Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review Rewind: Gyro13

I hate to admit it, but it's not too often I get completely hooked on an Unreal powered iOS game. It's basically hit & miss when it comes down to it, and there's only been a couple of games done with the Unreal Engine that I've completely fallen into. Gyro13 is one of them. With it's great old-school like arcade gameplay, drive to better your times and master each and every level and, of course, the outstanding graphics, Gyro13 is, above and beyond, one of the best mining games I've ever played, and on the iOS it sits right up there with Gene Effect. If you haven't snagged Gyro13 during one of it's MANY sales, you can grab it now for $6, but if you're patient, it does drop down to $1.99 or even $0.99 about once a month, though I don't regret the $3 I paid for it during it's launch sale, and completely feel that it's one of few Unreal powered iOS games that's deserving of it's semi-premium price point, but let's face it, if you drop your price down to a buck every month, people will wait. But check out the review, and maybe you'll realize why Gyro13 is still on my device a year after it's release. 

**Note: This review was written after playing Version 1.0

Gyro13 is a physics based helicopter arcade game developed by Cinemax. Within the game, you’ll pilot a steam powered helicopter through South American gyroxide mines while picking up stranded miners, and avoiding hazards, obstacles, and navigating through wind-gusts and sometimes extremely narrow paths. Gyro13 builds on old-school gameplay while using extremely polished graphics, and top notch physics. 

Cinemax used the Unreal Engine to develop Gyro13, and it quickly joins the ranks of Dungeon Defenders and Infinity Blade in terms of amazingly beautiful graphics right at first glance. The environments are awe-inspiring, making it hard to go through the levels quickly. But since the atmosphere is toxic, you must get the miners to the safe-zone before they run out of air, and die.

Each of the 24 levels are designed brilliantly. The amount of thought that has gone into the path you will take while making it through level after level is insane. The hazards and objects that will make it harder for you to make it quickly through the mines are also very intelligently, and thoughtfully added, being placed and positioned with immense care. Big active windmills, huge pendulums quickly swinging, mechanical hammers, doors that require you to open them, mines that follow you along with mindfields to navigate through and gusts of wind that can send you directly into the side of the mines are just some of the objects you’ll need to maneuver our helicopter through.

Luckily, Gyro13 has great controls that make flying through even the more narrow corridors a task that can be accomplished even while rushing to the end of the level. You’re given a boost button, which, of course, boosts the rotation of your blades, sending you in the direction that you’re angled at, a slider bar that controls left and right movement, and a gun that gets rid of pockets of toxic gas, and mines, that‘s activated by touching anywhere else on the screen. These controls are, by default, boost on the left, slider bar on the right, but you’re able to flip these in the options menu. This set-up works exceedingly well, and actually gives players more control than you would think. Rushing through levels, you’ll end up narrowly escaping death hundreds of times, most of the time by almost running into an un-seen object. With the control set-up, you’re able to graze the sides of the mine, along with other objects, by flying at a tilted angle, using the objects to push you in the other direction by using the air pushed off of the propellers. Summed up, the controls work exceedingly well because of the top notch physics.

To top it all off, the soundtrack is astounding. I actually paused the game on levels 15 and 16 this morning, plugged my iPod into my stereo, and listened to the tracks on repeat for about an hour. The music adds so much to the feel of the game, it’s a shame I know a couple of people that are going to turn it off while they play just because they refuse to listen to any game music while playing games, but this is yet another game that will be added to my “I seriously hope they release the soundtrack on bandcamp or iTunes” list. The effects fit in with the music as well, the sound of the helicopter and the sounds for running into walls, machines, or picking up miners all fits in with the atmosphere that the music brings. 

So by now, you probably think that Cinemax has paid me to write up this review, and might have blown me off as another sold soul, but I assure you, that is not the case. This truly is one of the best iOS games I have ever had the pleasure of playing. It’s incredibly immersive, has amazing graphics, superb animations, intelligent level design, great music, top notch physics matched with outstanding controls, and, of course, awesome gameplay. It’s no surprise that the game is $5.99. I really hope that more developers start putting this amount of work into their games, and bring us more console-like experiences on our handheld devices. The pricing doesn’t bother me at all when the game could be sold on Steam for double the price. Gyro13 is also universal, so you’ll be able to see all the amazing graphics the way they were meant to be seen on your iPad as well. Cinemax has definitely raised the bar for immersive iOS arcade gaming with this release. I really can not recommend it enough.


So...I hate to say it, but.....I HATE this game! Bought it day one, just couldn't get into it!(seemed slow and...laggy?) But, Don't get me wrong, I love your review! Just my personal opinion.

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