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Zero Zero Zero Zero Review – Boy, That’s a lot of Zeros

Zero Zero Zero Zero Review provided by SwitchWatch.co.uk
Developer: Alvarop Games
Release Date: Feb. 7, 2020
Price: $4.99, £4.99, €4,99
Game code provided by Ratalaika Games
Game Size: 30MB

Zero Zero Zero Zero is a strange little game. It is a 1-bit, low-fi platformer that throws you into one-screen levels and expects you to clear them quickly a la Wario Ware-style. Zero Zero Zero Zero has a lot of zeroes in its name, but it is a game with a lot of charm and will not be getting a zero from m today. But how does this bizzaro, Atari-like game fair? Is it worth the asking price and your most valuable time? Well, do I have a review for you. Let’s dive in and see what this little indie is all about.

STORY

Umm… the story in Zero Zero Zero Zero. Hmm… well, there isn’t one that I know of. You play as a cowboy trying to dodge, shoot, and jump your way through 100 levels, but why am I doing this? I am not sure, but I honestly do not think it matters.

This kind of game does not really need more than that, though. It is a gauntlet, and some times it is just nice to play through a series of difficult levels just to see how good our platforming skills are. It is an arcade-like game at heart, and it just feels so much like an Atari game. And what Atari game needed a story, amirite?

GAMEPLAY

zero zero zero zero

The game is as simple to understand as it possibly can be, but do not let that fool you. It is a challenge, and some of the one-screen levels will beat you up.

There are two ways to play. Standard Mode gives you an infinite amount of lives to try and clear all 100 levels, and Hardcore Mode gives you one life to clear them all. The way the levels are presented is completely random, and this randomization is applied after each death or level completion. Both modes are timed, so you can keep track of how long it takes to clear.

The game controls really well and provides a lot of entertainment for such a small package. Fans of platformers will really enjoy the challenge they will face in each level, and speedrunners are going to have a blast learning how to one-shot all 100 levels without dying.

The cowboy only has two available actions; he can double-jump, and he can shoot his gun. You will need to learn quickly how to effectively use these actions to clear this gauntlet of levels. Some levels require pure platforming with no use of your gun while others heavily depend on gun use and dodging incoming bullets. However, a lot of them require both, and it does take some patience and skill to get through them.

It is actually a fun and enjoyable challenge, though, and one that requires repetitive play and practice to master. This is the kind of indie game that could make for a very entertaining Games Done Quick session, and I would not be surprised if it is included in a future event.

This is definitely not a game for people wanting a casual experience. Zero x 4 (hehe) is a challenge, but it is a fair one. It is fast-paced, a bit frantic, and can be a shock at first, but it is simple and fun and something very enjoyable for those looking for a quick burst of entertainment.

AUDIO

The audio in the game is spectacular. It is some of the best electronic music I have heard in an indie game in quite some time, and it made every level feel so much more alive.

Each time you clear a level, the music changes and does so organically. The pace and tone of the music just fits right with everything and makes for a grand time.

VISUALS & PERFORMANCE

It is very difficult to review graphics for a low-fi game. It is completely monochrome where the background is black and everything on screen is white. The developers did a really good job helping to differentiate good and bad objects by their design, since color is obviously not an indicator for anything.

It is clearly trying to look like an old Atari game, which is fine, but it is nothing to write home about, honestly. The game looks well enough, and it runs a smooth as butter.

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VALUE

Zero Zero Zero Zero comes in at 4.99 across all of the US, UK, and Europe. Personally, I think this is a bit high of an asking price, as it seems difficult to justify when the game is so purposefully low-quality. However, that does not take away from its nostalgic design, great platforming, and fantastic soundtrack.

When it comes to the game’s value, though, it just heavily depends on what you are looking for. If you are a lover of speedruns, this is an absolute banger. If you are looking for something casual, I cannot recommend this. Like most things in life, the value of this game is quite subjective, but I find it to just be slightly overpriced for what it offers.

  • Story - 6/10
    6/10
  • Gameplay - 8/10
    8/10
  • Audio - 10/10
    10/10
  • Visuals & Performance - 7/10
    7/10
  • Value - 6/10
    6/10

Summary

Zero Zero Zero Zero is a great little action platformer that is basically a 100-level gauntlet. Each stage is unique and fun, and the game controls wonderfully. It may not be for everyone, which makes the price a bit off-putting, but for those who starve for fast-paced and frantic platforming, this is a game that can satisfy that urge in short bursts.

Overall
7.4/10
7.4/10

Pros

  • Nostalgic graphics
  • Tight controls
  • Amazing soundtrack
  • 100 unique levels

Cons

  • Low-fi graphics are nothing to write home about
  • Price is slightly too high
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