Average Playtime: 1 hour


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Z-Exemplar is a side-scrolling shooter in the tradition of R-Type, Gradius, Nemesis and other classic arcade games from the past. Borrowing its aesthetic from the computers of yesteryear (specifically the Sinclair ZX Spectrum) Z-Exemplar combines bright, bold, 8-bit pixel art with frantic action and an epic mission to conquer a galaxy of almost 1000 planets.

The Background

Z-Exemplar was conceived as a love letter to the ZX Spectrum. Proudly retro, the game embraces the limitations of its 8-bit inspiration to deliver a fast-action, guns-toting, laser-blasting quest with intuitive gameplay and long-lasting appeal.

But it's not just nostalgia for its own sake.

There is something hugely appealing in the 8-bit aesthetic, something that can be absent in photo-realism. There is space for interpretation, for imagination and a vague assemblage of pixels can evoke in players a different emotion from that engendered by more detailed, distinct images. With the added vibrancy of the ZX Spectrum’s colour palette, this pixellated aesthetic gives Z-Exemplar’s visuals a unique and distinctive feel.

On its surface Z-Exemplar's gameplay appears simple - shoot anything that moves and collect the booty they leave behind - but the over-arching goal of the game is anything but. You are tasked with conquering all 960 planets that make up a hostile galaxy with each planet's defenses uniquely configured. As you explore the outer reaches of the galaxy, the defenses become stronger and enemies more lethal and numerous. There is abundant challenge in Z-Exemplar, challenge that grows with your experience.

To turn the battle in your favour you can access an arsenal of over 20 upgradeable weapons that transform your basic fighter craft into a devastating war machine - selecting the right loadout for each planetary battle is essential.


  • 960 Unique planetary battlegrounds
  • 10 Planet themes
  • 21 Awesome Weapon loadouts
  • 16+ Hours of gameplay
  • A galaxy full of secrets
  • Conquest leaderboard - who'll be first to take over the entire galaxy?
  • Hundreds of enemy types
  • Huge end-of-level guardians
  • Authentic 8-bit pixel art style and audio
Release date
Ed Campbell
Suminell Studios
Ed Campbell, Suminell Studios
Age rating
10+ Everyone 10+

System requirements for macOS

  • OS: Mac OS X 10.8 or later
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Storage: 200 MB available space

System requirements for PC

  • OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 200 MB available space

System requirements for Linux

  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or later
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Storage: 200 MB available space

System requirements for iOS

iPhone 4, iPad 2 Wifi, iPad 2 3G, iPhone 4S, iPad Third Gen, iPad Third Gen 4G, iPhone 5, iPod Touch Fifth Gen, iPad Fourth Gen, iPad Fourth Gen 4G, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 4G, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad Air, iPad Air Cellular, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Mini Retina Cellular, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Cellular, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 3 Cellular, iPod Touch Sixth Gen, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Mini 4, iPad Mini 4 Cellular, iPad Pro, iPad Pro Cellular, iPad Pro 9.7, iPad Pro 9.7 Cellular, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad 6 1 1, iPad 6 1 2

System requirements for Android

2.3 and up
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Last Modified: Oct 22, 2019

Where to buy

App Store
Google Play

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Z-Exemplar reviews and comments

Translated by
Microsoft from French
Product received for free Z-exemplar is a shoot them up that has the double advantage of being a "tribute to the ZX Spectrum" and a shoot of its time. Pilot employed by an expansionist Empire (here, it changes the hope of mankind attacked), you will clean up planets that have not done you anything to annexing them to the Empire. Good point for this scenario. The game itself is played as an R-type (relatively few items on the screen, but big Hitbox and scenery that kill), with a single life but the ability to start every planet indefinitely. Obtaining the bonuses reminds a little of the series of Darius and salamander, with the button that must be left to press to move from one box of armament to the other. All the harvested Z will raise the gauge and the excess is used in the shop outside the missins to buy an upgradeable armament. The planets are very numerous and can be done in the order we want. The difficulty is well dosed. Regarding the graphics, it's like I said a successful tribute to the spectrum without being what a spectrum could have done. Behind the retro look are hidden processes impossible for the old machine. It is therefore a game in the spirit of the spectrum and not the porting of a spectrum game or a spectrum game developed on PC. If you like the colors in applat, the big pixels (but not droggy) and the combinations of original colors (white and yellow in particular), this game will please you, whether you have known the spectrum or not. The music goes perfectly with the graphics and does not interfere. As for the enjoyment of the game, it is maximal because the difficulty, punitive, is not unfair and the player can only take it to himself because the ship responds to the finger and the eye and the armaments can become very devastating. Note not the plant modules. Finally, the large number of weapons to buy and improve and medals (sorts of successes) to acquire make it a delight for collectors. One could blame him for the absence of French kocalisation, but maybe this will be corrected later, who knows;-) or the lack of sound options or difficulty, while the graphics options are there. So not much to criticize, especially since the price is well positioned. The more aesthetic spectrum, including music the playability mix of old school and recent ideas the difficulty curve well dosed the very abundant evolutionary armament months you have to love the retro style the absence of different levels of difficulty at the outset the lack of localization in French conclusion this shoot is a delamable game, fun to play, to taste to come back! Very addictive, that's good sign. Here we have a new classic in the lineage of his big brothers above-mentioned. Buy it and support this little developer.
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