Zamzara

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Zamzara
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Developer Jukka Tapanimäki
Publisher Rack It (Hewson)
Designer Jukka Tapanimäki
Composer Charles Deenen (Maniacs of Noise)
Released 1988
Platform Commodore 64
Genre Shoot'em Up, Platformer
Gamemode Single-player
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Zamzara was first released on the Commodore 64 back in 1988. The game was developed by Jukka Tapanimäki. If his name kind of sounds familiar to you guys that is because he was involved in some pretty big hits on the Commodore 64. Netherworld, MoonFall and Octapolis were games he had a hand in.

Zamzara is seen as one of the best action games on the Commodore 64. And it was insanely popular when it was released. One of the surprising things about the game is that there was never a sequel made. Or that the game was never remade for one of the popular video game consoles of the era like the Sega Mega Drive or the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Plot

Zamzara is a pretty story driven game. Well story driven by 1988 standards. You play the role of a cool green looking alien. One thing abut this alien is that on the title screen you can see all the details of his face, but when you play the game I think he kind of resembles the Xenomorph from the Alien movie. Anyway this alien is on the planet Zamzara, and he wants to raid it, and destroy the planet. The twist is that you have only 15 minutes to get to your ship or you will blow up along with the planet. What is interesting about the story of Zamzara is that the game never really says if you are playing as a good guy and the planet Zamzara is bad. Or if in fact you are actually an evil alien trying to pillage and destroy a world. So it is pretty cool how it leaves this aspect of the game to your imagination. As a kid I liked to think I was an evil alien.

Design

The game looks great. The alien you play as is very well drawn, and he is animated very well also. But the real stars of the game are the various aliens you need to kill. There is just such a great variety of enemies in the game. What makes things really interesting is that as well as there being many different looking aliens. They also differ greatly in size as well. These aliens are very well designed, and I would go as far to say some of the best enemies on any game for the Commodore 64.

Gameplay

One thing that Zamzara is known for is its soul crushing difficulty. This from screenshots may look like you can just run and gun on each screen and shoot away. Well that is not the case this is a game that require you to think before you shoot, and as a result the game is very tough. Thankfully the game has very smooth controls. So while its hard, the game is very fair and if you have the skill then you can beat it.

Zamzara also has a great selection of weapons for you to blast the aliens away with. You have a standard handgun, but you can also get more powerful weapons a photon laser which will hurt everything in its path as it zooms across the screen. The web mine will place mines all over the screen, blasting away anything that dares come close. And also you have the nuclear laser which is kind of like the photon laser, but only more powerful.

In all Zamzara is a wonderful game, and a true classic of this era of gaming. This is a game that is well worth tracking down, and putting you gaming skills against.

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