Moby ID: 7720
Arcade Specs
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Description official descriptions

The entire solar system is being attacked by the vicious Gyrusians, and it's up to you to save the day! You will need to fly your spaceship to each of the nine planets and then clear three stages of enemies to rid that planet of the Gyrusians. You start the game with a single cannon, but can gain a double cannon after shooting a power up satellite. After clearing each planet, there is another bonus stage where additional weapons and bonus points can be collected. Gyruss is an arcade action shooter, however instead of piloting your spaceship horizontally or vertically, you move in a circle around the perimeter of the screen. The NES version of Gyruss adds to the original arcade version additional music, additional weapons, new enemies, and a large boss at the end of each level.

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Credits (Arcade version)

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Average score: 65% (based on 18 ratings)


Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 70 ratings with 3 reviews)

Terrific arcade conversion of the classic!

The Good
The game plays fast and smooth and really captures the essence of the arcade original. The music is amazing and the supplemental sound effects, like those in the bonus stage, are well done.

The Bad
The colors are a little washed out. The 5200 controller can be a little challenging but with a little practice, it becomes second nature.

The Bottom Line
A little bit of Tempest, a little bit of Galaxian and a whole lot of awesome. If you love the arcade version, you'll like this.

Atari 5200 · by Rich Richards (2) · 2015

The kind of straightforward but thrilling action game we miss now

The Good
You didn't have to pore over a manual for hours to get into it. The gameplay was unique, with the positioning taking skill and timing, and the extra-point baddies being a nice touch. The progressive difficulty meant that you'd usually get that little bit further (and a few more points) each time. The graphics and sound were fine for the day.

The Bad
Compared with other games of the time, nothing, other than the possible anti-Russian sentiment of the name of the enemies. Post Cold-War, a lot of games and films of the time seem ignorant and outdated in that way. Still, the game didn't remind you of the plot at all.

The Bottom Line
Nothing complex, just old-style lives - levels - points action.

Commodore 64 · by Martin Smith (61) · 2003

The fun and playability of the arcade game, but with a few twists.

The Good
While not everyone may have played this game in the arcade, I did. What you get is a variation on the wave-based shooters of yore, namely Galaga. The difference here is that rather than standard left/right movement on a vertical playfield, your ship rotates clockwise/counterclockwise within 360 degrees on a playfield that has your ship facing into the horizon. Fans of the arcade original will have no trouble with the controls.

Instead of being a standard port of the arcade original, there have been some additions that make it more appropriate for console play. The double laser upgrade of the arcade is here, but you now have a massive cannon to use against the stronger foes. As you would expect, you have a limited number of shots with this cannon. Another addition are the bosses. These usually consist of an enemy that has four targets that become vulnerable for short periods of time. While these bosses may not have been the most original, they were an excellent addition, as they break the standard enemy wave/enemy wave/bonus wave/rinse/repeat cycle. These bosses are really the only reason that the new cannon exists, as only a few enemies require more than one shot to dispatch.

The great music of the arcade game has made it, though it’s obviously not going to sound identical. Still, the renditions heard on the NES version are excellent and suit the action onscreen. Sound effects are fairly standard fare for the NES, but they do the trick. You’ll likely be too busy dodging and firing to complain anyway.

On the graphics end of things, there’s nothing to nitpick. The graphics of the original were simple, so it stands to reason that the NES version would get the same. I will say, however, that I actually prefer the design of the player’s ship on the NES version over the arcade. It’s got a beefier, meaner look to it overall. If you're familiar with Gradius, the palette used throughout the game will probably make you feel right at home.

The Bad
About the only thing that may turn a person off is the learning curve of the controller. Once you reach the top of the circular movement, you have to hit the other direction to continue in the direction you were spinning. It does take a little getting used to, but it’s a very minor complaint.

The Bottom Line
While Gyruss didn’t stretch the limits of the wave-based shooter, it’s a solid addition to the genre that expands it just a little and goes beyond the arcade original. For a quick game or a long session, it’s fun, challenging, and a nice change of pace from Galaga and the like.

NES · by DarkBubble (342) · 2007


Subject By Date
Konami/Zilec Terok Nor (41498) Nov 1, 2015
Grand Theft Auto Victor Vance (18063) May 10, 2015
developed by: Konami? Pseudo_Intellectual (66248) Jan 22, 2014


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Gyruss appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

How to Squeeze an Arcade Into Your 64

Gyruss on the Commodore 64 appeared in an article by Julian Rignall in Zzap! (Issue 3 Jul 85 p80) about how accurate to the arcade original it came from. It scored 92%.


The theme music for this game is from the 18th century. While not a complete arrangement of the piece, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor was written by J.S. Bach. The electronic drums are introduced for a more contemporary touch.

Speccy port

The game was also announced by Parker Brothers for the ZX Spectrum, and not as a common tape game, but for the seldom-used cartridge port found ZX Interface 2. Parker later withdrew its announcement, both for Gyruss and Star Wars, though the latter was picked up by Domark.


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Atari 5200 added by RKL. Xbox 360 added by Sciere. Windows added by Alaka. Atari 8-bit added by Martin Smith. Arcade added by vileyn0id_8088.

Additional contributors: Scott Monster, Игги Друге, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack, joicrawu.

Game added November 11, 2002. Last modified January 18, 2024.