Spindizzy is an rotating, isometric action game, where the player controls GERALD; a transformable object. GERALD must chart multiple worlds, avoid or destroy enemies, and collect gems, while being mindful of an ever-ticking clock. Spindizzy introduces a variety of puzzle elements which would predict games such as Fez, which use perspective to alter gameplay.
The game and its sequel were written and programmed by Paul Shirley.
The player controls a Geographic Environmental Reconnaissance Land-Mapping Device, or GERALD. As an employee of a nameless corporation, the player must move as quickly as possible to map out worlds in a newly discovered dimension using GERALD.
GERALD is controlled using a keyboard, or keyboard and joystick. The stick (or arrow keys) controls movement, while the button (or shift key) increases speed. The space bar brings GERALD to a dead stop.
M Brings up a map. Unexplored areas are in red, while visited areas are in yellow. Jewels that have been spotted, but not collected are marked with a blue J
S Displays the current score
Cursor The arrow buttons rotate the view to any of four angles around the isometric perspective. A compass points north to keep the player oriented with respect to the map
I changes the current shape of GERALD. Various shapes have different properties, and controls. The game world contains various topographical features, including ice and bouncy spaces, which are more easily traversed with particular shapes.
The player must continually collect Jewels scattered throughout the world to increase the remaining time. The number of jewels collected and the total number of unvisited areas are displayed to the left of the screen. Another box at the bottom of the screen displays any switches which are currently toggled.
Although the game was heavily influenced by Marble Madness, the core mechanics of Spindizzy influenced later games, with forward-thinking features like a transformable player character, and rotating perspective.
A sequel, Spindizzy Worlds, was released in 1990.