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 (324 reviews) - 66% of the 324 user reviews for this game are positive.
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
Customer reviews
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Mixed (324 reviews)
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123 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
This game has great potential but also many flaws which can easily ruin the experience.

Do not expect some crazy hard game, it's quite easy instead. It gave me the impression it was made with kids as its main target. Mostly for the (italian) narrator voice but also because there a lot of checkpoints. A LOT. Even during boss-fights. This leads to an overall light experience, which can be a good change from those ultra hard games.

Level design and art style are without a doubt its selling points. Top notch. Colorful and variegated really draws you in.
What could let you down are some occasional bugs and faulty collision detections that may happen during your playthrough.
It also seems crashes are a bit too common. Have a look at the community hub as it has a lot of different solutions; I tried a few and I think it was disabling Steam overlay that did the trick for me.

If you're lucky and don't encounter any of the aforementioned problems, you'll be free to enjoy the variety of the levels while swiftly moving through them thanks to pretty smooth animations. I happened to run into what it looked like frame drops (not sure as, as said, I had Steam overlay disabled) during boss fight with lot of moving objects on screen (be it part of background or stuff to avoid in the foreground) which made it hard to fight and, generally, move. Luckily, it happened like twice in the whole playthrough. :)

What I found to be not good as the rest are:
- camera placement, which sometimes happened to be behind decorative objects who may prevent you to see Zack and/or enemies;
- changing suits, whose input keys doesn't seem to be as accurate as other keys (at least, if pressed during movements/combos. No problem if you only change suit)

Other small flaws may be found in translation (italian has a couple) and narrator (yup, again. Made me feel like a kid). All this narrator thing could be only a personal matter. Perhaps he voiced also some other kids' stuff and my brain unconsciously did the connection, so take my words with caution.

Found strange that there were no credits at the end, just a congratz message.. oh, and it clearly announced a sequel but I kind of have low hopes of it seeing the light, sadly :(
Achievement for completing the game may not unlock properly but don't panic. Last savegame places you to the very end and I read that just a reload may help. Mine unlocked only when I closed the game, after a couple of those reloads.

I've enjoyed my playthrough and want to encourage you to look beyond those flaws I've listed and give it a try. You now know what may expect you and it won't be difficult to beat.. I think you could end up enjoying it :)
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1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
Cannot recommend this game.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
55 of 73 people (75%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
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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32 of 38 people (84%) 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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15 of 20 people (75%) 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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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 23, 2014
Zack Zero, Bugged Hero

The game looks awesome, especially for an indie title...but the basic gameplay and storyline are actually pretty bland. The worst part of the game though is that there are a lot of glitches and can find yourself saved to an unwinnable save point, stuck in the back / foreground, or just have the textures go haywire on you. If you find it on a BIG sale (I picked it up 90% off), it may be worth your time...otherwise give Zack zero thought.
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9 of 12 people (75%) 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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10 of 14 people (71%) 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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12 of 18 people (67%) found this review helpful
38.4 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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Recently Posted
7XL Feraligatr guy
0.9 hrs
Posted: August 30
........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
..........''...\.......... _.·´
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13.3 hrs
Posted: August 24
Regardless of Zack Zero having a lame name, which I can only put down as a play on words and a hint towards the 'Ben 10' franchise as the game itself offers us no other reason for his name. Personally I found this game to be exactly what the main 3 developers at Crocodile entertainment...

Set out to produce and advertised it as, and that was to be a fun platformer dressed up to look 3d with a Saturday cartoon style about it all.

The fun aspects all stem from the fact that Zack Zero is a one man army with all the Mortal Kombat moves at his disposal that you could think of. Plus if he ever dies by falling off a cliff, you simply respawn with no loss to your characters gem and special item collection. So the whole adventure serves as a fairly stress free, lets blow all this kibosh up.

The story is that your girlfriend has got herself kidnapped by a very ugly looking relative of bowser. I really never thought bowser could look any uglier, but somehow he does. I guess in the evil lizard/crocodile/dinosaur/snapping turtle world fertility options are rather limited. Hence he kidnaps your girlfriend, he also holds her ransom for a chemical you have at your disposal which looks like something that would make Superman go hide behind the couch.

In Australia we have a saying, ‘If your girlfriend gets taken by a crocodile and her head doesn't resurface after three seconds. Go find yourself another girlfriend.' Zack Zero has a more beautiful blonde assistant at his side, and in truth I spent many hours of the game trying to convince Zack that this Marlene of his, who can't even bake us a cake like Princess Peach, is just not worth all the lava spitting frogs, the giant lobsters, the robotic spiders and all the other efforts needed in order to get her. The game constantly throws over 30 enemies at you through the various levels occasionally breaking up the action with small puzzles here and there which even a dog going to sleep on your keyboard could solve.

