Zoop (Nintendo Game Boy, 1995)
I got a Nintendo Game Boy in 1994. And a year later I got a Super Nintendo for Christmas along with a Super Game Boy! This was where you could play your Game Boy games on your SNES and they would have various extra colours and backgrounds. I never used to read games magazines at this time, so I bought all the Game Boy games that I had without knowing much about them, but because I do like the puzzle genre I decided to try Zoop as that seemed an interesting idea.
There are two modes, continuous and level. In continuous mode when you complete a level everything stays on the screen and you carry on, in level mode every time you complete a level everything disappears on the screen and you start the next one from scratch. You can also choose which level you want to start on from 1-9 and the difficulty from 0-4 which determines how much is on the screen when you begin.
The idea of the game is that you are in a 4×4 square and you occupy one of the spaces. To your left and right are six spaces, and above and below are five. You use the directional buttons to move your square to eliminate the ones surrounding you, but only the ones that you touch which are the same colour as your square will disappear.
This means that you have to constantly change your square to eliminate the others, and you have to get so many to complete a level. You also score points based on how many squares you can eliminate in one go, with different sound effects for one, two, three and so on disappearing, with a bonus for eliminating a whole line of the same colour in one move.
There are also bonuses on offer as the game progresses. If you collect five springs it removes every single square on the screen which can be useful. There is also a shape which eliminates every square of that colour whether it is in the line or not, and another which eliminates the whole line even if all the squares are different colours.
As you progres you need to eliminate more squares and they appear on the screen quicker. When one line is one space away from entering your area you will hear a buzz noise which indicates that you will have to remove those quickly. When a space finally enters your area because it is full up it’s the end of the game and your final score is revealed.
Zoop is a game that I remember playing on my Game Boy very often throughout the 90s, and there were several versions released on various formats. Although it seems that Zoop wasn’t a huge success and received average reviews I did find it a challenging puzzler which had a good idea. I’ll be reviewing some more memorable Game Boy games here soon.