Zack Zero takes you on an action-packed platform adventure with incredible 3D graphics and the playability and entertainment of classic 2D games. Help Zack Zero save his beloved Marlene, kidnapped by the evil Zulrog in an effort to obtain the powerful substance that will allow him to travel back in time.
User reviews: Mixed (226 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 29, 2013
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"Zack Zero is a game with a retroish look, bearing both the style and flavour of those lifelong horizontal scrolling arcade adventures but packed with a technology proper to our times."
80/100 – IGN Spain

"Zack Zero is a triumph, it's a game which is just tremendously fun to play. When Zack Zero looks into the miraculous abyss of its mechanics, classical games look back at it."
8/10 – GamesTM

Steam Big Picture

About This Game

Zack Zero takes you on an action-packed platform adventure with incredible 3D graphics and the playability and entertainment of classic 2D games. Help Zack Zero save his beloved Marlene, kidnapped by the evil Zulrog in an effort to obtain the powerful substance that will allow him to travel back in time.

Key Features

  • More than 30 characters, including 5 spectacular bosses!
  • Incredible and diverse scenarios.
  • Use Zack’s experimental suit to wield the powers of fire, ice and rock, with 10 unique skills that become increasingly powerful with use.
  • Develop Zack up to level 20, defeat enemies using a variety of creative attacks in order to reach Zack’s maximum power.
  • Find hidden objects in remote areas of each scenario, a true challenge for skilled treasure hunters.
  • Follow the storyline through animated comics that portray the game’s script.
  • Real-time online ranking system: find your friend’s scores and try to beat them.

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows XP, Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7 or Windows 8
    • Processor:2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor or AMD equivalent
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Nvidia 8600 GT 512 MB Video Card or AMD equivalent
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:4 GB HD space
    • OS:Windows 7 / Windows 8
    • Processor:Any Quad-core Intel or AMD Processor
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Nvidia GeForce GTX 275 512MB Video Card or AMD equivalent
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:4 GB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
the essence of zack zero is awkwardness. completely, though with degrees, frustratingly. I do believe the entire work is misguided. somehow, I still believe it is based on a love of videogames, but its process of modernization only offered oversights and misinterpreted tropes. to point it out basically, crocodile entertainment struggled with the basics of their game. controlling zack in the air is lacking entirely in finesse. either right or left moves zack very quick and much too far through the air. to complete most jumps, you’ll need to alternate between left and right so you can stay centered. usually this occurs in platformers that retain momentum, but zack zero has no aerial momentum to speak of. this careless implementation makes platforming more busy than it actually demands and kills its organics. the core problem demonstrates a lack of awareness that, at least, is consistently inhibited in other areas as well. however, the game is not without merit. its environment design exhibits a convincing technical competence and obvious visual excellency.

the pallette, visual direction, and quality of models are rather impressive. most especially the pallette, zack zero is uniquely bright and colorful. a bright, saturated, bordering cel-shaded platformer, it certainly wins out on first impression. any given scene in the game is delightful, at least especially, when not in motion. as for the execution of the 3D in general, a trine comparison is an exact science. a trine foil can carry too, both games have a talent in visual design to make you stand up and say “wow is this really indie?” (through irony; indies containing excellent 3D have been relatively commonplace, we still enjoy the disparaging perceptions). yet, still like trine, there isn’t much of a visionary execution. their gorgeous assets are liberally applied to reproduce a world of cliche. trine is, however, more comfortable with its setting, and achieves an otherworldly effect to a much fuller degree than zack zero. that saying, trine doesn’t even strive to make its world especially otherworldly, I would use the word fantastical, so the obvious fault of zack zero is demonstrated.

zack zero’s beginning sequence of levels does have an offworld impact. it’s not truly alien or anything like that, but a normalized sci-fi influence at least shines through. the planet seems to be an arid jungle, inwhich is the nonstandard appeal. altogether, it’s expressive and effective. to a general degree, anyway. never does this game go above and beyond. the after locations are metallic bases and underground caves nigh exclusively. they are visually disappointing, not only because the ideas are plain, but because crocodile entertainment could only bring plainness to their ideas. in their enemy design this remains a symbol. the enemy race is, well, a barney-like dinosaur and through the game you encounter a generous maximum of 4 barney variations. most every encounter is a mob of these same bipedal reptiles, with little visual and no mechanical variation. the resulting plainness in visual and scenario design is not surprising given the example set after the first level sequence.

