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~=  REVIEW OF THE ZOOM PLATFORM REVIVAL  =~

It has been 20 years since anyone has been able to casually play Killing Time for the PC (apparently the original source code was considered lost for ages, and was recently rediscovered).  Thanks to the Zoom Platform, we no longer have to struggle with Virtual Machine settings or shop for Win95 computers.  This release is in fact a heavily modified retail master of the original game, made to finally, FINALLY run on modern systems: basically, you get the full experience of playing this game in 1995, but without suffering Windows 95 itself in the process.  I gave it a few test runs to see how well the Zoom team did in porting this Win95 relic to modern computers.  Naturally this decision was in no way influenced by the free copy I received from them (thanks, fellas!).

I was pleasantly surprised by its smooth performance: even at the largest screen size setting, I suffered no lag whatsoever.  Granted, I first played Killing Time on a crappy laptop with a blurry screen in 1998, so I was probably going to be impressed by the frame rate regardless.  Many times I try to run old games and have major issues with the frame rate, or sound lag, or crashes, or other issues that I'm not savvy enough to fix -- this is especially true with Win95 titles, which typically loathe anything that isn't Win95 -- but I have yet to encounter any issues with running this game on my outdated and mediocre factory-made computer.  So even if you're a noob at running old software (like me), you shouldn't have any trouble.  If you do happen to have issues with the FMV sequences, fret not, for you receive a second shortcut that runs the game without cutscenes.

There's a big issue with using the gamepad for me, and I'm not sure yet if it's common for everyone or just my gamepad: control is so sensitive that merely tapping left or right instantly spins me around 180 degrees. It's basically useless, and the controls can't be mapped. Some haven't had the same issue, so it's likely my Logitech gamepad conflicting with the software somehow. Mouse control is slightly better, but still not great because it's mid-90's FPS mouse control: sliding the mouse moves you forward and backward, since mouselook wasn't yet invented. But again, this version is a retail version of the game jury-rigged to work on modern systems: if the dev team has access to the source code, hardware compatability will hopefully no longer be an issue in the near future.

Anyone who hasn't had the chance to play PC Killing Time, and always wanted to, now finally has the chance.  Play it back-to-back with the 3DO version and decide which one you prefer, and tell me to stuff my opinions while I'm at it!  The Zoom guys also tell me that anyone who buys the current build now will get free access to the source code build for Windows, Mac, and Linux at no extra charge, and the extra goodies won't jack the price up for new buyers -- the pricetag will remain at $5.99.

In the meantime I'm looking to get my hands on more Killing Time assets for you modders who are anxious for them.  Sit tight, and keep your fingers crossed.

- Mike, 1/14/2016





Killing Time is property of Studio 3DO.

Website managed by Mike MacDee (at yahoo dot com).
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