Foreword: the partnership I was talking about in my post on International Karate+ did actually pay off, so as a second contribution to the cause here is a another article taken from RetroMagazine and dealing with Gyruss, also a great game of the past! Written by Daniele Brahimi, the original article is available for a free download HERE.
The beginning of the ’80ies was a period of coin-op machines, new dance music, expensive designer clothing, high-end sport bikes and cars and, often, space games. Gyruss was one of the best of them, capable to bring thousands of kids to the arcades (myself included) and to keep them glued to the monitors. Gyruss was published by Konami in 1983 (arcade version) and was soon followed by multiple conversions that made it up to the PlayStation 1 with the 1998 Konami Arcade Classic compilation. The game reviewed here is the 1984 Commodore64 port.
Upon game starts the player (originally set at the far end of the Solar System) will be advised that he/she is starting a “2 WARPS TO NEPTUNE” trip. Between a warp and the other, a full load of enemy ships will invade your screen with the only intent to take you down. Gyruss is actually one of those endless shooters that we have learned to know and to love, but unlike all those side/vertical scrollers, your ship is “locked” on an invisible circle that will enable you to fly around the screen on a 360° radius. Gyruss, then, is what we call a tube-shooter. Enemies and stars originate from the center and fly outward, thus giving the player the feeling of actually screaming toward his/her destination, almost at warp speed. Once you get to Neptune, a “3 warps” journey will commence, until you finally get to the Earth and clean up the entire Solar System from the alien invaders.
Once you get to the Earth the game will start over from the beginning, until you are fed up of it or … broke! The gameplay is not the only strong point of this software, originally designed at Konami by Yoshiki Okamoto and coded by Toshio Arima, but also the background music is pleasant and addictive. The whole game actually was, to the point that Daniele (who didn’t even remember its name) scavenged the internet until he found it out, retrieved a copy and started to play it again in order to write about it. Gyruss is indeed a classic, a game with a name that I always HAD to remember, since my friends and colleagues often use it as a nickname for me, being my last name so close to it (especially when you use cross-languages gibberish translations… LOL!). The game literally sucks you inside a warp that shows you how good shooting alien ships is (again), so in my opinion, it does deserve two thumbs up.
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