His name is Zool, and he is a gremlin-like creature from another dimension. He is forced to land on the Earth, but his sole goal is to attain the prestigious ranking of a Ninja. To do that, Zool will have to travel through six worlds, each divided into three stages, defeat his enemies, and prove himself worthy of that title.
Zool is a fast-paced side-scrolling platformer. The protagonist can run, jump, climb walls, and shoot enemies. Power-ups for Zool are scattered across the levels. These include life-spending hearts, smart bombs, shields, more powerful jump-skill and a twin Zool. This "twin" makes imitates the original's motions a few seconds after he performs them.
In the options menu the player can change the difficulty and the game speed (two times), the number of continues, and the background music (rock or funk).
The game takes place in the candyland! It could hardly get any better than that :-). Zool is "a ninja ant from the nth dimension" who is forced to land on Earth. In order to gain ninja ranking he has to pass seven lands.
Although this is a typical arcade, "the speed" is what makes it different than the rest of them. All your opponents are generally easy to defeat, but they respawn almost immediately, forcing you to play it fast! And it's is hard to stop playing it. The game utilizes 256 color graphics, and supports "Sound Blaster Compatible" soundcards.
Zool and Zool 2 are above-average 2D platformers from Gremlin that are quite obviously ri....err, I mean, "inspired" by SEGA's best-selling Sonic games. Instead of the quirky hedgehog, you control a similar-looking cartoon character: Zool, the "Ninja from the Nth Dimension" who must - what else-rid his world of an evil mastermind. Your goal for each stage is simply to collect goodies and beat the "boss" monster to progress.
Although the premise is passable and the graphics are quite nice, both Zool games are unfortunately very repetitive: despite having a good number of levels (18 stages spanning 6 worlds), the levels don't look very different from each other. Nowhere near as imaginative as Shiny's Earthworm Jim, for example, although the monsters are quite imaginative.
The games do have some neat power-ups (including one that gives you a doppledanger who'll replicate your actions a few seconds behind), and nice variety in Zool are three hidden sidescrolling shoot-em-up bonus games, although they are very difficult and almost impossible to find. Zool 2 is a much better and more varied game because you can control Zool's female sidekick named "Zooz," who can break grounds beneath her while Zool can only break ceilings above his head. This means there are 2 completely different paths you can take to finish the game, so the game is worth replaying at least once. They are also quite difficult games, but fortunately you can change the difficulty level to make life easier.
Overall, I find Zool games little more than a better-than-average title despite some nice ideas. They are decent Sonic-style games, but without the "just one more level" quality. Worth a look if you like cartoon-style platformers, but they are no Top Dog in my opinion.
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