Zoom the Super Bear

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How to play Zoom the Super Bear

Each game uses different controls, Games can a combination of mouse,keyboard and Joystick.

Zoom the Super Bear Description

One of the larger recurring themes to my Andrew-Jonathan strip is Cousin Zoom, a timid librarian with a prophetic name. For reasons unclear, A-J’s grandfather is a wizard. Some wires crossed, his cousin found himself in the wrong place at the right time, and he became a superhero.

In developing the character I know that I was conscious of the SuperTed cartoon. My spin was a little different, though. Although Zoom gets the disguise right — he not only drops the Clark Kent spectacles; he dons a Zorro style mask — he keeps the same name in both guises. He also becomes a hazard to friend and foe alike.

Inspired by Taito’s Superman Arcade game, I chose to do something a little different with RSD’s engine. I alternated side-scrolling action levels with overhead shooting segments, and I ramped the difficulty way down to make the game accessible.

The lower difficulty worked together with some new concepts to gloss over some of my earlier awkwardness. Flight removed the logical problems of platform mechanics, and a bulky sprite with full player control improved collision in the shooter levels. The engine was still awkward, but the game worked within its box.
Blasting up the sea base in Zoom the Super Bear

Zoom cohered well enough that people seemed to actually play it. Although I have no metric, it seems like the most widely distributed of my games. Often people would describe it as a children’s game, presumably because of the bear. That always confused me, as even with its lowered difficulty the game was still pretty tough.

Around the turn of the millennium Zoom turned up on a few major download sites. I recall that ZDnet gave it three stars out of five, which although unremarkable made me rather proud. By that point the game was five years old, running in a weird engine, and far from my best work — but someone who reviewed this stuff for a living still found it adequate. So, hey.

This game underwent a bunch of revision when Game-Maker 3.0 came around. In particular all of the menus and interfaces got an overhaul.

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