ZOOP / Viacom / Super NES

If Popcap hasn't made a clone of Zoop and put it up on Yahoo! Portal to generate mad riches for themselves, I don't know why. It's exactly their sort of game - an obscure action-puzzler made on the lowliest of budgets near the end of the SNES lifespan.

Not to suggest it is a bad game, just very basic. You have a little cursor-ship thingy trapped inside a 4x4 grid at the center of the screen, Pieces appear on either side of it, which are cleared simply by facing them and pushing the button. But your cursor-ship thingy has to be the same color as the piece it is charging, otherwise it simply takes on that piece's color and replaces it with a piece of the previous color. If you clear a piece and there is another piece behind it of a different color, you'll take that second piece's color on, which is where most of the strategy in prioritizing when the speed goes up comes from. You also have the twist of "special" pieces appearing sometimes, like a lightning bolt that clears out every piece on one side when used, or springs which clear every piece on the board when you've collected five.

Graphics are as absolutely simple as can be, they could have pulled this off on the NES, and with a little less of a color palette probably the Atari 2600. Music is sort of inoffensive light jazz that reminded me of the soundtracks of some LucasArts and Westwood adventure games from the early to mid 90s.

It's a pretty decent game. I thought the control setup got a little clunky when the speed really turns up in the later levels, but for the most part it's actually fairly fun and the idea is original. If you can snag it for a few bucks it isn't a bad investment (provided you enjoy action-puzzlers.) Just don't expect too much from it.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video