Review: Gyromancer

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Review: Gyromancer

Um, I guess the spell effects are kind of nice.

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Quite a shame that one single mechanic broke the fun factor. Is the computer also a cheating bastard here?

Why did I know this would happen?

Abedeus:
Why did I know this would happen?

beacause it's inevitable that things get messed up...

Abedeus:
Why did I know this would happen?

Because you knew that Red looks exactly like Archie, but the Punisher didn't?

Oh you weren't talking about that...

Abedeus:
Why did I know this would happen?

Square-Enix got involved.

Anywho, I tried the demo, but frankly, I just didn't enjoy it at all. And I've got more copies puzzle quest than I'd like to admit.

Such a pity. Puzzle Quest was amazing. Well, the first one.

Kind of reminds me of a final fantasy minigame.

Bah bejeweled. I don't like bejeweled like puzzle games. which has blocked me from enjoying any of the Puzzle Quest like games, 'cause they all seem to use one form or another of it.

While I agree with the spirit of the review, the Idle twist system is the only thing that makes the game even a mild challenge. I'm not trying to be one of those obnoxious hardcore players who tells others that fake difficulty is awesome. I'm not even particularly good at puzzle games like this, but honestly before the Idle Twist penalty was added I literally took no damage ever.

I mean, having to make a hard choice about what to do about enemy skill gems is kind of the game. Do you think you can get rid of it fast enough and with few enough idle twists for it to be worth it? Are there better matches on the board for you to just focus on offense? Can you afford to just take the hit?

That sounds like a game mechanic to me, and not a bad one. Look, there's no apologizing for the story, some of the luck-based objectives (Get a cascade of a bazillion to unlock this) and the lack of complexity, it's a bad game. But Idle Twist isn't a gamebreaker. It's the only thing that makes the game more than "An easier version of Bejewelled Twist with pokeymans." Unfortunately all that ends up as is "A mildly tactical version of Bejewelled Twist with pokeymans that you shouldn't spend $15 on"

Eudaemonian:
While I agree with the spirit of the review, the Idle twist system is the only thing that makes the game even a mild challenge. I'm not trying to be one of those obnoxious hardcore players who tells others that fake difficulty is awesome. I'm not even particularly good at puzzle games like this, but honestly before the Idle Twist penalty was added I literally took no damage ever.

I mean, having to make a hard choice about what to do about enemy skill gems is kind of the game. Do you think you can get rid of it fast enough and with few enough idle twists for it to be worth it? Are there better matches on the board for you to just focus on offense? Can you afford to just take the hit?

That sounds like a game mechanic to me, and not a bad one. Look, there's no apologizing for the story, some of the luck-based objectives (Get a cascade of a bazillion to unlock this) and the lack of complexity, it's a bad game. But Idle Twist isn't a gamebreaker. It's the only thing that makes the game more than "An easier version of Bejewelled Twist with pokeymans." Unfortunately all that ends up as is "A mildly tactical version of Bejewelled Twist with pokeymans that you shouldn't spend $15 on"

I'd rather have a fun game than a challenging one. And prior to the Idle Twist mechanic, I was enjoying the feel of the flow of battle, it had a good back-and-forth feel kind of like a tennis match. It was easy, yeah, but it was kind of just fun to idly play it (like you'd play a few games of regular Bejeweled), and the Idle Twist ruined the feel of combat that was the only thing I'd been enjoying.

CantFaketheFunk:

Eudaemonian:
While I agree with the spirit of the review, the Idle twist system is the only thing that makes the game even a mild challenge. I'm not trying to be one of those obnoxious hardcore players who tells others that fake difficulty is awesome. I'm not even particularly good at puzzle games like this, but honestly before the Idle Twist penalty was added I literally took no damage ever.

I mean, having to make a hard choice about what to do about enemy skill gems is kind of the game. Do you think you can get rid of it fast enough and with few enough idle twists for it to be worth it? Are there better matches on the board for you to just focus on offense? Can you afford to just take the hit?