to put it simply, this game is unable to cope with the platformer genre as it has stood since 1988. zack zero’s platforming is seemingly competent, at first, yet after the first 2 or 3 hours, the player has experienced the majority of what zack zero has to offer from its platforming, and is expected to play through variations of the same method. I can’t even say that every level contributes at least a few new ideas, there are levels in the mid and endgame that are plainly a wasteland of ideas. it was determined that the baseline of jumping on platforms, vertically and horizontally, would suffice for the majority of the game. it can be supposed that the weakness and tapered off nature of the game’s enemies contributes to the inability to differentiate. I cannot determine what is not there. crocodile entertainment banked on zack zero having an adventurous feel, with long levels coming in all kinds of shapes and sizes, topped off with zelda puzzling. the puzzling is nice and has far more thought put into it than the platforming, but it is not good enough to carry the deadweight of the game’s core. never, if maybe one time, are the player’s powers expected to use in tandem in the game’s puzzles. they’re more like glorified locked doors; the player finds then performs the told and unchanging solution, with the variable being only which power is the solution.

zack zero’s implementation of fighting combat is, as very well expected, ignorant of its placed genre, and as a result nothing other than offensive. there are two identical punches, a homing disk-something shot, and a myriad of elemental powers. zack zero’s model is unemotive and his bland animations could be called serviceable. the fire and ice powers have particles that go beyond and obscure their hitboxes, blind the player, and look particularly garish, most especially the terrible bloom-or-whatever happens when you do a fire explosion. earth attacks are relatively goofy but at least look and feel the best. enemies typically have more exciting fighting animation and presence than zack does. in between boss phases are combative cutscenes - these really show how dead and uncharismatic the protagonist is during combat. zack always has super armor, his attacks are all fast and strong, there is no clear reason to use some attacks over others, the depth of strategy is close range or long range. which of course means that long-range is the best option. that besides, earth attacks do overwhelmingly more damage than other attacks with little sacrifice, when it comes to melee. bosses go down comically fast with nicely timed ground slams.

enemies do no more than approach zack and swing, or approach until contact. minibosses have attack patterns even more lame than a super mario boss, that is, they have one extremely easy to dodge attack performed over and over again. it doesn’t need to be said, though I’ll say it: the combat and enemy design all suck. in a complete move of utter unaware travesty, combat happens more than not within encounters, where every bad enemy needs to be beaten in order to progress. combat and platforming is rarely integrated and it is with flying enemies if it ever is. bosses start out as more puffed out versions of minibosses, then become the best part of the game. zack zero’s boss fights are the only aware and modernized aspect of the title and I can’t help but feel they’re not studied, just coincidental. nevertheless, the patterns become inventive, though never chaotic or dense, which is good and bad. since the game checkpoints between phases, bosses never offer a working challenge, yet it doesn’t stop the fights from being enjoyable.

sometimes the game has walkable floor that looks like it’s in the background. it’s really impossible to differentiate those sections from actual background. sometimes background looks like walkable floor, but then you find out it was the background. checkpoints are very frequent, so while I couldn’t get mad, I still found these moments so incredibly stupid. there is a leveling system, with experience points gained through collectibles, that locks out abilities. the combat sucks, so again I couldn’t get mad. either upgraded abilities deal no extra damage, or enemies level up with you, who knows, but I seemed to do the same damage throughout the whole game. the story is embarrassingly, hilariously bad, and the game would have been better off without any attempt at writing. the soundtrack is largely unfitting and I rarely if ever get that feeling about accompanied music. it’s strange how catastrophically bad elements of zack zero are and how it isn’t really felt in the game. it’s pitiable, the feeling I can’t shake, that crocodile really did try their best.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014

Great platformer - the keyboard controls work well / epic music :) 10/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
This game feels a bit like a puzzle-platformer because the player must choose the correct element in order to proceed past certain obstacles. The combat is pretty simple and enemies can be disposed of very easily. The learning curve is mellow and the overall difficulty seems pretty easy. I haven't played for more than a couple hours so the late game could change quite a bit. The pace of this game was just a bit too slow for my personal preference.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
From what I hear this game is under 5 hours which really sucks because it is so good but I suppose since I paid $1.50 for it I will get my money's worth. Not sure why its review status is "mixed". I think a lot of people are having technical problems with it. Sorry to hear that. I have 1.5hrs so far and I had one glitch where I was jumping around in a pit and my guy disappeared and the controls froze in place but the game was still going. Was weird but what was cool was that it allowed me to go to the main menu and reload the game to fix it and what was even cooler is that it started me right about 5 seconds before that part when I continued my game so it was no big deal. The graphics are good, the effects are great, sounds and music good, and combat is fluid and fun. The only issue I've had with the controls so far is that movement while in-air is a bit too touchy. Often times I am trying to land on a platform but I touch left or right and I fall past it and die. So I often have to jimmy the stick back and forth to land a jump right just like in a old SNES game, but it is not too bad and not really much of a problem, especially since checkpoints are generous. All of the elements are cool and work well: fire, ice, and earth, and whatever the normal power is called. I don't exactly know what the benefits of switching elements in combat to get a higher score are, so I just mainly use my normal powers to fight and don't really give much of a ♥♥♥♥ as long as I can still progress through the game normally. It isn't rocket science people.

