Game: "Gyromite"
System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Genre: Classic
Published by: Nintendo

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 1/5/2009

Review: Good ol' Gyromite. Talk about a classic! This game was my introduction to a new era of gaming, for it came bundled with the original Nintendo Entertainment System Deluxe Set along with R.O.B. the robot. Sure, it might seem like a novelty item in retrospect, but imagine being a kid who grew up on the Intellivision and Atari 2600 systems and all of a sudden being told, "Here, take this new video game system. It has superior graphics and sound and it comes with a robot who will help you play one of the included games. It also comes with a gun that you can use to shoot some ducks with, but there's a laughing dog in that game who will make you so furious you'll be talking about him in therapy about 20 years from now, so stick with the robot game instead, ok?"

Ok, I wasn't actually told that, but that's how it felt. It really was the beginning of a new gaming age and I couldn't be more excited about tearing into that Deluxe set and assembling R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) so we could play Gyromite for the very first time.

There are two modes to the game. Mode A allows you to hook up the second controller to R.O.B. so he can spin his gyroscopes in order to depress the pads which control columns on the screen which are in the way of your character, Professor Hector (and Profession Vector in 2-player games). While R.O.B. is busy trying to clear a path so you can move forward, it's up to you to use the first controller to make the professor collect all the dynamite on the screen. However, being accidentally crushed by a rising steel column because your so-called robotic operating "buddy" betrayed you isn't the only thing you need to worry about. Each level has a fair share of Smicks for you to avoid.

Smicks are strange lizard-like creatures with bird beaks and they hunger for the flesh of aging professors such as yourself. They do have a few weaknesses though, my favorite of which is that they can be tricked into getting squished by one of those moving columns. They also love eating turnips and those veggies sure do come in handy at times. Yeah, I don't get it either, but it was very satisfying seeing a Smick eating one of your strategically placed turnips one second, and then getting squashed the next.

Mode B is slightly different in that you are no longer in control of the professor. In this mode, you simply control R.O.B. while the professor sleepwalks his way through the screen. There's no dynomite to collect, but surviving the columns and Smicks while the old man sleepwalks is more than tricky enough on some levels.

I also feel I should mention that the theme song to Gyromite remains one of my all-time favorites to this day. There were times where I would just leave the game on, not even playing it, so I could listen to that fantastic in-game tune play on an endless loop. It also made the game that much more enjoyable when you were playing with a friend. You see, you could have a friend take the place of R.O.B., but that friend could easily turn on you instead of aid you in your quest to get past those deadly steel columns. Believe me, I wasn't above such treacherous and juvenile behavior. I can't begin to tell you how many uncontrollable fits of laughter I enjoyed after watching my friends get squashed because of my immaturity. Hearing that glorious *splat* sound was music to my ears. If you played Gyromite with a friend, there's no denying that you did this exact same thing. Don't even try it, bub.

To be perfectly honest, it's hard to imagine how the hell anybody even came up with a game like this to begin with. Can you imagine how the pitch meeting for something like that went?

"Ok boss, so here's my idea! We're gonna build a robot that picks up spinning gyroscopes and drops them onto a platform which causes a button on a video game controller to depress and interact with some steel columns on the screen. While this is happening, we're gonna have a professor dodge a bunch of turnip-eating lizard creatures with bird beaks while he collects bundles of dynamite. Soooooooo... whaddaya think? When can I expect to see these on the assembly line?"

To say the least, Gyromite is one of those games that you absolutely must play in its original format. No form of emulation can really do it justice, because you simply can't experience both the hilarity and the frustration of playing it with the aid (and I use that term loosely) of R.O.B. the robot. If you have the means, I highly suggest trying it out so you can experience the very beginning of what would become one of the most successful video game systems in history.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Jan 6th, 2009, 05:16 AM
Did they ever use that robot for anything else after that besides a dust collector?
That damn kid
Jan 6th, 2009, 05:50 AM
They used it as a brawl charectar.
Serial Loiterer
Jan 6th, 2009, 06:38 AM
You know, I never knew this game came with R.O.B. I usually just played it using my feet to control the second controller. None the less I ended up beating the game, but nobody ever believed me.
the axe and the smasher
Jan 6th, 2009, 08:51 AM
I LOVED Gyromite! I demand a Wii version with a Wii R.O.B!
Retardedly Handsome
Jan 6th, 2009, 09:32 AM
I have only seen this once. It was on my friends floor in pieces. He kept mumbling something about how it was sent back from the future and needed to be destoyed. My parents didn't let me play with him anymore shortly after that.
Jan 6th, 2009, 11:35 AM
Hey, I have also used my feet to command a second controller, only that it was on Mega Man 3 (my favorite in the series, it simply has the best music) in order to keep the super jump trick while pushing the directional pad with my toe. Needless to say that the result was a toe with a directional pad arrow printed on it.
I am Johnny Luchador
Jan 6th, 2009, 12:49 PM
R.O.B. ended up being a victim to the great Firework Disaster of 92'. HE melted very fast and I believe it was painless.
Can't touch this
Jan 6th, 2009, 01:12 PM
I think you mean painFUL. I was gypped as a child. My parents bought this a Deluxe set for my brother and I. However, they bought it used, and it come with NO robot. Though I guess the selling party probably just threw the console and Super Mario Bros. in a Deluxe box and charged a bit more for an inferior package. I stopped blaming the 'rents decades ago.
is hopped up on goofballs
Jan 6th, 2009, 03:27 PM
My 7ish year old ass had to save up on my own for a Nintendo. You know how long it takes a 7 year old whose parents can't afford an allowance to save up $100? Yeah, by the time I'd gotten the green, R.O.B. was long out of production.
Pickled Patriarch
Jan 6th, 2009, 05:36 PM
Originally Posted by Pentegarn View Post
Did they ever use that robot for anything else after that besides a dust collector?
Yeah, they made one other game called "Stack-Em" that you had to use R.O.B. in order to play it.

