The Electric Yo-Yo
Review by Dave Giarrusso
Electric Yo-Yo is
one of those obscure games that’s probably obscure for a reason.
In this case, I’m guessing that it suffered the same fate as
another Taito game, (coin-cop cousin?) Qix.
Qix has often been called the poster-boy of games that people didn’t
really understand and subsequently never caught on.
While Qix certainly had a cult following big enough to bring the
game home to the Atari 5200, Gameboy and NES, the gameroom masses largely
As a fan of Qix, it never occurred to me that it was tough to
figure out (red=slow, blue=fast, box in the Qix, ‘nuff said) but
nevertheless, I’ve met a fair share of players who just didn’t “get
like to propose that we elect a new poster-boy for the “I don’t get it”
Instead of Qix, how ‘bout The Electric Yo-Yo?
I sorta get it, but I don’t quite completely get it.
Evidently, neither did anyone else, and EYY had its plug pulled
shortly after its low-voltage debut.
Electric Yo-Yo is a game that you WANT to like, regardless of how good or
bad it actually is.
The thought of an electric yo-yo alone is groovy, so a game based
on one should be fantastic, right?
But here, it’s not fantastic.
It’s not that it’s bad, but it still has some issues to work
out to launch it into the “fantastic” stratosphere.
starters, real yo-yoing is all about doing crazy, off the wall tricks.
Shoot the moon, walk the dog, break the lamp, decapitate the
neighbor, what have you.
If you have a yo-yo and are planning to impress the ladies by
simply dropping it down and making it “sleep”, listen up buddy: they
Unless you’re lamely yo-yoing that way in a polaroid that clearly
displays your new sportscar in the background.
The Electric Yo-Yo doesn’t take advantage of the “tricks” angle and
instead focuses only on how long the string is as its focus for scoring.
The screen is littered with various “blox” (there’s that Qix
heritage sneaking in again) forming patterns that immediately conjure up
images of Solar Fox.
To grab the blox, simply lasso the loop end of the string around
The yo-yo will then follow the string back to the loop, ready for
Given the arrangement of the blox, some of them will be caught with
only the shortest of strings.
The goal is to max out your score by maxing out the length of your
(Does it strike anyone else that a lot of these “neutered”
games would give Freud and his students something to talk about all
Clearing each round isn’t particularly tough, but clearing each
round while revving up your score is an entirely different story.
cast of neutered friends also includes Bion and Trion.
Bions are bug-eyes with little feet, while Trions are bug-eyes that
hover about the playfield on a three-dimensional sort of helix that could
have come straight out of Qix.
Running into Trion always results in death, but Bions can be safely
passed through if the player manages to charge up the ol’ yo-yo first.
the yo-yo requires either a: luck, or b: quick reflexes and precision
As Trion bounces around the screen, it ricochets off of the blox,
temporarily charging them.
Managing to capture charged blox converts the yo-yo into an
electric yo-yo, the perfect tool for really pumping up your score.
the graphics in EYY are decent, they could stand to be more whimsical, a
little more “electric”.
The design team was on the right track with the “exploding yo-yo”
animation, but didn’t follow through with equally clever ideas
throughout the rest of the game.
sound effects, while a bit more fleshed out than the graphics, could also
use a nudge up the scale.
A cool electricity sound-effect precedes the rolling out of each
new yo-yo, and the explosion sounds are spot on.
Still, it’s almost as if an extra layer of sound is absent, like
an Oreo with only one outer cookie piece.
A little opening and/or closing musical theme perhaps, the kind
that would get stuck in your head and emerge during boring business
meetings or other such “real life” downtime.
Instead, we’ve only got fundamental sounds to listen to, nothing
shockingly original aside from the standouts already mentioned.
as the Electric Yo-Yo is a game that, merely based on the title, should be
one we’re all familiar with.
Since the game didn’t rise up to the level of its namesake,
instead of getting a variety of home conversions, EYY quickly disappeared.
Leaving us human yo-yos with drawers full of boring old “acoustic”
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