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Preview: ZPF

Do you like shmups? Of course you do! Genesis owners have eaten well with this genre, as the console has some of the greatest shmups of all time. That trend has continued long after its official retirement, and the latest addition is a highly anticipated horizontally-scrolling shooter called ZPF, which is nearing the final stages of its development for the Mega Drive. Created by a dedicated three-person team consisting of Gryzor Rozyrg, Mikael Tillander (the programmer of Tanzer), and jgvex.eth, this impressive-looking shmup has been in the works since 2020. The team is now preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign to secure funding for the final development phase and offer players the chance to obtain a boxed version of the game, which will be published by Mega Cat Studios.

ZPF promises a thrilling gameplay experience with its vivid and intricate graphics, including some amazing backgrounds, and a rockin’ soundtrack. Some specific features that set ZPF apart include mid- and end-stage bosses, an engaging scoring system, and three distinct playable characters – the Gold ship, Gradius ship, and Knight ship – each offering unique gameplay mechanics. One aspect of ZPF that I really liked in the latest demo adds a bit more strategy to its gameplay than most shmups. Along with the in-stage power-ups that can be found, defeated enemies yield currency that can be used to upgrade your weapons, much like Capcom’s Forgotten Worlds. This combination of features promises a rich and dynamic gaming experience that increases the game’s replay value. Additionally, for skilled players, ZPF offers hidden treasures and unlockables, providing extra layers of challenge and replayability. The game’s attention to detail and its variety of options make it a promising addition to the Mega Drive’s library of shmups.

As ZPF approaches its Kickstarter launch, fans of the genre and retro gaming enthusiasts alike have much to look forward to. With Mega Cat Studios’ support and the creators’ dedication, ZPF is set to become an exciting title in the world of Genesis shmups and another great title overall to add to your library. Mega Cat Studios has established a strong presence in the indie Mega Drive scene, publishing popular titles like Coffee Crisis, Phantom Gear, Tanzer, and Romeow & Julicat. Its involvement in ZPF’s release adds some real credibility and excitement to the project, as the company has become known for its quality releases. Interested players can check out ZPF’s entry on the Mega Cat website and subscribe to their newsletter for the latest updates on the Kickstarter campaign. In the meantime, check out the game’s latest demo and see why it’s good to be a Genesis owner in 2024.

A trailer was released a few years ago, so bear in mind that development has made significant strides since then. To whet your appetite even more, take a gander at our screen shots, taken from the latest demo release.


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