Very fun all the way through, a real shame it has to be so short. 8/10
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
If you're looking for a AAA storyline and impressive cinematic quality cut scenes, or even decent humor, forget about it. However, as craptacular as the narration, which comes off more like story time in the kids section of the book store, it starts to fall in to that "so bad it's good" category. The plot is flimsier than dollar store toiler paper, but that's what makes it funny. It feels like it was written by a grade schooler, and the character designs reflect a lot of those same sensibilities.

The gameplay is your typical run and gun platformer ala Megaman X8/9. I use that example specifically because the different powers enable you to reach certain areas, depending on what you're trying to achieve.

The models and environments are fairly well detailed, so I think I would've liked to have seen more in-engine cutscenes as opposed to the concept storyboards and would've liked to have had a voice attached to the comm notifications.

All that said, I paid a buck for this and got a lot more than that in value. Zack Zero shows a lot of promise, but go in it for the old school run and jump gamplay of the nintendo era, and try to not cringe too much at the storyline or the narrator's booming voice.

Other games like this would be Rochard and Shank.
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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
I got this in a bundle. Feels buggy, laggy, and rushed. There are a lot of better platformers to choose from. This doesn't stand out aside from the nearly interesting character design, though even that doesn't quite all mesh together well.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2014
-Game broken for ati videocards and got glitches.
-Game looks nice and got nice video just gameplay not that super.
-Shows keys for a console when i use pc.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
Cool looking world and creature designs.
Controls are... meh.
But the big issue was the glitches. I got trapped in the wall and had to quit out.
Between the glitching and kinda weird feeling controls ( not bad, just feels... off) i decided not to continue on.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
Zack Zero is a game for an obvious young child target audience, although some of the content is questionable, the story is narrated and designed for children roughly under the age of 10. The visuals are quite good and the characters designs as well are something out of a saturday morning cartoon. The game's platforming isn't bad with the multiple forms you can transform into offering a variety of ways to progress (some forced), and although easy, it keeps in mind its target audience. The combat is also easy, and can be summarized by pressing attack and letting the lock on do its work, it takes essentially no skill but does allow the game to be accessible again to the very young demographic. Dying also seems to be of minimal penalty, further lending to the genre, which is made to be accessible. The drawbacks to this game are twofold, the first are that there are some technical issues and even I got frames per second drops occasionally without any apparent cause and the second is that if you are outside of this game's target demographic you likely will not enjoy the experience. That being said, if you are looking for a platformer for your child under 10, this game is a decent choice.
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5 of 10 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
Good game, good idea behind it.

A bit too much spam by Crocodile Entertainment in game, if you pay for a game and you see some marketing in an intro thats fine but this one spams you trough the entire game.

At this point you might think, why would you not recommand it if its mostly good, well this is why:

The game got horrible gameplay, as in second worst I ever seen.
The gameplay is everything but smooth, it feels like playing an emulated game within an emulator within another emulator which is hosted on a virtual server with too less resources and you're accessing it trough and rdp session within an rdp session within an rdp session.

Idea for the game: 8.5/10
Graphics: 6.5/10
Gameplay: 2/10
Implementation and excecution: 3/10

overall feel, 4/10
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39 of 47 people (83%) found this review helpful
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2014
Illegitime child of Trine and Mega Man!

At the beginning I have to deny some informations pointed in negative reviews.
- Button delay - I had no problems like this one. Controling character was intuitive and easy.
- Graphics issues - I've played Zack for over 10 hours and I never had any problems with visual side of game.
- Game crash a lot - Never happened to me... not even once.
- Bugs - During gameplay I saw only one type of bugs - in-game enemies.

