Zool is going to go down in history as one of the greatest of all time. It is absolutely fantastic in every respect – graphics, sound, everything. It is a sort of platformy thing but not, and it is a sort of collect a lot thingy, but not really. The closest thing it is Sonic the Spikey Haired Git of a Hedgehog, but this knocks the socks off Sonic. The whole thing is completely manic from beginning to end. The various levels all have themes. The first level’s theme is sweets, with all the beasties look like dolly mixtures of fruit gums and all the backgrounds being jellies or lollies.
The end-of-level baddie steals the show – a mishmash of all manner of sweets that spits liquid at our hero. The baddies do all sorts of things to try and stop you on your way, but Zool is armed and dangerous and a ninja from the Nth dimension. To get around the levels a lot of time you have to go up cliffs. You can’t actually climb them but you can sort of jump off and up and back on again – quite cunning really. Apart from the climbing there is not much to your movement on the screen but for jumping and running. The aim is to reach the end of each level by simply piling through all the nasties. Unlike Sonic you do not always progress in the same direction. In the bottom left-hand corner there is a pointer which tells you which direction to go in.
At the end of each level there is the customary baddie, which does take a little doing. To bump off all the beasties you have bullets of a sort and a sword. But old Zool can only use his sword while flying through the air, spinning. It sounds like a bit of a handicap, but it is frightfully effective when wasting wine gums. To help you along the way there are a few power-ups which you can get get, like shields and so on. My favourite is the yin-yang which creates another Zool who follows you around. He fires at the same time you do and basically does the bizz. Rightly heralded as a Sonic-beater in the early 90s, Zool is a gamesplaying experience that you should not miss out on.