Forgot password?  |  Register  |    
User Name:     Password:    
Blog - General Entry   

Retro Review: Comix Zone

On 04/03/2020 at 08:42 AM by The Last Ninja

See More From This User »


This unique action game has you fighting through the pages of a comic book 

Comix Zone was developed by Sega Technical Institute (an American team) and published by Sega in 1995 exlusively for the Genesis. This is a very unique game (even today) as the protagonist fights his way through the literal pages of a comic book. When you jump into a new panel, a hand will suddenly appear and draw a bad guy for you to fight. It's such a cool idea, and they did a really good job with it. 

The story, as far as I can tell, is about a comic book artist named Sketch Turner. One night, as Turner is working on his story, a lightning bolt strikes the comic, bringing the villain to life, who somehow throws Turner into his own comic. Now Turner must fight through his comic as the villain draws bad guys for him to fight. Yes, this is a ridiculous plot, which is why is works perfectly. Let's be honest, most comic book plots are ridiculous too. 

pic 1

The presentation here is very strong. A lady named Alissa will pop up in the top corner every now and then to help Turner (she "recruited him" for the mission). Thought bubbles appear over Turner as you progress through the levels, and many times he talks to the bad guys too. The dialogue can actually be pretty good at times. Again, the villain's hand will appear with pencil in hand as he draws the very bad guys that Turner has to fight. Usually you'll only fight one bad guy at a time. 

Gameplay here is good too. The actual fighting is very basic, and enemies can block your attacks, making it a little tricky sometimes. However, levels will have puzzles here and there, such as hitting switches to open something or using your pet rat to access certain areas. Each level has a distinct theme; for example, level 1 has you moving through a ravaged New York City as you fight mutants in the sewers, level 2 is a Tibetan temple, and level 3 is an old ship. In addition to fighting and jumping, Turner can carry up to three items (one of which is his pet rat). Every now and then a bad guy will drop a health potion or an explosive. 

pic 2

The graphics are very nice. Each panel is brimming with color and details. I was especially impressed by little details such as the falling snow in the temple level or the moving water in the sewers. The game will often give you a split path, allowing you to choose which way to go, giving the game some variety and replay value. However, either way you take, you'll end up at the same boss at the end of the level. 

The biggest problem with Comix Zone is the difficulty. This game is brutal! There is no difficulty option, and to make matters worse, you only have one life and NO continues! So when you die, it's Game Over and you have to start at the very beginning. This is especially frustrating because certain things will kill you instantly, such as falling off a ledge or being too close to an explosion. Now, I did play this on the Genesis Mini, which has save states. Using save states is probably the only way to make real progress in the game, but it's still tough as nails. 

pic 3

Final Verdict--4 Stars: Recommended 

This is such a cool game, and there's still nothing quite like it. I recommend that you give it a try if you get the chance, but don't worry about beating it. It's one of those games that will take some patience if you want to make real progress. But the presentation is so cool, and the gameplay is pretty great, even if the overall game is a bit too hard. It's just a shame that they didn't give you a few lives and some continues. Not too many games are that stingy. 



Cary Woodham

04/03/2020 at 01:28 PM

Comix Zone was ahead of its time when it was released, but it's too darn hard!

The Last Ninja

04/04/2020 at 12:42 AM

Exactly, especially since they only give you one life! 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

04/03/2020 at 01:52 PM

I tried to play this once but fell down a hole and game over. Never touched it again. Heard it's interesting though. 

The Last Ninja

04/04/2020 at 12:42 AM

lol yeah, that's really frustrating. I don't blame you. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

04/03/2020 at 05:16 PM

I think they knew the levels were just two pages of comic book panels, so the difficulty was their way of extending playtime, but I would have been much more content with just some extra nonsense to add replay value to what's there already. 

Granted, the levels past one and two could be longer than I know, but I didn't get that far, because difficulty.

The Last Ninja

04/04/2020 at 12:44 AM

The levels are a good length, padded perhaps by the fighting and the puzzles. I just love the whole concept, and how each level is a specific theme. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

04/04/2020 at 04:03 AM

I too love the CONCEPT of this game. *ahem*

Something tells me Sega never quite got over bringing the arcade home and forgot that I didn't have any quarters to milk in that setting. 


04/03/2020 at 07:22 PM

I've played it several different times and never got very far in it. I do like it though. Save states sounds like a good idea. I should get that mini just for that. 

The Last Ninja

04/04/2020 at 12:44 AM

I think this game is impossible without save states. 

Log in to your PixlBit account in the bar above or join the site to leave a comment.

Game Collection


Friend Codes