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Gyromancer is a puzzle and role-playing video game developed by PopCap Games in collaboration with Square Enix. In the game, the player moves through a map of an enchanted forest, battling monsters using their own summoned monsters through a puzzle-game battle based on PopCap's Bejeweled Twist. In these battles, the player rotates groups of four gems out of a grid of gems to line up three or more jewels of the same color; when enough lines have been created damage is dealt to the enemy. Between battles, a story is told through a series of cutscenes, while the player and the summons gain experience and power using role-playing game elements.
The initial idea for the game was inspired by Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, a 2007 video game which members of both companies were playing at the time. The game was proposed to Square Enix half-jokingly by PopCap's chief creative officer Jason Kapalka during a meeting between the two companies in 2007, and was released on the Xbox Live Arcade and on the Steam platform for Windows PCs by Square Enix on November 18, 2009. Gyromancer received a generally positive reception from reviewers. Critics took issue with perceived limited graphics, cheesy music, and a weak and confusing plot. Despite these flaws, in general they found the game to be fun and addictive, and to have a great deal of replay value.
Players assume the role of Rivel, a summoner who ventures through the enchanted Aldemona Wood. He has been tasked by his king to track down the rebel group Temperance, who have assassinated a member of the royal family. The game consists of twelve stages, which are large branching maps that allow the player can move from points represented by stars to adjacent points. Each stage contains its own objectives, from defeating beasts that block the player’s way, to solving puzzles before time runs out. Additional stages are available for purchase as downloadable content. There are multiple optional objectives per stage, in addition to a main goal. Many areas of each stage are initially blocked off, and can only be entered by replaying the stage later in the game.
While moving through the stages, the player encounters many monsters, and is forced to battle against them using one of their summons in a puzzle battle based off of Bejeweled Twist. The player can only bring three summons into a stage, and selects one of them when the battle begins. A grid of different colored gems is displayed, and the player can select blocks of four jewels and rotate them clockwise. If a line of three or more identical gems is formed the gems disappear, allowing all of the gems above to fall down a level with new gems appearing at the top of the screen. If new lines of gems are formed from this movement, the process continues. Whenever lines are formed, a gauge is filled slightly for the player; when it is full a special gem appears on the board. When that gem is formed into a line, damage is done to the enemy. The enemy also has a gauge, which is filled every time the player performs a rotation, and damage is dealt directly to the player when it is filled.
Later in the game, non-rotatable gems can be found, and the player is punished for rotations that do not lead to a match by having the enemy's gauge fill faster. The amount of damage that the player can take or deliver is dependent on the monster used in battle, and using a beast in battle earns experience points which can increase the power of that summon. Each monster has a corresponding color, and matching gems that are the same color as your chosen monster or the enemy makes your gauge fill faster or theirs slower. Enemy monsters can change gems on the board to skulls, which cause damage to the player if they are not lined up within a certain number of moves. New monsters can be summoned after defeating them in battle or by finding them hidden in the stage.
Developer(s) Square Enix
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Designer(s) Jason Kapalka, Yuichi Murasawa
Composer(s) Tsuyoshi Sekito
Platform(s) Microsoft Window
Release date(s) November 18, 2009
Genre(s) puzzle, role-playing
Rating(s) ESRB: Teen
Media Digital Download
Input methods Keyboard and mouse
Language - ENG/RUS, others