Release Date: January 1990
Developer: Discovery Software/Cyclone System/Sigma Pro-Tech
The Genesis has been starved for a puzzle game and here they get it with Zoom! You are Mr. Smart and you want to get to Earth, but there are a series of forcefields that Space Phantoms have erected in your way. You need to go through 36 levels of skating around and capturing squares to make it through space to your destination.
Each level starts with a wireform of the level layout spinning into view. You get a slightly elevated front perspective of the layout and need to proceed to paint around each square in order to win. Standing in your way are the Space Phantoms. These guys are looking to put an end to your Earth vacation before it begins. There are five different enemies from the Rowdy Fingers, who want to do nothing but wrap around you. The Spiler, who wants to wipe up the stains you’ve left on the ground. Cue, that seems to only want to travel where you already have. The Spine-Spine, who looks to stick it to you. And the Charm, which slows you down if you touch it.
As you enclose the squares, Mr. Smart yells out, “Come on, boy!” but I’m not Gary the Freak, so am uninterested… There are goodies that appear for short amounts of time on each level and help you out. The Sun is your bet friend and makes you impervious to attack from the phantoms. The Banana slows the phantoms down, while the hourglass stops them in their tracks. The Mushroom speeds you up or returns you to normal speed if you’ve been charmed. The Wings immediately defeat the enemies and move you to the next level. The Candy gives you bonus points. The Star is one of these items in disguise.
Mr. Smart jumps with the A or C Buttons. This can be used to clear the enemies if they’re in your way or jump into the negative space. You also come equipped with rubber balls that you throw behind you with the B Button. This allows you to push enemies back, but I didn’t find them too helpful because I would have rather shot in front of me. If you run out of time, it isn’t an instant death, but new enemies spawn looking to put an end to you. Running through all 36 levels treats you to the credits with more detailed enemy animations and then you’re back for a second run.
Graphics aren’t anything to write home about. The perspective is interesting, but it’s hard to see things correctly at the far end.
Music and sound effects are decidedly Sega, but I didn’t find them very good.
I would say this is one of those easy to learn and not difficult to master types of games.
I played through it once, I feel like if I played it again, I would get through it a lot more quickly. You get unlimited continues from the beginning of the 6 level stage.
Fun Factor: 2.0
I enjoyed myself enough to say I had a good time. It’s not my favorite puzzle game, but I’ve certainly played worse.
Overall Grade: 2.0
Mr. Zoom! earns a C. This is the definition of an average game. You’re not getting anything amazing, but you’re not getting a bad time, either.