Every Sunday, I get retro. I boot up some emulators (or even the real thing if time allows) and replay some of the more obscure games of yesteryear.
Zoids were an embarrassingly transparent attempt to tick a lot of boxes in a single toy – wind-up robot dinosaurs with weapons. The cockpit contained a shiny pilot that could be removed, but since it was in a fixed sitting position, there wasn’t much point. Anyway, like most 80’s toys, a computer game emerged.
Even after all these years, I had to read the manual (courtesy of World of Spectrum) because the game isn’t immediately obvious. You start off piloting a Spiderzoid, and have to attack Red Zoid city domes to find pieces of Zoidzilla and Zoidar energy sources. You can fire missiles at other Zoids, or call in missile strikes from your home base. If you find a piece of Zoidzilla, you mutate up to a more powerful Zoid. Sometimes, other Zoids attack you with missiles, which you then have to shootdown in a 3D trench view affair (which, thanks to a crappy aiming system, sounds a lot more fun than it actually is). You get a heartbeat monitor which, according to the manual, you’ll learn to understand the more you become at one with your Zoid. Rapid heartbeat after a missile attack – what could it mean?
I want to like this game – I really do – but the missile defense levels are crap, and I have NEVER found a piece of Zoidzilla. I’m not sure how levelling up your Zoid can actually improve your Zoid abilities, but unfortunately I’m not going to try and find out.
Play time = 15 minutes
Verdict =The toys were more fun.