A deep fantasy role-play experience combines with addictive puzzle gameplay in this collaboration between Square Enix and PopCap.
Gyromancer is developed and published by Square Enix, with a helping hand from the casual game masters over at Popcap, and is available on XBLA and the PC, via Steam. Step into a fantasy world where the player will summon great beasts in order to fight enemies. Follow through the classic Square Enix fantasy storyline and find new creatures to summon and great treasures to collect.
A couple of years back, Puzzle Quest appeared on the Xbox360 and took the gaming world by storm. Following a simple formula of providing an RPG style experience that revolved around the puzzle behemoth that is Bejeweled, the game instantly appealed to a wide audience and was an instant success. Now Square Enix have decided that they can do the Puzzle Quest thing, only better. Taking their experience within the RPG market and combining it with Bejeweled’s older sibling, Bejeweled Twist, Gyromancer was born.
The games premise is simple. Travel a map, collecting treasaures and fighting battles. Battles are fought by summoning creatures. These creatures are represented by cards, not too disimilar to Pokemon or Magic: The Gathering, and can be found on your journeys around the map. Choose a creature to summon and let them fight in order to level up and become more powerful.Sounds simple? But we have not even discussed the puzzle element yet.
Based on Popcap’s Bejeweled Twist, gameplay is as follows. The player selects a group of four gems and rotates them 90 degrees clockwise, in order to make rows or columns of three or more matching gems. Continue to do this and the players ability bar will fill, as will his opponents. Match a group of gems with the same colour as your creature and your bar will fill quicker. Match a group of gems with your opponents colour and his bar will fill slower. Once the bar is filled, a gem will appear on the board that must be destroyed in order to damage your opponent. If their bar fills, then a gem will appear that must be destroyed within a certain number of moves, otherwise damage will be inflicted upon your creature. That is basically how the game works.
There are two different aspects to this game, the Square Enix production values and the Popcap puzzle game. For Square Enix’s part in this game, they have done a fine job. Gyromancer is both great to look at and well polished with some really nice effects added to the puzzle game. The storyline, although a bit slow at times, provides fans of Square Enix RPG’s with another dose of what they do best. But Popcap’s contribution with yet another take on their addictive casual puzzle games, is what makes Gyromancer great. The gameplay is simple to pick up, yet difficult to master, partly due to the seemingly fluctuating difficulty levels. At times, the player will find themselves hurtling through encounter after encounter with surprising ease, only to come unstuck upon what seemed at first to be a simple adversary. This can be frustrating, but the games addictive nature will ensure that you keep coming back for more.
Whilst perhaps not as exciting as the original Puzzle Quest, Gyromancer offers a more mature challenge with more depth. And its a damn site prettier aswell.