He’s lean, he’s mean — he’s an ant hill-making machine! Zool is ready to roll in a great platform game. Just don’t spill any boiling water!

There’ve been all kinds of heroes on the Master System, in all shapes and sizes. We’ve had a speedy hedgehog, a fox with two tails, an egg in red boots and a big red spot! So why not add a ninja ant to the collection?

Zool — or to give him his full name, Zool, The Ninja of the Nth Dimension — has a brand new platform adventure for you to get stuck into. No one’s sure of Zool’s mission but we do know the 20-odd levels are split into various themes.

Starting in Sweet World, full of chocolate bars and Chuppa Chup lollipops, there are 99 sweets to collect and the golden Zool symbol to find before die hero can move on to the next level.

Ant rap

Zool’s journey takes him through Music World with drums and keyboards, the Meccano mazes of Tool World, and Fun Fair World, packed with rubber ducks, clowns and ‘test your strength’ machines!

In platform game tradition, there are three or four levels per world and a ghastly guardian at the end of each. Restart points are triggered to make losing a life less of a chore and there are three continues to use.

With all these restarts and continues, Zool’s quite easy to complete — in fact, we went all the way through the game while reviewing it. As with many platform games today, it’s mostly aimed at the younger games-playing audience.

Nick itches... ‘TOO EASY’

I was quite excited (for once) when Zool came into the SEGA MASTER FORCE tree house. I hadn’t played a cool platform game for a while and was looking forward to getting to grips with it I loved every minute. The trouble was, it wasn’t many minutes before I completed the whole game!

The adventure looks great, its colourful levels packed with interesting characters and tricky mazes. Zool himself has some great animation, including special sequences when he totters on the edge of a platform and falls to his doom. I suppose Rob’s comment is right — there isn’t much variety from level to level — but that’s a problem common to the majority of platform games.

I found Zool incredibly easy. Even the end-of-world guardians are a piece of cake; they only need a few shots to pop off. A good thing is that it drew a crowd. The lads from AMIGA FORCE came over and said, ‘Wow, it’s faster than the Amiga version!’ so that’s quite a boast.

Zool is good fun while it lasts. If Gremlin release Zool 2 for the Master System, they should increase variety and toughen up the whole thing.

NICK 73%

Rob quibbles... ‘RUN-OF-THE-MILL PLATFORMER’

Hmmm... Zool, eh? What the hell is he? An ant, termite or alien — I haven’t a clue! One thing’s for certain, he’s got an extremely colourful platformer, with sweets, CDs, guitars and lollies scattered across the worlds.

Zool certainly can’t be called bland. Each fun-packed level is beautifully coloured, shocking pinks and yellows combined with all manner of squiggly bits and pieces.

Unfortunately, the gameplay isn’t as pleasing. Awkward controls and repetitive levels let the game down a lot; after the first few sections things get monotonous. This is a great pity because the idea and presentation are brilliant.

Zool’s also lacking in the sound department Apart from a rather uninspired tune, there’s little to hear.

There may be doubts about his identity but Zool’s a cool character. It’s just a pity his game’s a run-of-the-mill platformer.

ROB 68%

MF Rating

Graphics
82
Sound
80
Playability
64
Lastability
58

70

Zool’s a great-looking platform game but too easy for experienced players and there’s not enough of it!

Rating
70
Reviewer
Sega Master Force magazine
Region
UK
Scans
Sega Master Force - Issue 6

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