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Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension
Amiga cover art
Developer(s)Gremlin Graphics
Publisher(s)Gremlin Graphics
Designer(s)George Allan
Composer(s)Patrick Phelan
Neil Biggin (CD32)
Platform(s)Acorn Archimedes, Amiga, Atari ST, CD32, MS-DOS, Game Boy, Game Gear, Master System, Genesis, Super NES
ReleaseOctober 1992: Amiga
March 1993: MS-DOS[1]

Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension is a platform game written for the Amiga by Gremlin Graphics and published in 1992. It was marketed as a rival to Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog. Zool was ported to other platforms and followed by Zool 2 in 1993.


Super NES gameplay

The game is a platform game, relying on smooth, fast-moving gameplay. Its protagonist is Zool, a gremlin "Ninja of the Nth Dimension" who is forced to land on Earth; in order to gain ninja ranking, he has to pass seven lands, beating a boss at the end of each of them. The game contains a number of embedded minigames, including several arcade games, a scrolling space shooter and a game accessible only by making Zool play a certain tune on an in-game piano or finding certain invisible warp points.

Development and release[edit]

George Allan came up with the idea of Zool as he was criticized on his previous game Switchblade II for having a lack of enemies. In development, Zool could cast spells to get him out of trouble by collecting potions. For example, Zool could escape from pits with high jump spells and cast a shadow spell to make a clone of him that follows his actions (thus doubling the fire power). In the final version, the spells were replaced with collectible power-ups. The very early name for the project was Pootz.[2] The soundtrack by Patrick Phelan overlaps with the Lotus 3 soundtrack and inspired several modern electro/techno remixes. The game was heavily hyped upon its initial release, including being bundled with the then-newly launched Amiga 1200, although not the AGA version with enhanced graphics which followed later. In 2000, the Amiga version of Zool was re-released as part of The Best of Gremlin compilation.

Zool was also ported to the Atari Jaguar, Atari ST, Game Boy, Mega Drive/Genesis, SNES, Master System, Game Gear, Amiga CD32, IBM PC Compatibles, and RISC OS, as well as an arcade machine.[3] The Amiga CD32 version has original red book audio tracks by Neil Biggin and has the option to have both sound effects and music. This and the Acorn Archimedes port are the only two incarnations of the original Amiga version to have this. Most computer ports are close to the Amiga original but the Genesis and SNES ports both feature different levels which are structured differently, different background graphics, and unique bosses. The Sega Master System version features smaller, more scaled down stages and a more strict quota on collectible items, but also features unique gameplay moves like a wall climb. With the exception of the CD32 version, all console versions feature the soundtrack of the Amiga original, remixed appropriately for each console's unique sound systems.


The original Amiga game was released to critical acclaim,[8] receiving scores of 97%, 96%, 95% from Amiga Computing, Amiga Action and Amiga Format respectively. Electronic Gaming Monthly claimed that Zool sports great graphics, but the character moves too fast with little control.[4] GamePro gave a positive review of the Game Gear version, praising its "great graphics and sound abound", as well as its "crisp" gameplay.[9] Power Unlimited gave the Game Boy version a score of 80%[10] and the Sega Genesis version a score of 81%.[11] The magazine was generally positive to the game, despite noting that the game did not add anything new in the platforming genre.

Retrospectively, Virgin Media included Zool on their list of top ten video game ninja heroes.[12] In 2011, Wirtualna Polska ranked it as the 22nd best game for the Amiga, noting its "absurdly" high difficulty.[13]


Two children's novels based on the games, entitled Cool Zool and Zool Rules, were released in February 1995. They were written by Stan Nicholls and Ian Edginton and published by Boxtree.[14] The Game Maker's Companion (APress, 2010), a book on hobbyist game development, contains step-by-step instructions on how to remake the original Zool game using GameMaker Studio.[15]

Zool Redimensioned was released in August 2021, developed by Sumo Digital Academy and published by publisher Secret Mode on the Steam platform.[16] The game was based on the Mega Drive version, which was included as a bonus.[17] Due to legal reasons, the Chupa Chups brand and logo that have been heavily featured in the Zool series as part of their sponsorship, featured in the opening title and the first level "Sweet World" have been removed due to the brand no longer being associated with the series.


  1. ^ In Electronic Gaming Monthly's review of the Genesis, version, two critics scored it 5/10, two 6/10, one 7/10.[4]


  1. ^ "PC Zone Magazine". PC Zone. No. 1. April 1993. p. 9. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Zool preview from CU Amiga (Mar 1992) - Amiga Magazine Rack". Amr.abime.net. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Zool: Ninja of the 'Nth' Dimension". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b Semrad, Ed; Carpenter, Danyon; Manuel, Al; Sushi-X; Weigand, Mike (January 1994). "Review Crew". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Vol. 7, no. 1. pp. 38–52.
  5. ^ Webb, Trenton (December 1993). "Zool". GameZone. No. 14. pp. 34–35. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Power Unlimited Game Database". powerweb.nl (in Dutch). November 1994. Archived from the original on 8 September 2003. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  7. ^ "Power Unlimited Game Database". powerweb.nl (in Dutch). November 1994. Archived from the original on 27 August 2003. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  8. ^ "Amiga magazines - Amiga Magazine Rack". Amr.abime.net. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Zool". GamePro. No. 58. IDG. May 1994. p. 130.
  10. ^ "Power Unlimited Game Database". powerweb.nl (in Dutch). November 1994. Archived from the original on 8 September 2003. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  11. ^ "Power Unlimited Game Database". powerweb.nl (in Dutch). November 1994. Archived from the original on 27 August 2003. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Zool (Zool) - Top ten ninjas - Pictures - Games". Virginmedia.com. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  13. ^ "22. Zool - 30 najlepszych gier na Amigę". Gry.wp.pl. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Stan Nicholls". Knibbworld.com. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  15. ^ [1] Archived March 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Romano, Sal (4 August 2021). "Zool Redimensioned announced for PC". Gematsu. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  17. ^ "16-bit icon Zool returns in Zool Redimensioned, out this month". 4 August 2021.

External links[edit]