Description official descriptions
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, a 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).
- זול - Hebrew spelling
- ズールのゆめぼうけん - Japanese spelling
Credits (Amiga version)
Average score: 80% (based on 57 ratings)
Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 87 ratings with 3 reviews)
The levels are quite fun for a while, will provide platforming fans with something to do. Colourful levels with a choice of tunes.
The above says it all really. This is just one of those 'something to do' games rather than one of those 'something to get excited about' games. I still remember seeing the 'Move over Sonic. Zool's here' lines on the cover of an Amiga magazine. Though I tried to give this game the benefit of the doubt, the problem is that it tried to be something it wasn't. If it hadn't been accompanied by all that hype, maybe people would have thought better of it. But the fact is that this is nothing special at all. The levels contain a lot of food (an old cliche occasionally used in superior platform games like Chuck Rock 2 but more common at this end of the market), but the backgrounds in Zool look bland and there is really no variety in any of the levels. Zool himself is a character-less, uninteresting figure. His face is stuck in one expression and I can't really see kids (or adults, for that matter) taking to him like they did Mario or Sonic). You can decide which background music you want at the beginning of the game, but then you're stuck with that same tune all the way through the game.
The Bottom Line
As Zool, a Ninja ant of the Nth Dimension, you must make your way through a number of scrolling 2D platform levels. Collect fruit, sweets and so on. Avoid the varied monsters made of fruit, sweets and the like, killing the occasional boss on the way.
Amiga · by Gary Smith (57) · 2004
Zool looks like a cool cat and someone you would like to play as, at least in the title screen.
Watching the Chupa-Chups product placement was a hoot, not to mention an extremely peculiar moment in videogaming history.
The DOS version of Zool is the typical case of that oh-so-typical scenario of the early 90's which you might remember as the "Amiga port gone bad" were a blockbuster or even a barely successful title would make the hop to DOS with craptacular results. Zool is one of the later, and if my Amiga history is correct, only rose to fame thanks to it being one of the few super cutey-cutey the platform had at the time. And since Chupa-Chups was behind it, somehow made the jump to every platform conceivable at the time.
The truth is that Zool is a generic platformer made out of the leftovers of the genre that was at the time all the rage in the videogame world. A collection of incoherent, brightly colored platform levels based around certain kid-friendly themes (music, candy, toys, etc.) which you have to beat in order to.... uh... I dunno. If there was a part in the game were they explained why an intergalactic ninja had to fight against a giant banana I missed it... Anyway, there's nothing even remotely creative behind Zool's gameplay and level design, playing out just like the same million games like it that you played elsewhere. There's nothing that even remotely resembles a plot or any interesting characters, so there's really no reason you should waste your time playing it's original version, but what if I told you you could play a technically inferior port of it on your own PC??? Now we are talking!! Nothing makes Zool more interesting than playing it with washed graphics, plain backgrounds and the same looping music over and over again.... Don't you just love the PC's ability to turn mediocre games into utter crap??
The Bottom Line
Crap port of a ho-hum game gives you..... Yes! You guessed it! A shitty game!!!
If you are so desperate go and play Mario again, there's nothing to see here, move along, move along....
DOS · by Zovni (10504) · 2004
Visually things look reasonably good, and the game is fairly long, as well as featuring some surprising new ideas, although many are overused (such as the piano).
The level designs are extremely generic and repetitive, with a succession of clichéd settings and originality-free enemies. Control is sluggish and cumbersome, especially when attempts at scaling the walls. Zool himself just doesn't inspire any emotions, as he's a lifeless creature with none of the dynamism of Sonic, the individuality of Toejam & Earl, or the sheer cutesiness of Bubsy. The various tunes are all rather bland, and nowhere near what the Amiga was capable of. There was no support for multi-button joypads, which would've made the control much easier, especially for anyone familiar with console titles.
The Bottom Line
Looking back, I think the hugely enthusiastic reception this game got was for all the wrong reasons. The Amiga lacked a console-style 'mascot' and wasn't well-stocked for great platform games - would this alien ninja be the perfect one? After all, the game looked consolesque and was big. The reality is very different, as the game is lacking any kind of sparkle. People appeared to review the game based on what they wanted it to be, not what it was. It's a shame that Lionheart and Tearaway Thomas were released by smaller companies, as they would've been a much better demonstration of what the Amiga could do. The second Zool game, which was never released for the consoles, was actually far better.
Amiga · by Martin Smith (81434) · 2004
Zool was the very first Amiga game to feature heavy product placement. Liberally spread throughout the levels (and even more so in the AGA release) were Chupa Chups lollipops and logos (designed by Salvador Dali, no less)...
Commodore 64 version
A C64 conversion was planned with Gremlin Graphics showing initial interest, but they decided against it as they were moving away from the C64 scene at that time.
On the game's release, many reviewers referred to Zool as an ant. Gremlin later issued a press release claiming to be from the leader of a body representing ants, complaining about the misrepresentation of their hard-working and gentle species.
- Amiga Joker
- Issue 02/1993 – Best Dexterity Game of 1992 (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by Martin Smith
- MobyGames ID: 5776
- Wikipedia (en)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Rantanplan.
Amiga added by Famine3h. SEGA Master System added by Bock. Antstream added by firefang9212. Atari ST added by Mike Chilton. Acorn 32-bit added by Kabushi. Amiga CD32 added by Martin Smith. Game Gear added by Игги Друге. SNES added by Unicorn Lynx. BlackBerry added by MAT. Genesis added by Katakis | カタキス. Game Boy added by quizzley7.
Game added February 10th, 2002. Last modified September 16th, 2023.