I do not know why so many people have problems with this game, but maybe you should learn how to properly configure your Windows and gamepads before you blame developers for all the evils of this world?

This is not a hardcore platformer. Even Steam achievements are enough easy to make 100% and get another "perfect game". It's a platformer, where you can experiment while searching for hidden objects. Even if you fail, game saves your progress every time you do a few steps, so it's not a problem to do searches like "I don't think there's a precipice, but let's check that place just in case...".
Puzzles are not very challenging and even a child should be able to resolve all of them very quickly.

As everyone can see on screenshots game is maintained in cartoon style, which is very similar to Pixar movies. In my personal opinion it's a good option for 2,5D productions like Zack. Animations are fine and cutscenes are quite interesting.
In-game music stimulates the atmosphere appropriate places, but is definitely not memorable. I forgot it already, and just 2 days have passed since I've finished this game.

Story is trivial, but be serious... do you seriously expect every game to be Sherlock-Holmes-Story-Telling-Level?
In Zack Zero storyline fits gameplay and game concept. I think it's more than enough.

I can truly recommend this game to young players and for everyone who like platformers, but not hardore ones where you can easily break your gamepad.

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26 of 32 people (81%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 14, 2014
I got Zack Zero in a bundle. I opened it up to idle for cards.
I did not expect to play it. I did not expect to LIKE it.

Needless to say, I was surprised.

Zack Zero is cartoony-style and reminds me of Ben 10 almost, in the "I-have-different-powers-that-do-things". This game has a retro feel to it, like this is something I would have played on a previous generation of consoles, similar to Tak. It's controller-friendly, and after looking at reviews I saw people complaining of input-delay but I did not experience any of this with my Onza or my FusionA.

Zack has the power of fire (fantastic for dealing with enemies), earth (great for breaking through ground, and good for AOE), and ice (slows down time, and freezes enemies). He also has his regular suit for when you run out of power. It regenerates pretty fast, so don't worry. So does the health. Overall, it's pretty forgiving. There's no lives, so no penalty on dying except for having to redo the jumping puzzle you JUST DID. There's also some hidden treasures to find.

I'm not saying Zack Zero is a great game. It's not. It's a good game. It's nothing original. But it's FUN to play. It's a nice break. Sometimes we need that.
Don't look too deeply. It's a 2.5D side scrolling platformer that's mostly polished and is a nice break for several hours. I absolutely recommend it.

I enjoyed my time with Zack Zero, and although I am not sure if it's worth the full ten, this week it's on sale for a buck and you'd be silly not to get it for that price. (and it has cards!) Also, if you've got kids in the house I'll bet they'd love it as well.
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014
Got this game during the weekly sale for $0.99 USD, and it is definitely worth paying and playing if you enjoy action platformers.

If you like platformers, chaining different combos for that wonderful score multiplier, and large areas to explore, then you will really like this game.

The aesthetics are very good with lots of detail in the environment. The music is nice and is appropriate for the action and atmosphere.

The controls are not overly complicated, however, chaining different combos can be fairly challenging. The learning curve is moderate, again with most of the difficulty due to the combos (if you care about increasing your multiplier to maximize your score). I strongly suggest using a control instead of the keyboard. You do not use the mouse when you play this game (even in the menu screen).

I think the game may not be fully optimized for Windows 8.1, as I cannot seem to be able to change the resolution to anything besides the default (1280x760 i believe). If I change it to anything else, the game appears to zoom into the top left, so it seriously obscures your field of vision (impractical to play this way). I do not believe there is a resolution fix at the moment.

The game starts off with a helpful tutorial that lets you most of the available skills - its similar to the original Assassin's Creed where your character is maxed out, then you start the real game debuffed back to level 1. You even get to see the stats screen that strips away all of your skills and levels.

You have 4 different suits: regular, fire, ice, and earth. You can switch to any at will, but the elemental ones drain energy - and you will automatically switch back to regular Zack once you deplete your bar (it refills fairly quickly). Each suit has different abilities and uses. For example, the fire suit can shoot fireballs (surprise!), glide in the air, and also moves the fastest. The ice suit can slow down time (extremely useful for navigating through numerous environmental hazards) and use ice attacks, freezing enemies. The earth suit cannot jump, however, it is essential for breaking through destructible obstacles and getting to secret areas.

During combat, if you switch suits and vary your attacks, you will boost your multiplier (resulting in boosts to your score). This can be tricky to master in the beginning, especially if you are not using a controller as the keys bindings are very close to each other. The game progresses in difficulty at a reasonable pace. The first few boss fights were pretty easy to defeat.