The game was originally designed for PS3 and then imported to PC and so it plays out extremely well with a controller. Its benchmark though is the developers attention to an imaginative, colourful world with stunning backgrounds, all of which are slightly inspired from one of the main developers earlier games known as ‘Phantis’ which can be found here...
Seriously how do you go from a rubbish game like ‘Phantis’ and then produce something quite extraordinary like this? They have my respect not just for that, but also because of the sheer guts and determination that they had to go through to get this product done in the first place. The game took 5 years to make in total, largely due to the lack of financial support that they received because the world was in a financial crisis at the time of this games design and banks were simply not lending out. Still they battled against innumerable odds, sleepless nights and risky financial letters to get this creation to us. A lot of heart and soul went into its design and that is easily detected by the sheer amount of illustrative detail into its artwork from the opening scene of the game right down to the very last scene.

There is 2 tally boards one which calculates the high scores which requires you to not only collect all the gems and special items in each level, but also to do it in the quickest time. The other tally board simply just calculates the time it takes you to get through each level using all of ZZ's special powers.

The biggest problem with the game to me is that the main protagonist really had no charisma about him, other than the fact that he knows how to blow things up. There are no corny one liners, no grandad jokes, no catch phrases or larrikin emotions which make him loveable. It’s like you control a cardboard cut-out with a rocket launcher attached. Likewise I had no invested emotions with Marlene his girlfriend and would have been more than happy to have dropped her pursuit at a drop of a hat. I tried desperately to convince Zack to swing the space ship back to his home world, plant his manly cardboard cut-out arms around his blonde assistant and sweep her away on a honey moon to a land free from Giant lobsters. Even the bad guys got more of a sensitive aww isn’t he cute out of me more than any of the good guys did. Hell even the invincible dodo chickens got more of a emotional response out of me than the main character did.

In final, a really stress free ‘let’s cause carnage’ platformer that leaves itself open for a sequel. If there is going to be a sequel then I want three things in it. 1) I want it not to take the developers 5 years. 2) Since a crocodile took my girlfriend, can we keep it Australian and have a dingo take my child? And 3) The Dodo Chickens in the game seem more invincible than my super powers can I pick them up and throw them around the place like a grenade at all the bosses in the game.

Thank you for making the game. Thank you for reading the review.

The below video is of me playing the first level and in it i demonstrate how indestructible those dodo chickens are.
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Postmodern Memes
4.9 hrs
Posted: July 31
Zack Zero is kind of odd. The story and voice acting is questionable. There are ocassional small bugs. But if like me you grew up playing platform games all the time this is probably for you. I have rarely seen so much care put into a game's animations, and the game as a whole has its own effective and cohesive style. Don't buy this looking for an hard game, as its one of the most forgiving games ive ever played, but do buy it just looking for a fun game.
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0.3 hrs
Posted: July 27
I played for 20 minutes, and then the game froze. Tried reloading, but froze again at the same point. Good for me, that was the excuse I needed to stop playing this. The game is not terrible, but the design is very uninspired, repetitive and because of that ultimately boring.
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0.2 hrs
Posted: July 16
When a game crashes 14 minutes in before you save but after you complete the initial level, that's just bad programming.

Waste of time.
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5.6 hrs
Posted: July 5
I got it for 15's GOOD! it's really really good! A platformer/beatemup style with elemental powerups. I really like it
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0.1 hrs
Posted: June 27
Runs like garbage. Tried it on a regular mid-range rig. Thought that was the problem. Tried it on 5930K running at 4.4ghz and Crossfired 290X Lightnings running at 1200/1800 and it still runs just as bad. It constantly stutters. Not sure why. It isnt graphically demanding. Its basically a 2.5 platformer. Looking at cpu and gpu usage I can only conclude that its poorly made. I mean, if I can run some of the most demanding games smoothly while maxed out you'd think I could run a <1gb Zac k Zero. Dont get this unless its free. Luckily I got the key for $1 in Mystery Key purchase. I wouldnt have bought this on purpose. If it ran smoothly I would say "great kids game". But, it runs like a@#
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0.2 hrs
Posted: June 20
This game shows flashes of awesome, but those brief positive bits are brought down by bad controls, poor level design, and a lack of polish. The four different suit types and their different mechanics are very interesting, similar to something like Trine where the level puzzles are built around different abilities at different moments. The controls are sluggish and sometimes inconsistent. I caught my character grabbing the ledge in one case, and completely missing it when running into it in another. The enemies can move in 3D space, but you're stuck on a 2D space. That makes for some really confusing combat moments where you think you hit an enemy, but you actually didn't and take damage from them instead. Overall, it just feels like a game that could have benefitted by a good bit of polish and different design perspectives.
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