainment Show. She is lovely. You can see why she has such a calming therapeutic effect on Zool.

I asked her what her secret was, who her influences were and what sort of antics she would be getting up to with Zool in the future. (Steve, they’re not ants. - Ed). She gave me a ‘knowing’ kind of a smile and said the last question "showed too much anti-ipathy toward her kind". (She’s NOT AN ANT, Steve. - Ed.

A LONG STORY
As for influences, she cited Doris Day from Calamity Jane "I loved the way she Whip Crack Awayed, whip crack awayed, whip crack awaayyeedd. I just to have one for myself". Ah yes, that is right. Zooz either shoots or flays her enemies to a submissive death. The whip makes a lovely crackly kind of a sound. It brings you out in goose bumps of anticipation. So, secrets. Is she or is she not? You know, ‘With’ Zool – together, the two of them. She laughed at this one. She said anybody who buys the game will find out straight away whether she is or whether she is not. Well, here at AP, being the top notch investigative journalist types that we are, we probed further, and we can let you in on a little secret. She is not. That is right, Zooz does not actually play with Zool on the same level.

PLAY ME
The two player option is one of those ‘your turn, my turn’ kind of two player options. "Two together is so much more fun, but you know, the papers would get hold of it and tongues would wag. The next thing you know, they would be saying that the game corrupted young children and attacked good old fashioned Victorian values. Zool and myself have no intention of getting married".

I interrupted and asked her what sort of impression Gremlin were trying to give by describing her and Zool as ‘easy’ on the option screen. She laughed for a long time at this question before answering. "That is the difficulty level of the game you silly thing". I must confess to being relieved about that, because I thought it very risqué to describe Zool as ‘Hard’. When you put it in the context of game difficulty, it takes on a whole new meaning.

NO MEANS NO
Despite the denials, I still sensed that there must be more than just a professional counselling relationship between the two characters. I probed Zooz and asked if she and Zool made music together. She laughed again, her voice containing the cool intrigue of a true rom-ant-ic. (STEVE! WATCH MY LIPS! NOT... AN... ANT! - Ed.) "Of course we make music together. It is in the options screen again, silly. You can also opt for sound FX only". I am not sure she understood me properly.

TELL ME
Sensing that the interview would be over if I tried to uncover any more non-existent facts about their relationship, I asked her about Zool’s latest game; Zool 2. "Well, obviously I star in it as well. We have got to battle through six completely different worlds. Each world has numerous stages where we have got to do the same sort of thing as Zool did by himself in the original Zool. You know what I mean. Collect bonuses; sweets, snakes, etc until you have scored over 99 per cent. Keep following the direction the little white arrow on the bottom left hand corner of the screen points to. If you manage to do that without getting killed by the various denizens of the surreal environment, you will eventually reach the end of a stage. Completing enough stages will lead to an End of Level boss. If you manage to kill him, that is the level completed and you go onto the next level"

SIMON SAYS
It all sounds a bit simple from that description, I told Zooz. "Not at all. Each level presents plenty of challenge, secret areas can be detected. These are full of goodies. There are obstacles to be traversed and puzzles to be worked out. There are even some groovy power-ups to be utlised. Each one has a different effect.

My personal favourite is the Yin Yang power up. With this one, I effectively have a shadow of myself. I can collect more bonuses and absorb more damage. Besides that, it highlights my pony tail in a particularly alluring manner".

PRESENCE
Well, despite the excellent PR-ing from Zooz, Zool 2 is not significantly different from the original Zool. It still contains a good wholewheat-balanced breakfast mix of control, playability and variety. Original Zool fans will love it, as will those new to the Amiga fold after getting lucky this Christmas. If you are looking for one stonking platformer, with all the trimmings, then look no further than Zool 2. Oh, and there was one last question I had to ask Zooz: "Will you marry me?"
STEVE McGill

Amiga Power, Issue 33, January 1994, p.p.35-37



"He was controlled by unseen hands"




"Get your photo taken with people who smell"




"A good mix of control, playability and variety"


Upper UPPERS Fast colourful graphics. Nice sound FX. Animation fo characters, you should see Zooz spin and swan dive and float, she is beautiful. End of level bosses are cartoon scary; ooer. Zooz oh Zooz oh Zooz oh Zooz.
Downer DOWNERS When there is a lot of movement and animation on screen, things noticeably slow down. And it is ‘up’ to jump, yeuch.

