Zoop! - Destructoid

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2:55 PM on 08.13.2013

It's just fun to say, isn't it?


Zoop was a video game that was hyped to hell and back as being incredibly fun, challenging, addicting, and family-friendly. It was marketed as something similar to the world's next "Tetris", and, as a result, the game was marketed with unattributed quotes such as "America's #1 Killer of Time!" and "I Can't Stop Playing This Game!"

Zoop is also one of those games that was released on every console in existence. Zoop was released on: Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, and MS-DOS. That's what many would call "over-saturation."

Zoop is, primarily, a puzzle game. This is something that is INCREDIBLY PAINFULLY OBVIOUS by the, quite frankly, amazing box art:

Look at that. That is gorgeous. This is a game that is probably more known for its' box art than the game itself, and that's because it tells you absolutely nothing about the game. Other puzzle games like Tetris and Dr. Mario had covers that depicted the game's content, albeit in a stylized way. The only way the Zoop cover depicts the game is in the colors of the lettering of the word "Zoop."

Anyway, the gameplay of Zoop goes as follows: You control a cursor in the middle of a grid. Outside the middle of the grid, different-colored shapes constantly stack up towards the middle. Your job, as the cursor in the middle of the grid, is to swap pieces of the incoming shapes and match colors together to make pairs of them disappear. If any of the shapes on the outside make it into the middle of the grid, you're gonna have a bad time.

It has just dawned on me that Zoop is a very confusing game. Here's a YouTube video showing the gameplay. It will make more sense:

Puzzle games are usually a "do or die" thing. Of course, being easy to learn and hard to master is essential, but puzzle games, more than any other genre, need to hook a player in right as they turn on the game. Zoop definitely takes a few tries before you get the hang of it, but it does give a great sense of satisfaction when you've managed to turn a huge mass of colors into an empty grid. It's just a little complicated. Because of that, it's more of a curiosity than something that one can go back to regularly, like the aforementioned Tetris and Dr. Mario. Zoop is more of a game that you play every few months because you remember liking it, but then you put it away again after you get bored.

Despite that, Zoop is definitely worth a quick look. Hell, it's one of the cheapest games I've ever seen on the aftermarket. Pretty much every version is incredibly affordable. Just know that you may not get a lot of mileage out of it.

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