Gyroscope puts you in a similar surrealistic situation to the arcade classic Marble Madness. The basic gameplay is very simple - you take control of a gyroscope with the task of getting from the starting post at the top of the course to the finishing post at the bottom within the allotted time. Each time the gyroscope topples, a life is lost. The course is very strange, presented with a surrealistic 3D effect featuring tall geometric buildings, ramps and steep slopes along and around which you have to guide your gyroscope. The course also provides a home for some rather strange (and vaguely familiar) aliens whose touch topples your spinner.
There are five courses in the run, each containing four screens. When you complete one screen the display turns purple and the next part of the course scrolls into view, replacing the section you've just traversed. The whole game is played against a clock, which ticks off the time relentlessly as you try to complete each quartet of screens. Completing each screen earns you bonus points, and completing a course of four screens earns you a bonus related to the amount of time remaining on the clock.
You begin the game with seven lives in store, and pick up a bonus life for each 1,000 points scored. If you fail to complete a screen course within the time limit, the gyroscope topples when the count hits zero, a life is lost and you resume play from the spot you'd reached at timeout with the clock reset to start a new run. If things are going badly, you can press fire at any time and restart the game from scratch.
There are some very thin catwalks between the buildings and here the main danger lies. If you stray too near the edge of a construction or catwalk your gyro will become unbalanced and totter over - another life gone. When this happens your gyro is put back to the top of the screen on which you died, and thus time is lost as well as a life.
Taking control of a gyroscope takes some getting used to - once you start moving in one direction it takes a while to slow down. The beast will accelerate down slopes, and constant checks have to be made when you trundle down a slope to make sure you're not going too fast - if there's a sharp turn at the bottom you could find yourself in deep trouble, and run out of road.
Inanimate hazards on the course complicate matters further, and include glass slopes (which send you spinning in all directions), knobbly floors (which makes control of your gyro next to impossible), red discs (which send you completely out of control) and directional floors (which act like slopes only they're flat).
The landscapes are very deviously created; starting from relatively easy the y get more tricky very rapidly. Some of the difficult courses contain thin catwalks, horrendous slopes with tight corners, holes in the floor and combinations of all these with the aforementioned hazards - being a gyroscope isn't all just spinning around.