That sounds like a game mechanic to me, and not a bad one. Look, there's no apologizing for the story, some of the luck-based objectives (Get a cascade of a bazillion to unlock this) and the lack of complexity, it's a bad game. But Idle Twist isn't a gamebreaker. It's the only thing that makes the game more than "An easier version of Bejewelled Twist with pokeymans." Unfortunately all that ends up as is "A mildly tactical version of Bejewelled Twist with pokeymans that you shouldn't spend $15 on"

I'd rather have a fun game than a challenging one. And prior to the Idle Twist mechanic, I was enjoying the feel of the flow of battle, it had a good back-and-forth feel kind of like a tennis match. It was easy, yeah, but it was kind of just fun to idly play it (like you'd play a few games of regular Bejeweled), and the Idle Twist ruined the feel of combat that was the only thing I'd been enjoying.

I've no idea what you're talking about. Until Idle twist is introduced you can twist the same gems making no matches for like ten turns in a row and take no damage. The game would be about as hard as bouncing a ball against a wall without idle twist.
I'm not saying it's a good game by any means - I stopped playing it rather quickly - but it's a REALLY dumb game without that mechanic.

CantFaketheFunk:

I'd rather have a fun game than a challenging one. And prior to the Idle Twist mechanic, I was enjoying the feel of the flow of battle, it had a good back-and-forth feel kind of like a tennis match. It was easy, yeah, but it was kind of just fun to idly play it (like you'd play a few games of regular Bejeweled), and the Idle Twist ruined the feel of combat that was the only thing I'd been enjoying.

Fair enough. I can see how it does kind of ruin the game as a mild de-stressor. I guess I just felt like the early play was less like a tennis match and more like a tennis match against a wall (Edit: The above poster seems to have come up with the same analogy while I was typing this, ha). I guess bouncing a ball against a wall is more fun than having three tennis ball launchers trained on your crotch, which seems to be where the difficulty was going when I stopped playing. Looking back, though, I guess I tolerated it longer because I went into the game expecting more of the RPG end of the difficulty and involvement than the Casual Puzzle Game End.

I guess it's all about expectations. Your review is right on the money though that regardless of your expectations, you're going to be disappointed by this game.

I was torn between getting this or the original Puzzle Quest off of Steam a week ago. I'm glad I chose PQ, even though the demo of Gyro was really fun. That Idle Twist shit is a huge fun breaker, after all.

Only issue with Puzzle Quest:
Playing as a Wizard or Druid is like playing a Hard Mode, in a game that's already hard due to extraordinary enemy luck. They just die too easy...

Okay, where can I find Archie meets the Punisher?

Yeah. I have to agree that "Mechanic" it springs on you totally destroys it for me...I was really, really enjoying up till then too...

Meh, the game's pretty easy despite the Idle Twist thing, but I agree that it's not all that good. For one thing, the whole thing about some elemental types being strong against some others was obviously designed while under the influence of alcohol. Basically, purple monsters (Insects) are strong against almost anything and have no weaknesses at all. Once you figure that out, the rest is easy...

This is crazy. You guys had a casual game ruined for you by being 'too hard'? That's like having jello ruined for you for being 'too crunchy'. I own this game and you are about as off base as you can get. I hate to say this, but this is another example of why game reviewers aren't actually gamers. Listen to them at your own peril.

Jandau:
Meh, the game's pretty easy despite the Idle Twist thing, but I agree that it's not all that good. For one thing, the whole thing about some elemental types being strong against some others was obviously designed while under the influence of alcohol. Basically, purple monsters (Insects) are strong against almost anything and have no weaknesses at all. Once you figure that out, the rest is easy...

I guess they thought the fact that they throw locks all over the board was balance? They were wrong. I turns their elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors into Rock-Paper-Scissors-Dynamite.

chessmasterhex:
This is crazy. You guys had a casual game ruined for you by being 'too hard'? That's like having jello ruined for you for being 'too crunchy'. I own this game and you are about as off base as you can get. I hate to say this, but this is another example of why game reviewers aren't actually gamers. Listen to them at your own peril.

Read Funk's reply to my post. He makes a good point. The more accurate analogy is that there was a package that said "NEW JELLO" and when you open it up you find that by "new" they meant "crunchy." If you wanted something crunchy it doesn't even really succeed, but if you wanted Jello it completely defeats the purpose.

As a mindless time-waster Gyromancer drops the ball with the idle twist business and some very frustrating levels. As a normal challenging game it fails right off the bat.

Eudaemonian:

Jandau:
Meh, the game's pretty easy despite the Idle Twist thing, but I agree that it's not all that good. For one thing, the whole thing about some elemental types being strong against some others was obviously designed while under the influence of alcohol. Basically, purple monsters (Insects) are strong against almost anything and have no weaknesses at all. Once you figure that out, the rest is easy...

