Gyruss (NES)

Gyruss Box Art


System: NES

Release Date: February 1989

Developer: Konami

Publisher: Ultra Games

Genre: Shoot ‘em Up

Konami is back with another release under the Ultra Games label with Gyruss. There’s no convoluted backstory or really much of an instruction manual with this one. One page tells you the difference between Attack Control A, where you press the direction of where you want to be on screen and Attack Control B, where you press left or right to move. The gameplay takes place in outer space and you circle around the screen to shoot enemies and avoid projectiles. Enemies will only be shot if they are at the same point of the circle as you are.

You have to go through 39 stages of action. Three action stages and one bonus stage per planet. At the end of the third stage of each new planet, you fight a boss. Most of these have many different parts that you can only damage as they open up at different times. Others change the pattern up on you and are very difficult to defeat legitimately. You are equipped with an unlimited amount of laser power, which you shoot with the B Button. This can be leveled up from one shot to two shots per button press if you are able to shoot a power up.

You can also earn a Neo-Bomb-Blastic Cannon if you continue to collect powerups. These deal heavy damage and are best used on bosses that you’re having trouble defeating. Shooting enemies is just a matter of aligning yourself with them, but you have to be careful, because asteroids and other projectiles will randomly appear out of seemingly nowhere to demolish your ship.

Graphics: 1.5

The graphics are serviceable. You can tell what’s happening, except for when asteroids are hidden behind enemy sprites.

Sound: 2.5

The music and sound is fine, very Konami. Similar to TMNT.

Gameplay: 2.0

It’s not super deep or anything, but it works for what it is.

Difficulty: 2.5

I struggled with this. I think the difficulty is completely unfair with the hidden asteroids that you do not see before they destroy you, but if you learn to be constantly on the move, you can probably get really good.

Fun Factor: 1.5

I struggled through this one because of being able to rewind. The final boss is incredibly difficult and took me several lives and a lot of rewinding to finally defeat.

Overall Grade: 2.0

Gyruss earns a C. This is an average shoot ‘em up that might have earned a better grade than it deserved. Give it a shot, but don’t expect the moon, it’s absent from this solar system.

Gyruss Video Review on YouTube