Gyromite was the first game that I ever played for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Back in the day, it was originally packaged with the console before the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt combo cartridge was the norm.
The game was also unique in that if you played it solo, you had to use R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy), a peripheral that came with the earliest versions of the system. R.O.B. sort of failed as a concept and with it, Gyromite faded into obscurity but the experience of playing the game and using a friggin’ robot pretty much blew my seven year-old mind in 1986.
R.O.B.’s long-term failure probably had to do with the fact that you could only use the peripheral with just two games. But, at least R.O.B. proved to be a marketing success, as many kids wanted the console that came with a robot and without R.O.B. and Gyromite, Nintendo might not have become the powerhouse that they did.
Playing this game now is kind of difficult. You have to have a second player or if you are playing it on an emulator, you need to set up the Player 2 controls in a way that it makes it easy for a single player to control the hero in the game, as well as the moving pipes.
This is an action puzzle game, which was something that Nintendo (and many of its regular third party developers) were superb at developing.
It starts out pretty tame and easy but the game gets seriously difficult as you progress. It’s damn hard playing it on an emulator where you have to basically work with two different controller sets via keyboard.
Still, revisiting this was entertaining and it definitely filled my mind up with some strong nostalgia. It truly is a product of the ’80s and it still works well for what it is, even if the dual controller situation makes it a bit awkward to play.
But in the game’s defense, it was made to be played with your friends or siblings. It’s a tandem, multiplayer game that requires solid teamwork and communication to make it work. That’s not a bad concept.
Pairs well with: other action puzzle games for NES: Solomon’s Key, Marble Madness, Clu Clu Land, Lode Runner and Burger Time.