Review: Zoop (PS1)

Zoop (Long Box) Box Front
Box art courtesy of GameFAQs.

Publisher: Viacom New Media (Defunct)

Developer(s): Hookstone Productions (went defunct around 1998 – most of its staff formed the Leeds division of Rockstar Games)

Release Date: October 31, 1995 (North America) November 22, 1996 (Japan)

Also released on: SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear, MS-DOS, Sega Saturn, Atari Jaguar

Gameplay: You control a small triangle in the middle of the screen as you shoot pieces of the same color, which come in from all sides every second (more often in the harder levels), and if a piece falls into the center square, it’s game over. If the quota of shot pieces is met, the game speeds up and the background changes. There are also various power-ups that come up every now and then, one of which clears a whole line of pieces. It’s all pretty addicting and at 99 levels, this game will keep you playing for a while. I give the gameplay a 7.5/10.

Graphics: The graphics are pretty good. The pieces on the screen are solidly animated, and each background is given a unique look as they’re designed in such a way that they become increasingly distracting as the game goes on, which I thought was a nice touch. I give the graphics a 7/10.

Music and Sounds: The music consists of new age, funk and jazz music, and while it’s nothing really special, it suits the game fine. The sounds are also fine as well. I give the music and sounds a 7/10.

Controls: The controls are also very simple and responsive: the d-pad moves the triangle while pressing the X button shoots/exchanges the triangle. I give the controls an 8/10.

Replay Value: Despite it being addicting, there isn’t much replay value to this game at all. Also, you can’t save your high scores (except in the Jaguar version for whatever reason). I give the replay value a 6/10.

Final Thoughts: While (obviously) not as good as Tetris and other games of its ilk, Zoop is still a very solid and underrated puzzler.

Overall: 7.5/10

Buy or Skip?: Buy, though some versions of the game (including the version I just reviewed) may be hard to find at a decent price.

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