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Gyrodine is a vertical-scrolling shoot-em-up in which the player controls a helicopter. The game is like a more methodically-paced Xevious, as the player has the option of switching between air-to-air and air-to-surface weaponry in order to take out enemies in the skies and on the ground respectively. The screen has some limited horizontal scrolling as well, allowing for a wider field in which to move around.

The goal of the game, as with all early shoot-em-ups, is to make it to the end of each stage. There are no bosses, but the regular enemies get progressively more difficult the further the player goes.

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