As you pick up the collectibles, you will gain experience for levelling up. I am pretty sure leveling up is automatic, as I have not been able to select which skills to invest in (mind you, I did not get very far into the game at the time of this review). There are secret areas with collectible trinkets for the achievement hunters. The stages are pretty big, allowing you a lot of space to explore.

Overall, I think any platformer junkie should give this a try, especially if you love chaining your combos and watching that multiplier go up. There is a scrolling bar that provides feedback on your score's global ranking, as well as its comparison against any of your friends who may have the game.


DJSF @DJSF's Rogue Reviews
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2013
This is very odd game.

On one hand, this is a modern platform game, with (very pretty) 3d graphics, online leaderboards and it's own unique little twists on on the genre.

On the other hand, this is a retro platform game, with a story and setting like something out of the 80s or 90s, and the cheesyness of that era is played dead straight, not the slightest bit self aware or toung in cheek.

To play this game is to step into a strange alternate world, where games matured technologically but remained exactly the same mentally. On that alone I'd say the game is worth playing, it's very much unique in how odd it is.

Unfortunatly, while I think the game is worth checking out on WTF factor alone. I can't really say whether the game is actually good or not. Personally, I find it to be a very fun platform game, but it's mix of old and new is so weird that I can just as easily see people being put off by it as I can see them liking it.

This is very much a "love it or hate it" deal.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 26, 2014
Good little side-scroller. Interesting suit mechanics keep the game fresh, and the art style is really enjoyable to take in while playing.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
30.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 29, 2014
Nice game. Visually pleasing for sure. Played it on the PC. Loved it. Alittle buggy, but I can deal.
If you make it for the Mac I'll buy again. Love the rich colors bro.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 17, 2014
I bought this game while it was on 90% discount sale. A really good 99 cents investment. Zack Zero is an excellent platformer with graphics color palette similar to sudeki with character movement similar to earthworm jim. The game has some decent cutscenes although the voice-over isnt as good as i would have appreciated; however not bad.

+Good Graphics for a 820MB game
+Fluid gameplay, no lag, no jitters unless youre in contact with enemies
+Earth, Fire and ice power morphs for gameplay variety
+Hidden locations with hidden items for a slight challenge giving it a slight puzzle game feeling
+Cutscenes with voice-over/narration
+Automatic checkpoint saves so no issues if your character falls off the platform/dies or you quit abruptly
+Fictional Alien planet exploration
+No game-bugs experienced in my time spent playing this game on my system which isnt really "latest"

-Voice-over sub-par
-Linear Storyline and slightly cliched
-The hidden levels and puzzle attempts are rather simple. Slightly more complicated situations would have been nice.
-Powers recharge very quickly so theres less strategizing on budgeting power usage. Its more about using variety of powers to get a better score

The cons mentioned arent really cons in my opinion. Ive just laid them out for those expecting those aspects.This review is strictly my opinion. I will definitely recommend this game especially when on sale. It has a very nostalgic feel to it and is a lot of fun.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2013
It looks fantastic for a budget title. It's mainly a 2d platformer, but it has some neat 3d effects going on. The game is very unoriginal. I still had fun playing through the game which lasted around 5 hours to finish. The checkpoints are very generous, especially for the bosses. This one is more geared for the younger crowd. There were some graphical glitches. I've played worse.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2013
I've tried to play it for an hour or so. It's a great looking game, easy to pick up. I'd actually like to complete it, but the controls feel awkward to me, and cannot be modified from the keyboard setup defaults.

It's obviously an XBox port, as the controls are shown via an xbox controller, and I am certain that this game would be MUCH more enjoyable if you have one you can plug into your PC to play this one with.
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 28, 2013
Quite fun platformer with very decent graphic. Unlike Trine where you control in-turn 3 characters, you only control one but he can swap form when fighting enemies or maneuvering through the levels. Later you can also allocate skill points to invent your own fighting style ala Diablo 2. Not original design, of course, but it's quite well made.

Graphic is full with vibrant color and background level is detailed enough - something that must be appreciated.

But frankly I find the narration, storyline (to save this thing and that?) and voice acting a bit cheesy, but err... not a big deal. Hacking and slashing are more important.

Metacritic is definitely too off 56 for this kind of game seriously?

If you're a fan of platformer you'll definitely like the game. And it's been bundled several times so quite cheap on the market. Recommended game.
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