Zool Redimensioned is a classic platformer smartly modernised

If 2020s gaming is to be remembered for frames per second and 4K, 90s gaming was obsessed with labels and confectionery.

Take a look back. Pushover was spun off from Quavers. Cool Spot was sponsored by 7UP. There was a Chester Cheeto platformer, James Pond: Robocod had you fighting against Bertie Bassett and then there was Zool.

Zool had you shooting out hundreds and thousands, fighting jelly beans, and walking behind chocolate fountains. Because why the heck not.

At a time when everyone was hungry for mascots, the Ninja of the Nth Dimension was tearing things up on the Amiga and even did well enough for a sequel.

Of course, it inevitably proved Zool couldn’t compete with the star power of a blue hedgehog and a plumber in red, but for the time it was a well-designed, enjoyable platformer, that managed to leave a lasting impression on a whole generation of gamers.

Enough for it to get a reimagining in 2023, at least. Zool is back thanks to Secret Mode and Sumo Digital Academy, a fascinating experiment that has seen apprentices rebuild the game and launch their first major project.

It’s a great way to get experience under your belt, under expert tutelage and work on a recognisable IP that people know and love. And they’ve done a great job.

Redimensioned isn’t a straight port, but a smart reimagining of the platform formula for the modern day gamer, adding in double jumps and checkpoints. There’s more accessibility, level selects, and even tweaks to the difficulty.

This is to the game’s benefit, as if everyone involved had just tried to re-release as is without trying to appeal to a newer demographic, the release probably would have fallen completely short. Some elements just haven’t aged very well.

Of course, you can play something akin to the original release in Ultimate Ninja mode if you want to, where you have to earn enough collectibles to unlock the end of the level. It also strips out the double jump while zooming in a lot closer.

Redimensioned plays with a wider camera angle while using a mocked up CRT display, but there’s also a mid-range that remains true to the original release and this reimagining. You even have a Wide view that pays homage to the 1992 original.

And if the game is still proving a bit too tricky for you, there’s a bunch of cheats you can pop on like infinite jumps and invincibility. Just to make sure anyone and everyone can get through all the content has to offer.

Zool Redimensioned can still be tricky to play despite the tweaks and adjustments, but it remains a colourful, energised and charismatic platformer with its own sense of style that still establishes its identity.

Its sub-levels offer freedom to explore, high heights and some tricky bosses as you reach the conclusion. And the level variety is a nice blend of sweet treats and delights, with a cool mix of powerups with a speed up, an ethereal form which makes it easier to avoid enemies, and even a mirror of Zool which can cause double trouble with enemies.

There’s even a Party mode you can dive into with family and friends locally. Between a race to get the most collectibles, a King of the Hill style game where you strive to hold a crown for the longest time and a ball game where you aim for targets, there’s some longevity to be had in between platforming sessions.

While it’s nice to see the ninja back, this isn’t going to take anything away from other platformers on the market and is unlikely to inspire an entirely new game in the series anytime soon.

But what you do have here is a tight, complete package that offers quality content, a lovely infusion of retro charm blended with modern mechanics and for those of us who lived through it, a proper throwback to Amiga classics and reminder of how influential that platform was.


Zool Redimensioned is a smart reinterpretation of a classic platformer, modernised for today’s gamer while still staying authentic, maintaining what made it the game it was. Added party modes, accessibility options, filters, and modes to suit retro enthusiasts, it successfully brings everything you may have loved (or never heard of) in a release that belongs and successfully succeeds in 2023. 


+ Smart rethinking of classic mechanics to suit modern gamers
+ Lots of accessibility features and filters to stay authetic
+ Decent size of content between different modes and party activities


– Platforming gets repetitive after a few levels
– Not doing anything especially compelling to wow a modern audience

Zool Redimensioned is now available on PC and PlayStation

Code Kindly Provided by Secret Mode for review purposes

Played on PlayStation 5

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