By the grace of Jamie, I was presented with Gyromancer a few weeks ago. To her, I thank her for it, because without her… I’d probably still have a bit of a hard time getting the game. =D
Gyromancer as many blogs like Kotaku and Joystiq have posted that the idea of the game started off basically as a joke, but somehow got taken seriously. The polish of the game is something very unique… The combination of both Square-Enix and Pop Cap Games is quite a fusion. The game has simple Pop Cap game mechanics of Bejeweled Twist but the story line of a strong Japanese fantasy RPG as you’d expect from Square-Enix. It’s truly a game that is easy to start, but hard to master.
The basic game play mechanic is to rotate sets of 4 gems clockwise and when you match 3 or more gems vertically or horizontally, you generate power for your monster to cast spells. Once your monsters fill a spell bar with energy, then the monster is able to cast its spells. The caveat is that to empower your beast’s spells, you have to match the gems that are aligned with your beast. If you match gems of the enemy monster, you risk empowering them much more. In addition to this, there are also different monsters you can collect, but if you want to switch monsters… Your old one is considered “erased” in favor of the new monster. Thankfully, monster levels are based off of your character levels. Early in the game, they do not penalize you for “Idle Rotations” where you don’t break gems… However, later on, it becomes much harder as an one poorly thought move can completely botch your game. You do have items that can help turn the tides of war to your favor, but these come by so few and far between.
I’ll spare the details and cut to the chase… If you like puzzle games, Gyromancer may be for you as long as you’re fully aware that there is a challenge element to it. Knowing that the challenge element could enrage you, know you may have to take breather breaks from knowing parts of the game are all purely based on luck. If you’re fine with that, then by all means do get this game! However, if you’re expecting a deep RPG just because you saw the hallowed Square-Enix logo, this is not what you’re looking for…
Gyromancer is currently available on Steam and Microsoft’s XBOX Live Arcade for $14.99 and 1200 Microsoft Points respectively. However… For the 360 version, the challenge maps are an extra 240 Microsoft Points (about $3 – $5) and healing items in-game are purchased for 20 Microsoft Points (about $0.50). I would recommend the PC to avoid being nickle-and-dimed as the challenge maps are included.