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Review: Gyromancer & Dinner Dash (by AdeptusAce)

Being the xbox live arcade whore that I am, I downloaded these two new additions, the first for myself, the 2nd as my wife liked the looks of it, the fool of a took!

GYROMANCER [XBLA]
I thought at first that this was a puzzle quest clone, well, it is and it isn’t. It’s actually Bejeweled Twist clone, with a fantasy theme crossed with Pokemon.

You are a summoner and have a party of three monsters who have different jewel alignments, for instance a water based monster has a blue alignment and a fire monster a red alignment. When going into battle you can select which monster to use from your party and obviously the alignment affects the battle depending on what the enemy’s alignment. You collect new monsters on the level maps, more on them in a minute. Your monsters have a level cap, so once you’ve reached that you have to go back to your den and replace that particular monster with one that can reach a higher level.

That’s the Pokemon element out of the way, all the artwork for the monsters are really good and the gameplay mechanics are solid. Instead of lineing three or more jewels in a row by swapping two jewels, you have to twist four jewels clockwise and line them up that way. It takes a bit of getting used to but once you’ve mastered it you’ll be walking all over the enemy.

There are several inventory items which cure your monster or enable you to rotate the jewels anti-clockwise, but once you’ve used them the only way to get them is to explore the map and hope there is one in a chest or buy it over xbox live… which angered me greatly! These inventory items really aren’t that neccisery but if they were essential I’d write an angry letter to the fleesing bastards at Popcap, luckily they’re useful but you’ll get by fine without.

The level maps are the worst part of this game, the artwork looks terrible in my opinion, you travel along path ways and encounter monsters, item chests, monster spawning hives (where you must battle a boss to stop them re-appearing) teleporters and switches. Some of the levels are puzzling as they only have routes that are blocked off till you find the switch or have paths which can only be travelled in one direction, which keeps you guessing. It’s just the asthetics that look bad on the level map, apart from that it is servicable.

All in all, it’s quite fun. It’s different enough from Puzzle Quest to be a game in it’s own right.

8/10

DINNER DASH [XBLA]

When I come home from a stressful day at work, I like nothing better than to play a game set in a stressful work place. You have to sit the customers, wait for them to decide on an order, take their order, give it to the chef, take the food to the table, wait for them to eat, give them their cheque then clear their table.

It starts off easy but unless you are on the go 100% of the time, you’ll fail. I played co-op with my wife and she was terrible, I however mastered it quickly.

It’s not a pretty game, the decors are drab, music is repetitive, but the action is fast and intense.

I’d give this 5/10. It’s not going to win any awards, but the gameplay works for the most of it. It does tire you out pretty easily though.

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