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Z (PC) Review

 
Z-The-Game-App-Icon
Z-The-Game-App-Icon
Z-The-Game-App-Icon

 
At a Glance...
 

Formats: PC
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Developer: ,
 
Final Score
8.0
8.0/ 10


User Rating
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We liked?


  • Great humour
  • Graphics look slightly better while retaining a classic feel
  • Can provide a challenge no matter what your skill level
  • Great nostalgia hit
  • Not so much?


  • No multiplayer or map editor
  • Controls are quite awkward to start with


  • Final Fiendish Findings?

    Z was the great underdog of mid 90s strategy games, and playing it again is a great joy. If you have fond memories of this game from back then, you’ll still get plenty of enjoyment. And if you missed it the first time around, it’s cheap and well worth checking out for a slice of something a little different to the base building and resource collecting that has been pretty much the building blocks of the RTS genre ever since.

    0
    Posted July 24, 2014 by

     
    Full Fiendish Findings...
     
     

    The classic strategy game Z is back.  But has it aged well?

    The 1990s featured perhaps some of the most famous real time strategy games in the history of the genre. Games like Command & Conquer, Red Alert, Warcraft, Dune and Total Annihilation are still talked about to this day. One of the perhaps less known, but still fondly remembered games of the era, was ‘Z’, a simple game created by the Bitmap Brothers about a bunch of crazy robots fighting for control of various planets. Some 18 years after its original release, TickTock Games have brought the old classic back to life, with a remade version. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and send the grunts out.

    Z sees you under the leadership of General Zod, and the aim is to take control of enemy planets. Each level is divided into a series of areas, which each have some sort of item or structure in them. You can take control of each area by sending some of your troops over to the flag in that area. Capturing areas will enable you churn out more units, or see exactly where the enemy units are.

    City World 3

    There’s no resource collecting like in a lot of strategy games of the era, and there’s no building units at will, so strategy is the key to winning. You can’t simply build a massive army and rush the enemy. Each factory you control will produce units after a certain amount of time, which is displayed on the top of the factory. You just choose what you want each factory to make. There are two ways to win. You either destroy all your enemy’s soldiers, or you infiltrate their main fortress.

    There are six different robot types you can build, these being Grunts, Psychos, Toughs, Snipers, Pyros and Lasers, and you can pretty much guess what they do by their name. There’s also a selection of vehicles and defensive structures you can produce as well. Units will often react according to what you tell them to do as well, such as grunts being unhappy about being sent off to fight a tank. The game has also retained the humour of the cut scenes, which are exactly as they were in the original game, as you see the misadventures of Zod, Brad and Allan.

    The graphics haven’t really been changed much. The videos look the same as they used to, and the in game graphics haven’t been changed, apart from some UI changes to accommodate bigger monitors, but it looks good at higher resolutions. There are several resolution settings to choose from, so you can choose to play it at a lower resolution if you can’t quite make out what’s going on.

    Ice World 1

    The control system may seem a bit odd at first to people who are used to the way modern strategy games work, or even old veterans who haven’t played games like this for a while. Once you give a unit an order, you have to click on the unit again in order to give it another order, which takes some getting used to. Also, scrolling the map by going to the edges is very slow, but you can right click and drag the map around, which is much quicker. The movement of troops seems oddly slow as well

    If I have one big disappointment with the game, it’s the lack of multiplayer mode and a map editor. You just get the original single player campaign, which is a decent length, but there’s no real reason to replay the campaign after you’ve beaten it, except to try and beat it at higher difficulty settings. The game seemed somewhat easy to me initially, certainly much easier than I remember it being, but it’s certainly challenging in hard mode. The AI does seem a little confused at times, though, sending units in odd paths. Although this could have something to do with the path finding in the game generally, which sometimes leads troops to go the long way around.

    Z was the great underdog of mid 90s strategy games, and playing it again is a great joy. If you have fond memories of this game from back then, you’ll still get plenty of enjoyment. And if you missed it the first time around, it’s cheap and well worth checking out for a slice of something a little different to the base building and resource collecting that has been pretty much the building blocks of the RTS genre ever since.


    Mike Jones

     
    Mike first started writing about video games at the age of 10 when he wrote a Sonic Chaos review for his school newspaper, and hasn't looked back since. Favourite game genres include MMOs, racing games and puzzlers, but he'll try most things once.