A&B Computing


Author: Matthew Fifield
Publisher: Melbourne House
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in A&B Computing 3.05

All you regular arcade goers must know and love the game Marble Madness. Being a bit of a dab hand at the same myself, I was really looking forward to the release of Gyroscope for the BBC having seen pictures and read reviews of it for the Speccy. But what a disappointment it turned out to be.

But for those of you who have never come across the game, let me explain the objective. The basic plot is surprisingly simple. You are in control of a gyroscope which must be guided from the starting point to a hole at the end of a course consisting of 3D buildings, ledges, canyons, holes and slopes. The graphics are in fact, very impressive - at least, the first time you see them.

In each screen, you guide the gyroscope along the ledges towards the goal making sure your gyroscope doesn't topple off the ledge taking into account its inertia, avoiding the various meanies flickering their way across the screen, all in a certain time limit.

When, and if, you manage to get to the end of one course, you find yourself at the top of another one, even more hazardous. All very similar to the arcade game apart from the fact that the screen doesn't scroll pixel by pixel as you move the gyroscope and the graphics are inferior as expected. So why didn't I like this game?

Probably the worst defect in this game is that every so often, your gyroscope gets 'stuck' and the collision detection is unbelievably bad. You frequently end up guiding your object over a deep ravine with complete safety. On top of that, the monsters flicker horribly and there is very little in the way of sound effects (a simple beep to represent the gyro bumping into a monster). A very dull game indeed.

Matthew Fifield

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