“ Publisher: Gremlin Graphics / Genre: Role Play & Adventure „
** Zool - Ninja of the Nth Dimension **
Firstly Dooyoo have this game listed in the Amiga games category as they do all of the Mega Drive games, so it isnt in the wrong place, it is just where Dooyoo keep them :)
Zool Ninja of the Nth Dimension is a single player game which was released on the Sega Mega Drive back in 1993. The game came as all Mega Drive games did in a box between Video and DVD size. The box contained an instruction manual and a 16 bit cartridge specifically for the Mega Drive.
** Game play **
I first played Zool on my cousins mega drive when I was around 11 or 12 years old, at the time I remember taking an instant liking to the game and it got added to my ever growing list of must have games. Luckily for me my mum approved of this game and Santa brought it for me one Christmas.
Zool himself is a rather unusual looking creature, kind of like a cross between an alien and the Ninja that he is supposed to be.
The first zone of the game is set in Sweet World, and I'm guessing from the huge Chupa Chups lollies all over the screen that there was some kind of sponsorship deal going on there. Sweet World is bright and very colourful and looking back on this now I know exactly why as an 11 year old I was instantly attracted to this game... lots of sweets! The whole screen is filled with everything from jelly tots and Smarties to bouncy jellies and liquorice allsorts. The enemies in the levels are also made from sweets and to defeat them Zool fires sweets at them, or jumps on them. To reach high places Zool can climb certain walls and also use special jumps to bounce his way up the walls.
I found the game rather fast moving, it is a platform game and in some ways very similar to Sonic the Hedgehog, however the screen seems to move along a lot faster than Sonic which for me has often ended in crashing into enemies as I didn't see them coming and life lost. I find this rather frustrating but at the same time it helped tone my awareness and speed with gaming once I was more used to it.
At the end of the Sweet World you will need to defeat a Boss, this is actually rather hard considering it is only the end of the first world. I was later to learn this was a sign of things to come as after leaving Sweet World I moved onto Music World which actually proved too hard for me and sadly I have to admit to being beaten by a game in only the 2nd world. I tried endlessly for months if not years to beat this game.
While I found it frustrating that I couldn't progress in the game there was something about it that kept attracting me back to it and I always, even now find enjoyment in popping the old Mega Drive on and giving it one more try.
** Controls **
The joy of the Mega Drive having a basic simple controller made most games pretty simple to control, Zool is included in this. Simple use of the D pad to move Zool around along with button pressing for firing objects at enemies. Another button for jumping and double tapping for extra high jumps. Easy to pick up, but its the game itself that is hard.
** Graphics and Sound **
The graphics in the game are actually really good for a 1993 game. They aren't exactly smooth, but for the time that the game was made and the speed that the game moves at I would say these graphics are pretty smart. The sound is good, catchy music as you play through the levels and a few basic sound effects make it not too unbearable to keep the sound and effects turned on.
** Price and Availability **
Way back when this game was bought for me I should imagine it cost around £30 as most Mega Drive games did then, however after a quick check on eBay there a quite a few listings for Zool starting at 99p for auctions and around the £2 mark for buy it now.
** My Experience and Opinion **
Although I cannot get very far with this game and quite possibly never will get any further I would still recommend this game as it is one of those simple fun games. Almost 17 years after receiving this game I still enjoy putting it on and having a little retro gaming session and still feel the frustration at not being able to get any further. One day I will learn that some things are just not meant to be!
Thanks for reading :)