THE BOTTOM LINE
Not being the greatest fan of platformers, it is always pleasant to find out that there is one out there capable of holding your attention for more than five minutes. While it is not very different, it is somehow quite a lot nicer to play than the original, and that’s good.
86

P E R C E N T

THE BOTTOM LINE
A1200 No slowdown apparent whatsoever on screen. No matter how cluttered things get. The A1200 is the perfect platform for this near perfect platformer.



Zool 2 logo

The ninja that doesn't resemble an ant is back. And this time he's brought a friend. Jon Sloan joins the party.

T Zool 2 he problem with introducing sequels is that people tend to expect part 2 to be better than the original. I mean, with all the lessons of the last game learnt, you'd think that some improvements should be made to the gameplay, graphics, sound et al. But with a game as good as Zool you've got a pretty tough act to follow. SO you'd be lucky to reach the lofty heights scaled by that top platformer. Unfortunately, Gremlin seem to have fallen well short of that peak.

SEQUEL MANIA
This sequel once more stars Zool, the Ninja from the Nth dimension; only this time he's brought along Zooz, a female Ninja. The idea is just the same as the original with you (playing Zool or Zooz) leaping about six huge levels in an attempt to catch up with Mental Block, an agent of the mysterious Krool who's intent on wrecking the equilibrium of the Nth Dimension. Yes, I know it's a load of pooh but somebody has got to write that kind of thing. Anyway, each level has its own specific theme ranging from Swan Lake through Bulberry Hill to The Crazy House. So, with each level you get a whole new graphic set and a completely different group of baddies, each one tied in with the background graphics. For instance, Bulberry Hill is populated by flying light bulbs and light beam shooting desk lamps while Swan Lake is full of dive bombing birds and aggressive half-hatched chicks. It's a great way of keeping your interest peaked as each nastie demands a different means of attack and defence. It's no good blasting your way through the level bouncing on every enemy you meet as Zool will quickly run out of energy (mind you it is good fun!).

GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Expectations were running high in the office when we received this. In fact we had to fight over who would get the review. Sadly, after loading it up, I wish I'd lost that scrap. The whole thing screams of being rushed out in time for Christmas. The graphics - something Zool 1 was highly praised for - seem dull and lifeless by comparison. It is as though they were sketched by an art expert only to be coloured in by a ten-year-old with less than a basic grasp of composition.
The gameplay too, whilst competent, lacks even a 10th of the sparkle that made the original so addictive.

Possibly the only redeeming feature that could pull this game from the murky depths of mediocrity is the music. There's an eclectic range of tunes available - listen out for the mellow tones on level two. Overall, Zool 2 is a let down. The best that can be said that it's a stunningly average platformer.

CU Amiga, January 1994, p.89

Breakout sub-game starring Zoon, Zool's two-headed dog DOUBLE DOG
As well as Zooz, Zool's brought along his dog Zoon (Query: is everyone called Zoo(something) in the Nth Dimension? It must be a pretty boring place. -Ed.). This two-headed mutt gets to play a role in his own sub-game. To enter it you need to collect three Zoon tokens, which are hidden about each level. Grab enough and, at the end of that section, you'll zoomed off to Zoon's game. No points for innovation I'm afraid as it's simply anotherBreakoutclone. Guide Zoon left and right to keep a ball bouncing up destroying the coloured blocks above him. Every now and then a bonus falls to the floor which Zoon can collect to help Zool/Zooz in the next level.

GREMLIN 17 £25.99
A500
A1500
A500+
A2000
A600
A3000
A1200
A4000
GREMLIN GRAPHICS, CARVER HOUSE, 2-4 CARVER STREET, SHEFFIELD S1 4FS. TEL: 0472 753423.
 
RELEASE DATE:
GENRE:
TEAM:
CONTROLS:
NUMBER OF DISKS:
NUMBER OF PLAYERS:
HARD DISK INSTALLABLE:
MEMORY:
 
END NOVEMBER
PLATFORM
IN HOUSE
JOYSTICK
2
2
NO
1Mb
 
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
70%
83%
75%
78%
A slightly disappointing sequel to the Amiga's top platformer.
OVERALL: 76%