Other than that, the R.O.B. character has made a few appearances, most notably in the Mario Kart DS game as a badass unlockable character which I proudly showed off here when I beat the game:

Jan 7th, 2009, 01:01 AM
I liked to take things apart so my ROB soon became mounted to a radio-controlled car. He hasn't been seen since.

I LOVED gyromite though and it was also my introduction to the nes and held me over for the LOONG period between when the nes was released and when SMB actually was released in the US.

I disagree though... if you want people to hate gyromite then by all means give them rob to play with... otherwise, playing it with a friend or on an emulator with all four buttons mapped to a single gamepad is the way to go.
Jan 7th, 2009, 03:38 AM
OMG Gyromite! You're right, this was the version of the Nintendo I got as a child. Of course, being an uncordinated 11 year old, I couldn't get R.O.B. to do what I wanted half the time, so I found the ambedexterity to operate both controlers at once (not using the feet, but both hands.) Of course, it was easier in Mode B, since you didn't have to worry about moving the professor, too, but I was still able to beat both. I can, however, recall how annoying it was when the damn professor got stuck and had to be "mercy-squished" or the board reset. My favorite tricks were bonking him on the head with the pillars (but not squishing him) and watching him bounce back up and trapping the Snicks rather than squishing them. That took some doing sometimes.

I also feel I should mention that the theme song to Gyromite remains one of my all-time favorites to this day. There were times where I would just leave the game on, not even playing it, so I could listen to that fantastic in-game tune play on an endless loop.
As a side note, my father HATED the music to this game because I, being an 11 year old, played the thing ad-infinitum until I'd beaten it (and then some) and he, unfortunately, was often home on sick leave and had to lie in bed listening to the music ad-infinitum. It was this and Tetris, I think, that made him encourage me to move my room up into the attic so he didn't have to hear it at all hours.
Jan 7th, 2009, 04:24 AM
Gyromite is one of the few games I wish I had got to play when I was younger.
Forum Virgin
Jan 12th, 2009, 06:08 PM
strangely this article gave me the idea to talk nintendo into putting that damned dog into the next Smash Bros., one of his "smash" move could be him laughing and causing the other player to either be immobilized with rage or to shoot him if they have a lightgun, and his "super smash" could be causing everone near him to become so comepletely annoyed they pull out a lightgun and shoot themselves (or just call some ducks or something), in the least every old fan of that game would get some officially-licensed sweet revenge
Pickled Patriarch
Jan 12th, 2009, 11:14 PM
I've already got some revenge for ya, Mental Pooperscooper. Made this one a looong time ago...

Kill The Dog From Duck Hunt:
Who? Me?
Jan 13th, 2009, 07:14 PM
Sadly, I did not grow up in the NES generation (although I may have played my sister's NES as a child--my family never got a SNES, though, we skipped that and went straight to the N64 :-[). I wish I had, especially due to how much novelty (such a R.O.B.) and obsession there was with video games. I would love to have been an eighties kid, swept up in the revolution that is an obsession with an eight-bit console. Then again, I say the same thing about the sixties sometimes...

I love R.O.B. Never had one or seen one in person (or plastic), but ever since I'd heard about it I've always wanted one. Nevermind the fact that they're extremely rare, obselete, have only two games they can be used on, and sell for about $100+ these days, I still want one!!

And Mental Pooperscooper, I totally agree with you on that...except animal rights groups would probably lobby against it due to "animal cruelty" (they already managed to massacre the U.S. version of Ice Climbers due to it's apparent "promotion of seal clubbing"). One could make the arguement, however, that the dog is guilty of child abuse and causing emotional distress to thousands (maybe even millions) of Nintendo-obsessed, duck-shooting children ^_^
The Ugly Puckling
Jan 20th, 2009, 07:44 PM
I used to have a recurring nightmare that my brother killed me and framed R.O.B...

Same brother that Dane Cook made marry a spanish midget, too.