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Zoop

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Released: 1995

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: Game Gear

Publisher: Viacom

Developer: Hookstone

Submitted by: Matt

Poor old Zoop. Long forgotten and unloved, it doesn’t even appear in A-Z lists of videogames with ninja ant Zool instead more often than not filling the space of Z.

It’s strange that it isn’t very well remembered as it was released on no less than nine formats – Mega Drive, SNES, PC, Mac, Game Boy, GameGear, PlayStation, Saturn and Atari Jaguar. I don’t think it sold very well though, presumably due to the simple graphics and strange name.

Zoop plays a little bit like a top-down version of Klax with four stacks of multi-coloured blocks to whittle down. This is down by swapping the colours around via the orb in the middle of the screen, which is free to move around inside the confines of a small box. If any of the stacks of blocks reach the middle, its game over.

Like all good puzzle games it takes little bit of practice to get good at.  Once you get into the swing of things though you can be on the same game for a good fifteen minutes or so. Most pleasing is the way that the backgrounds change colour as the level progresses and how the music seamlessly becomes more upbeat. The jazz soundtrack is pretty funky, as is the presentation.

A version of Zoop for the iPhone would work really well, swiping the screen to “zoop up” blocks. I have no idea who owns the rights for it now though – Viacom sold out to Virgin, who was snapped up by EA….and then their assets were sold off to Titus, who went bust many years ago.