ZOOL / Gremlin / Super NES


Zool is basically a Furry Platformer from the Great Glut Of Furry Mascots of the early-to-mid 90s, even though Zool himself is not actually a furry. Gremlin apparently decided to just try to out-random everyone else by having an alien ninja (complete with offensively stereotypical and inappropriate Chinese theme music) fight his way through the Land of Cakes and Pies.

Zool is clearly aping Sonic the Hedgehog in level structure, play style and enemies used, just without the running, spinning, loops or huge levels (all the fun bits, that is.) Instead Zool throws out some pathetic pellet as a weapon that is about as unimaginative as you can possibly get. Wall clinging and climbing is also borrowed from Ninja Gaiden 2, but it isn't implemented in any sort of strategic or creative way, it's just kinda there.

Zool's control is definitely on the slidey and loose side, but the main flaw of the game is that the enemies and dangerous stuff like spikes gets lost in the cluttered, colorful backgrounds. Adding to the problem are an absolute slew of bonus items that exist only to grant points, but have like a million different forms, amidst which the enemies often camoflauge themselves.

The game just screams "quick, cheapo platformer to cash in on gaming trends!" and is almost on the level of Bubsy the Bobcat. Gremlin has been known for some quality releases so I don't really know what happened here other than they just needed (or wanted) a quick cash infusion and threw together whatever random shit they could come up with hastily into a generic, sloppy platformer.

Links :

* Laughably whorish Amiga Format review from the 90's - "This is the game that makes Sonic and Mario look like the sad creations of teams of deluded child psychologists that they are." 

Videos :

* Gameplay Video
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