ZOOL is back! Wait. Who or what is ZOOL?

If you were a big fan of lollipop-sponsored Sonic The Hedgehog rivals in the 1990s, you'll be pleased to hear that ZOOL is coming to PS4.
Zool

Are you over 35 years old? Did your formative video game experiences come from a 386DX PC or Amiga? If so, you must be very excited by the news that ZOOL is back. I know I am. As it turns out, Zool re-emerged after global covid-induced lockdowns, in a remake of the original game for PC – Zool Redimensioned. Now, that game is making its way to PS4 and PS5 on 16 May 2023 with new modes.

But seriously, what is Zool?

Zool was a fast-paced platforming game for the PC and Amiga released in the early 1990s, conceived as an alternative to Sonic The Hedgehog, which was all the rage at the time, for people who couldn’t afford Sega Master System consoles.

The protagonist, Zool, is a ‘Ninja of the Nth Dimension’, possibly some kind of unsightly gremlin under the ninja mask, and zipped through levels while dispatching cute enemies by throwing out fireballs, punching and kicking, performing spin attacks with his sword, and climbing.

It was also, weirdly, a game that was heavily sponsored by the lollipop company, Chupa Chups.

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Redimensioned

First released for PC in 2021, Redimensioned remakes the game in a much higher resolution than originally envisioned. According to VGC, it was actually put together by the Sumo Digital Academy, a graduate training program run by Sumo Digital (Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Team Sonic Racing).

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A new cohort of apprentice developers has put together the PS4 port of the game, which introduces new local multiplayer modes.

A description on the PlayStation Store reads: ‘Don your favourite Zool mask and compete with up to 3 friends by grabbing the most clutter in “Zool’s Gold”, holding onto Krool’s crown in, “Rool of Zool”, and booting balls into the back of the Nth dimension in “Ball Brawl“.’

In a statement, Dr Jacob Habgood, Director of Education Partnerships at Sumo Digital, said, ‘The PC version of Zool Redimensioned had such a fantastic reception from fans of the original game, that we’re thrilled to be able to bring this tribute to the Amiga’s classic platformer to PlayStation 4.’

‘The apprentices from the Sumo Digital Academy have worked hard to ensure that it captures the essence of the original game, made here in Sheffield by developers who were not so different in age to them.’

Hopefully, this means we can expect a remake of Zool 2 at some point in the future, which excitingly featured two more protagonist, a lady Zool called Zooz, as well as their dog, Zoon. It was incredible stuff for the 1990s.

Zool Redimensioned is now available for PC, and will be available on PS4 and PS5 on 16 May 2023.

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Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran