Team up with Syyrah in this fast, challenging and totally exhilarating puzzle-action game! Strategy and reflexes mix up brilliantly in the most sophisticated and innovative puzzle game ever: Syyrah - The Warp Hunter features more than 120 levels, 4 different play-modes (including a frantic 2-Player head-to-head challenge) and an amazing soundtrack - plus the best 2D and 3D graphics ever used in a puzzle game.
~ advertising blurb
Puzzle games are primarily a cutesy affair. Whether it's the duelling Manga characters of Puyo Puyo or battling baby dinos in Puzzle Bobble (aka Bust-a-Move), they each push for a particular cartoon style. Being produced by Sunsoft (who've already gone the cutesy route with the Hebereke series), Syyrah: The Warp Hunter is very much a serious sci-fi take on the match-3 puzzle game.
Releasing in 1997 exclusively on DOS, Syyrah sees our titular heroine as the sole defender of the peaceful planet of Keeran. As the last of the so-called Warp Hunters, her aim is to destroy the many coloured mines sent by the evil Zarven who want to mine the planet to nothing for their own needs. Basically, all this word salad is just an excuse to match three coloured balls and make them pop; the emo version of Puzzle Bobble.
Unlike Natsume's Bubble Bobble spin-off, the incoming balls surround the ship in a circular pattern. Gradually, they'll get closer to you before destroying your static ship in the centre. This concept adds a tactical element not found in similar games, forcing you to pay attention to and even anticipate the movements of the spheres. As they get closer, once separated mines will now join together scuppering any plans you may have had or opening new routes to success. Once accessible power-ups will now be blocked while clumps of once colour may grow, increasing the possibility to earn more points.
There are two different modes of play to accomplish your goal (which is nebulous at best); 2D and 3D. Both ultimately play the same, but the perspective shift vastly alters how you should approach them making it feel like a very different game. 2D is top-town giving you an overhead view of the entire playfield; everything on screen at once. You can process your surroundings without doing anything. 3D, on the other hand, places the camera immediately in from of your ship, with only a small section displayed on the screen at once. Given what is needed for success, 2D is the preferable - if less visually impressive - way to play. You'll have to have a keen sense of awareness to get anywhere in first-person mode. If you're not careful, it's very easy for a bomb to sneak up behind you.
Syyrah is an interesting take on the Bust-A-Move formula. The seriousness of the presentation combined with the shifting perspective makes it a somewhat unique game to spend time with. I still prefer the cutesy, zero-stakes presentation or the previously mentioned titles, which given its perceived lack of sales and current descent into obscurity is probably the stance of a lot of people. It's nevertheless a solid way to spend an hour or two.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the game to modern systems. Manual included. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 445 Mb. Install Size: 538 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Syyrah: The Warp Hunter is © Pixelstorm & Sunsoft
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me