I guess they thought the fact that they throw locks all over the board was balance? They were wrong. I turns their elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors into Rock-Paper-Scissors-Dynamite.

In more ways than one. Only one of the two purple types throws locks around, the other does no such thing and is simply strong against everything. White monsters are strong against nothing and have a few weaknesses.

Also, the fact that different rules apply to the player and the AI (AI doesn't need to work the board) means that some monsters are better suited to the AI. Anything that spawns large amounts of Rocks on the board is great for the AI, since it limits the player, but is also useless to the player for the same reason. There's an entire family of orange monsters dedicated to this. Guess which monster type I never used...

"unique" abilities, Funk? That was my biggest gripe with the game, I didn't even bother paying attention to the monsters' abilities, because they either did something to stats that didn't really drastically alter the battle, or they exploded and did damage. Or, I guess there are the ones that work against you by creating locks and stones.

I do appreciate, though, that without the enemy taking turns the game is slightly less reliant on luck than Puzzle Quest. Just slightly.

Eudaemonian:
Read Funk's reply to my post. He makes a good point. The more accurate analogy is that there was a package that said "NEW JELLO" and when you open it up you find that by "new" they meant "crunchy." If you wanted something crunchy it doesn't even really succeed, but if you wanted Jello it completely defeats the purpose.

As a mindless time-waster Gyromancer drops the ball with the idle twist business and some very frustrating levels. As a normal challenging game it fails right off the bat.

What bothers me is that John can't appreciate the game for it's attractive visuals, music or setting, so what he focuses on is the puzzle system, which as we all know was lifted directly from Bejeweled Twist. Now the only thing he can point to as a detractor is the 'idle twist' penalty, which incidentally is the only foundational thing about the puzzle system that actually changed from it's previous incarnation. What John is actually saying in this review is "I like Bejeweled Twist.", while ripping on a decent game.

This partially due to the fact one game copies so heavily from the other, but in short the review fails to see past the original game and therefore is failing the consumer.

Jandau:

Also, the fact that different rules apply to the player and the AI (AI doesn't need to work the board) means that some monsters are better suited to the AI. Anything that spawns large amounts of Rocks on the board is great for the AI, since it limits the player, but is also useless to the player for the same reason. There's an entire family of orange monsters dedicated to this. Guess which monster type I never used...

Yeah, at first I thought white was made weaker because of its ability that turned a bunch of gems white, but then there is a purple creature with the same ability.....

And yeah, I initially noticed the AI-Player disconnect in terms of abilities and thought it was balanced by the damage on abilities that do inconvenient things for the player, but I'm pretty sure it isn't.

Unfortunately finding out for sure would probably involve playing more. I'm way better off singing into Kongregate for free and playing whatever happens to pop up on the front page.

chessmasterhex:
What bothers me is that John can't appreciate the game for it's attractive visuals, music or setting, so what he focuses on is the puzzle system, which as we all know was lifted directly from Bejeweled Twist. Now the only thing he can point to as a detractor is the 'idle twist' penalty, which incidentally is the only foundational thing about the puzzle system that actually changed from it's previous incarnation. What John is actually saying in this review is "I like Bejeweled Twist.", while ripping on a decent game.

This partially due to the fact one game copies so heavily from the other, but in short the review fails to see past the original game and therefore failing the consumer.

So you see "seeing past the original game" as commenting on window dressing? And not very impressive window dressing either. Yeah, the art is actually pretty decent, but considering the bland as hell story, forced connection between the setting and the game, I really don't see that it's much to comment on.

I don't think anyone is going to buy Gyromancer for its deep and immersive world, its art, or its music. The music I don't really remember much at all, it was generic like everything else. The world is a thinly veiled excuse to play Bejewelled Twist. The art is nothing you couldn't stare at static images of on any art website of your choice. It's competent but not particularly interesting.

Reviewing a game's game elements doesn't seem like failing the consumer. I'd be willing to agree with you that putting a nice frame on the Bejewelled gameplay could make a difference, but instead they really phoned it in.

