Tuesday, June 11, 2013 05:34:12

Review: Gyro Combines Minimalistic Design With Addictive Gameplay


What's round, constantly spinning, and is dangerously addictive? Gyro, that's what. Featured in popular channels like App Junkie's Addictive Arcade Action and Rands Roid, Gyro is a game that's fun and deceptively simple.



Red balls incoming!

Gyro has a simple premise: The center of the screen is dominated by a circle divided into three colors. Balls in each of these colors fly in from the sides of the screen. An incoming red ball must hit the red section of the circle; a blue one must hit the blue section of the circle, and so on. To make this happen, you have to rotate the circle.

So, spot an incoming blue ball, rotate the circle so the blue section faces this ball. If you miss and the blue ball happens to hit a red section of the circle, you take a hit. Take enough hits, and you die. As it turns out, this simple game mechanic is seriously addictive all by itself. There's something Tetris-like about this pattern-matching simplicity that just works. This is one thing that makes Gyro excellent: The core game mechanic is both simple and compelling.

Gyro Extras

Gyro's paid extras are fun, but not essential. This isn't a freemium that'll suck you dry of your money.

Now, on top of this, Gyro piles on the extras to make for some serious replay value. The base game is free, and also includes some power-ups and a points multiplier (as you progress, each good shot is worth more and more points). A couple of in-game paid add-ons will unlock things like Challenges and Hardcore mode. Challenges are custom levels with their own unique rules and quirks: the center circle changes size, rotates one way only, and so on. Hardcore mode makes it easy to die: The circle is divided into six sections, only three of which actually have colors. Hit the wrong color, or a section with a skull, and you die. One hit is all it takes.

Gyro Challenges

Gyro's challenges are custom levels with their own mechanics.

If Hardcore mode sounds a tad too intense for you (it is, for me), you might enjoy Time Attack more. This is a more relaxed take on the same mechanic, despite the scary name. You get 90 seconds to catch as many incoming balls as you can, and you can miss as many as you want: No way to die in this mode.

Graphics and Sound

Gyro colors

Gyro offers different color schemes, so you should have no problems even if you're color-blind.

The screenshots don't do this game justice, even if you click through for the full-resolution version. Yes, the graphics are simple and polished, but what you can't see is how things move. Everything is animated, including the menus and the Pause screen. Everything slides, and just feels super-responsive and alive.

On a more technical note, one thing that color-based games often forget is that not everyone actually sees colors the same way. Being color-blind, I find this particularly frustrating. Gyro remembers, and lets you pick between several different color schemes (although for me, the default works just fine).

Gyro doesn't have much of a soundtrack: There's no in-game music. The sound effects, however, are well thought-out and take an active role in the game. As your points multiplier goes up, the pitch of the sounds goes up with it.

Final Thoughts

Gyro rocks. The concept is solid, the graphics are beautiful, the controls are intuitive, and the sound only adds to the experience. A must-play.