Cool World plays by its own rules. Life bars are longer than they appear, squirrels wear fedoras and carry tommy guns, and you kill (most) enemies by sucking up their juices with a pen. If that sounds amusing, that’s because it is. Downright innovative, even. Unfortunately, the bulk of Cool World is a brutal puzzle-solving/platforming slog that suffers from terrible graphics and frustrating controls.
The first four levels are pick your poison: “Cool World Streets,” “Sweet Place Town,” and “Sweet Countryside” are a mix of bullet-avoiding, item-collecting, and a sense of malaise; only “Border Road” allows you to careen through the streets as a death-defying skateboarder.
Remember the pen? You can only kill fourteen enemies with it before you need an ink container which empties the pen for use again. Creativity is one thing, but that’s just overbearing design. If you don’t collect enough of the secondary weapons – bombs, cakes, carrots, etc. – to throw at the boss, you’ll have to reset the entire game as your pen does nothing, and if you die, you’re still out of the secondary weapon.
Cool World: because if you have to say you’re cool, there’s a good chance you’re a homicidal cartoon.
PUBLISHER/DEVELOPER: Ocean GENRE: Action
RELEASE DATE: 06/1993 – (US)