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 (215 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 29, 2013
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Reviews

"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

    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
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 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 1, 2014
Just a short review as a warning: stay clear from this one! Not for the gameplay - it actually looks good and plays great - but for the technical shortcomings, which are all too plenty. Just check the discussions going on: loads of people are having trouble with this game. Many of them can't get it started, or need quite some complicated action to get it running. This is technically not a finished product - anyway not on Steam, right now. Maybe "early access", and even then. Is Valve getting overwhelmed a bit by the plethora of new idie-games coming out so that they can't keep up to their usual high technical standards? Let's hope not....
As for me: this game managed to crash to a blue screen of death and a hard reboot three times in a row, after which I gave up on it. And yes, I do have a very stable system with crashes almost non-existent, certainly no hard reboots.
So unfortunately, I cannot really speak of the gameplay. For the 20 minutes of so I managed to be in-game, it looked pretty funny, with lots of action, good graphics, and quite some humour. Alas, technical issues ruined this one for me.

Overall rating: 2/10 (possible 7/10 or higher if the technicall issues were not there).
Sad, really.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 18, 2014
for $1 game, it's pretty good
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 5, 2014
Seems a little weird on the controls at first, you warm up to em quick though. Love the cutscenes... gameplay is fairly straightforward. Reminds me of old snes platformers. Enjoying it so far.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 16, 2014
Zack Zero is pretty terrible. I spent my entire playtime grumbling about its bad physics, confusing graphics, and groan inducing story. And yet, for some reason, I would still say that I enjoyed it overall.

You play as a superhero who can switch between four elemental forms, each with special powers for both fighting and moving around. Jump on platforms, fend off bad guys, maybe collect gems and treasures if you feel like it. Fairly standard platformer. The game is generous with checkpoints, so if you mess up it's no big deal. Perhaps the casual nature is what kept me going. When badness creates difficulty, progress ceases and I quickly stop caring. This game may have been lackluster, but at least I was moving through it at a decent rate.

The use of the 2.5-D perspective is one of Zack Zero's weakest points. The camera often zooms and rotates as you move through the level, which can be disorienting. It's also sometimes ambiguous what you can and can't stand on. The physics are also pretty bad. Jumping feels subtly awkward. I can't really explain it, it just feels somehow off. Then there's this glitch where you clip through a wall or floor. If it's the floor you just die and go back to the last checkpoint, but if it's a wall you may get stuck and have to go back the the main menu, which is annoying. In all cases it happened when I was touching stacks of crates, so I guess destroy those from a distance.

The art style seems to draw inspiration from Man of Action and Filmation fantasy. Cutscenes were fairly entertaining. The story is an F-5 cliche storm in which you rescue your girlfriend from an evil overlord. It has the good sense not to take itself seriously, but I don't think a silly tone excuses lazy writing. Good mechanics could more than compensate for it, but this game has no such luck.

One thing I'll say in the game's favor is that it has a handful of actual boss fights. Not just recycled minibosses (though it has those too), I mean unique enemies with lots of health and attack patterns and weak points and the like. That seems to be missing from a lot of modern games, so it's nice to see it happen here.

As I said, I enjoyed Zack Zero despite its problems, and to an extent because of them. If you like casual platformers, have a soft spot for cheesy adventure cartoons, and can get it cheap/bundled, this game may prove... acceptable.
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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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1 of 1 people (100%) 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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1 of 1 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
27.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 16, 2014
In a nutshell: if you like the game's visuals and platformers as genre, buy it. (If you can get it from bundle or on sale, it's actually a great deal.)

Little longer: Zack Zero is a classic platformer: linear levels with secrets, enemies to defeat, and coins - in this case green disks? to collect. There is a little tweak: Zack has his human + 3 elemental-imbued form, each with different abilities (faster, can surf in air, slow but great defense) besides 2 activable abilities. In combat each of them can be useful, but managing over the map and storyline or reaching certain spots (and secrets) you need to use specific abilities. These features are good additions to the gameplay, but nothing broundbreaking or really new here.
The game is quite family friendly: there is absolutely no blood or gore in the game - robot enemies explode, others just "shatter". You can watch it in the game's trailer. It's like a saturday morning's superhero cartoon.
Positives and negatives

+ Nice graphics with beautiful elemental power effects
+ Enjoyable gameplay: platforming not too hard (experienced players will find it rather easy), and there are lots of checkpoints (not indicated ingame)
+ Cool-looking cartoon animation to the storytelling between levels
+ Easy achievements: can be done in 1 walkthough, or artifact collecting by "select level" option.

- Bugs (RARELY) : Not as bug-ridden as older reviews claim, but there are some clipping issues with animation. In my 26 hours of gameplay ( ~ 1.5 walkthrough) I found one platform I kept falling through when tried to jump from, and one wall I stuck in it. Second can be considered as game-breaking, had to exit to main menu then continue from prev checkpoint. Lost ~ 5 minutes of game, nothing serious.
-You start with your suit at level 20, then it gets downgraded to level 1. You see each abilities with power levels decrease, losing powers. Yet during the game your suit levels up, but you can't check/there is no indicators, for when will you get for example the stone spikes power.
- And sadly a real pain: at certain points denied backtracing. Platforms cease to exist backwards, you fall somewhere and can't climb back, things like this. But there is a "select level" option at main menu, so you shouldn't be troubled if you're going for maximising points or collecting artifacts.
- I don't remember which one, but one boss fight was just plain terrible: the camera focus is glitched or something, I had to fight while being outside of the screen. As there is 3 or 4 checkpoints even in bossfights, it's not that hard, just a really awkward situation.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014
I won this game in the Christmas Gem-raffle, farmed the cards, sold them for profit.

10/10 would do again.
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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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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
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 27, 2014
Not bad,really coloful thing
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 31, 2014
oh man, one of the worst sidescrolling games i've played..only buy it if its 2$ or less

there's so much bug and glitches, while walking you'll suddenly fall off a cliff or get stuck inside a wall or a boulder, happened to me like 5x and that's just the 1st stage which is very short.. imagine the longer stages

the game does not offer invincibility when knocked down by enemy and you cannot regain or recover from knockdown while on air or on the ground, in short an enemy can keep on hitting you while you're knockdown or keep on using the same skill that sends you high up the ground in a knockdown state until you're dead..

gets too repetitive im only on the 2nd stage and im bored already.. waste..much like crash bandicoot only worse
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 5, 2014
i dont know the game looks nice and interesting but it when i found out the pilot its very genric save the girl blah bah blah and it just wasnt fun for me
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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
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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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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37 of 44 people (84%) 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.

8,5/10
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