Comix Zone - Beating Up Baddies

Watch on YouTube Comix Zone is a cute beat 'em up game. The game takes place in the context of the panels of a comic book: As you play through, the characters speech shows up as speech bubbles in the panels, and as you flip through each "book" of the game, you explore different scenery in the hand of the artist drawing the game.

As a result, the game feels a bit quirkier than a typical beat 'em up; panels offer multiple routes, by letting you choose which area to go into next, and a particular hard hit can knock an enemy right through the panel wall and into the next scene.

The game was relatively short, but would have been very challenging to beat without the use of save states (a mainstay in my wheelhouse as a retro gaming streamer). Initially, given the short length -- a straightforward playthrough would only take about 25-30 minutes -- I tried to beat the game legitimately... and found myself stymied by the relative difficulty of even the earlier panels.

The quirky art style is definitely a change from the typical beat 'em up game. The game is difficult, but enjoyable -- so long as you can make progress. While I sometimes long for the days of my youth, when I could simply enjoy doing the same thing over and over again, these days, there are simply too many other games out there to enjoy. So my recommendation is simple: get an emulator. Play through the game, but don't feel bad that you need to save yourself from certain death to finish it. It's a fun game to see, but not one you need to spend the next two weeks trying to beat.