#53 Gyruss

Posted: 17th April 2017 by Jeroen in Games
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595th played so far

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1983
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami

Time for another early game – I have some room for them. Time for another shooter – I need more of them. Just playing more gmae. Yeah!

Our Thoughts

So we’ve played Tempest and its many, many clones (several made by the same developer) plenty of times before. Gyruss uses the same basic formula of a tunnel you move your ship around, shooting inwards. In this case, there is just a single circle, no fancy shapes, and you don’t quite have enemies climbing up, but it felt somewhat similar.

What happens instead is that you get waves coming in from outside the screen, like so many other shooters following a formation. You have to both avoid and shoot them. Lots of them are colour coded and it creates the sort of groups we saw in Galaga.

Instead of reaching a formation at the top of the screen, however, they cluster in a central group. You can sort of see where they are, but they are mostly too deep to do much, and mostly avoid your shots. From then on, different groups swarm out at you, attack and return to the center until you take them all out. This means that if you do better early on – taking out more enemies – the second half of each level gets a lot easier. It creates a back and forth that is really rewarding.

The downside of this is that enemy behaviour and look gets repetitive more quickly. In the end it’s just avoid and hit until you’ve worn them down or they get you. It’s fun enough, but nothing that stays that exciting, really. Fun for a few rounds, but not as much (I suspect) as a home game unless you’re really good at it.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed playing Gyruss. It felts like it hit all the good parts of the shooter genre and created the sort of variety it needed – at least within the single screen formation based setup. I wouldn’t seek it out, but I feel that this is the game to imitate, not the likes of Tempest.