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Gyro13 (iOS)
Game Reviews

Gyro13 (iOS)

Punishing difficulty and zero-tolerance missions may make this Unreal-powered stunner one for the most hardcore of mobile gamers only.

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While its punishing difficulty might keep most away from it, game developer CINEMAX just might have a hit on their hands with Gyro13. With its impressive Unreal Engine-powered graphics and challenging gameplay, hardcore iOS gamers might just meet their match with this title. You take on the role of a steam-punk gyrocopter pilot who’s charged with patrolling a deadly network of mines after a tragic accident causes them to collapse, leaving an army of stranded miners trapped inside their dizzying maze. To make matters worse, gas is leaking inside and slowly killing off the survivors, and now it’s up to you to make sure that doesn’t happen as you attempt to rescue them before they perish.

Those familiar with old-school classics like Joust and Choplifter, as well as more recent titles such as Jetpack Joyride, will already know how the control scheme plays out. There’s a thrust button on the touchscreen to make your copter move up, and you release it to fall down. There’s also a slider bar that’s used for steering your copter, as you’ll slide left to pull up and move backwards, and right to make the nose point down and move forward. Trying to make your way with these controls through narrow tunnels, explosions, and other obstacles can be a real challenge as first, as your copter will explode upon impact with any of them. There’s also a time-limit on each level, which further complicates your missions as you have to not only deal with surviving the increasingly narrow passages, but also having to decide whether or not to save the miners.

And it’s really that last part that gives Gyro13 its most strategic element, as most of the miners can be found near helipads waiting to be rescued, but as you progress they’ll become scattered all over the maze of mines. And since the injured miners move more slowly than others, you’ll often have to make a tough call to leave the injured ones behind in order to save the others.

While the game is tough, you’ll never get tired of looking at the amazing graphics as you play. Gyro13 uses the Unreal Engine to great effect to make everything look sharp and detailed, especially your gyrocopter, even on iOS devices with smaller screens. Of course, it looks and plays great no matter what your platform you’re using, but if you’re able to play on an iPad 2, you’ll better appreciate the intricate details and game space to work with.

But it’s not all about looks, as the game’s outfitted with a pulsing, industrial-techno soundtrack that matches the steam-punk theme and style perfectly, enhancing the suffocating feeling as you race against the clock to rescue the last remaining miners before they expire. Likewise, the before-mission voices are much appreciated, and really do help make you feel like you’re playing a first-class effort on your device.

With gameplay that blends the rescue missions of Choplifter with the physics-based pressure gameplay of Jetpack Joyride, Gyro13 is the perfect mix for gamers who like their gameplay hard and unrelenting. Good use of the Unreal Engine and a pulsing techno soundtrack to match make this a real showcase for Apple’s platform, though you’ll want to play on a bigger-screen iPad to really appreciate all the effort that developer CINEMAX put into making this one a visual stunner. Most will probably be turned off by its zero-tolerance difficulty, but there are people who absolutely live for this type of challenge, and if the thought of maneuvering through mazes of instant-death and suffocating time-limits sounds like a good time, this is definitely the game for you.

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09/21/2011

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9+

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CINEMAX

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About the Author: Chris Mitchell