The challenge stones are ways to practice setting things up. You can configure a board to result in a large cascade - I think that might even be the point of it. What's hard for me is when the 'tactical choice' to take a hit or clear an enemy stone ends up leaving me with half the health I need to complete a map and no way to replenish it. Would 'Health Potions' be too dangerous an item to include, Square?

looks like a truly awful game

Eudaemonian:
forced connection between the setting and the game

This is of course a problem, but Square practically created the entire narrative/game system schism that we see in RPGs these days. I think 'materia' and 'sphere grid' may be all I need to say in that regard.

Eudaemonian:
I don't think anyone is going to buy Gyromancer for its deep and immersive world, its art, or its music. The music I don't really remember much at all, it was generic like everything else. The world is a thinly veiled excuse to play Bejewelled Twist. The art is nothing you couldn't stare at static images of on any art website of your choice. It's competent but not particularly interesting.

Well... yeah. I'm not saying that this is Citizen Mario or anything, but sometimes things are greater than the sum of their parts. That aside, John didn't even care to tell people about the choices and strategic thinking required to handle the post idle twist game. That's because he didn't notice it. I think it makes for great fun. It's not like you are on a timer or something, you can look at the board and weigh the pros and cons on any one move until you see the best course of action. So, did deadlines (timer) and non-game related issues muddy the experience for him? Yes they did.

This isn't even mentioning the fact that the game isn't meant to be played in one long marathon session. The story and RPG elements make a reviewer press on to the end of the game to get to the end of the tale.

chessmasterhex:
Well... yeah. I'm not saying that this is Citizen Mario or anything, but sometimes things are greater than the sum of their parts. That aside, John didn't even care to tell people about the choices and strategic thinking required to handle the post idle twist game. That's because he didn't notice it. I think it makes for great fun. It's not like you are on a timer or something, you can look at the board and weigh the pros and cons on any one move until you see the best course of action. So, did deadlines (timer) and non-game related issues muddy the experience for him? Yes they did.

This isn't even mentioning the fact that the game isn't meant to be played in one long marathon session. The story and RPG elements make a reviewer press on to the end of the game to get to the end of the tale.

This grander criticism of game reviewing as a whole really seems shoehorned into this topic. You might have a point, but I think this isn't the case to make it on. I'd say you might want to find something that actually was a good game, where the game reviewer actually neglected major elements of it, and where the review was released immediately after launch so that the time crunch element is more vivid. Gyromancer is ho-hum at best, the review fails to praise a few pieces of competent art, and the review comes long after I bought, played, and stopped playing the game, rather than right on the heels of a launch.

As it is, the only real problem here is that you and Funk had different expectations. That's just the reality of getting opinions from other people... I disagreed with him to a degree too, but after he explained his expectations, it's pretty easy to see why, and nothing about that situation makes this a case of failed reviewing.

That's a damn shame. I played the demo of this game and I quite liked it for the time it lasted. It's nice to play a game of Bejeweled with a goal behind it, and a bit of tactics. I was thinking of buying it, even. It sucks how Idle Twist ruins the whole thing.

Yeah, played the demo, wasn't really that happy with it, I still like Puzzle Quest better.

chessmasterhex:
This is crazy. You guys had a casual game ruined for you by being 'too hard'? That's like having jello ruined for you for being 'too crunchy'. I own this game and you are about as off base as you can get. I hate to say this, but this is another example of why game reviewers aren't actually gamers. Listen to them at your own peril.

I've played it myself however, and I am a gamer. I agree. That mechanic, is enough to ruin the whole thing. Maybe I wasnt preparing myself properly for what was ahead, but, to spring it on us with no prior warning was a bit too much for me.

Its not ruined because its "Too Hard", its ruined because the mechanic is simply makes fun of everything you had learned and done to date.

Huh? Puzzle quest beat both Square Enix and Popcap at their own game? I did not see that coming.

I was wondering dumping some money on this. Thanks for talking me out of it.

I'm so glad I don't like this kind of games, I couldn't imagine wasting time and money playing something so... Well, it's not good people!

Miki91:
I'm so glad I don't like this kind of games, I couldn't imagine wasting time and money playing something so... Well, it's not good people!

I get and respect the 'to each their own' thing, but I agree - I'm just not certain how these games are fun. And this is from a guy that has Peggle on his iPhone and plays it all the time. I think it's the 'match-two/three/four/two-hundred-and-eighty-seven' genre.

Off topic: Is that Horo I see there? :D

Nerdfury:
Off topic: Is that Horo I see there? :D

I'm sorry to disapoint but no :). I like her too tho, I'm really into ears and tails. I think I secretly want some^^

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