Saturday, 13 May 2017

SNES Review 117: Zoop

So usually when I am looking to do a SNES review I am thinking about the story behind the review, sometimes its a story about how the game first came in to my life, did I own it as a kid or did I play it at a friends, but I have nothing here, I have to admit that I didnt as far as my memory goes ever see any footage of this game back in the old games magazines of the time nor do I remember seeing it in shops.

In fact the first I ever saw of Zoop was when I brought it for the megadrive basically just because it was cheap, in all honesty I didnt at the time even realise that it was multiplatform, it was in fact very multi-platform as it was on the Game Boy, the Game Gear, the MegaDrive/Genesis, the Atari Jaguar, the PlayStation, the PC (MS-DOS), the Macintosh, the Sega Saturn (only in Japan) and of course because I am talking about it here as a part of my 150 Super Nintendo Reviews project I think you have figured out that it was on the SNES.

So Zoop is a puzzle game and it was developed by Hookstone Productions, a video game company I can actually find very little information about they were a UK-based video game development group which was apparently active from 1994 until around 1998. As far as I can find out they were only ever responsible for this game Zoop, a game called Sentinel Returns and then a game called Ferox which was cancelled before being released. So its not like there is a whole pile of past or future games that were made by the same people for me to compare it to, I guess ultimatly as a puzzle game it will be compared to the likes of Tetris, Dr Mario and the various other puzzlers which have stood the test of time and leap straight into the average game players mind.

Ok so lets try and explain what you do in this game, I will try to keep it basic but I think its actually a rather hard game to explain. You control a triangle in the center of the screen you move it around the center area making it point in diffrent directions. To start with a piece comes in from one of the sides of the screen and if there is a piece in its way it pushes it, your not just watching one part of the screen though, two consecutive pieces will never come in from the same angle,it might come from the left or right or top or bottom of the screen and if a piece falls into the center square, the game is over.

You will notice that your triangle starts as one colour well if you shoot a piece of the same color as your triangle,well then it will be "zooped" (disapear)  and you will gain points for this. If the piece you shot is green and your triangle is green then youll destroy it, if the piece behind this piece is green youll destroy that too and so on and so on until you meet a diffrent colour. If you shoot a piece which is a diffrent colour to you, well then you wont make it disapear youll simple turn your triangle into whatever the colour you have just shot is. So if your triangle is green and you hit a green and theres another green behind it and then a red behind that you will eliminate the greens and then your triangle will turn red hopefully that makes sense, once you have played for a handful of moments it soon becomes second nature.

This all sounds pretty basic but the more pieces you can zoop in one go the more points you score, whenever you zoop the required quota for a level the game will speed up, and then there are special pieces which come into play including a proximity bomb and a line bomb and colour bomb also as the game progresses distracting backgrounds are purposly added in to try and up the challange factor this was used as a unique selling point for the game and was referd to as opti-challenge graphics, I could see some people liking this and it clearly pissing other people off, I found myself kind of falling in to the middle of this sometimes I find it annoying and sometimes my brain just seems to filter it all out for me

The sound effects in the game are kind of cartoon inspired and the music well I think at first it is catchy but soon it will make you want to pull your own ears off, yes it does that good old puzzle thing of seeming to try to be tense when the gameplay is tense but it just doesnt really cut it for me, add on to this that the graphics are just about as basic as they could possibly be, sure everything  moves smothly and its quiet a bright game but there is nothing here that tests the system in even the slighest way. I am not going to say that the game cant be fun in small bursts but its just that there are much better puzzle games out there than this, it is fun ismall dozes but its ultimatly a forgetable experiance, there is a reason you hear people go on and on about Tetris and Dr Mario and Bust A Move insted of Zoop. I would give this game a very average 5 and would say not to buy a cart of it unless you can get it for about £5 and then only if you like puzzle games as this is very unlikly to be the game to convert someone who is not a fan of them.

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