Pyoro 64

Pyoro 64 is a homebrew game for the Nintendo 64 released in December 2018 by buu342 based off of the Pyoro and Pyoro 2 minigames for Warioware Inc. on the GBA and is one of the most complete ones around. Done for the sake of learning more about the Nintendo 64 SDK, it is comparable even to Dexanoid in terms of polish where most homebrew games are wonky at best.

You can download the game either on the discord server or on N64 Squid’s Pyoro 64 download page using password “buu342”.

Footage taken on real N64 Hardware.

Gameplay

The game is fairly straight forward. After all, it’s based off of a Wario Ware microgame so it has the complexity of something you’d play on the Atari VCS.

You play as Pyoro, a bird with a long tongue who eats falling beans. Pyoro’s tongue always shoots diagonally upwards at a 45 degree angle, which makes it difficult to aim for beginners, but provides more range and versatility than shooting vertically or horizontally.

It’s an arcade-style game, so the main objective is to get a high score. The more points you get, the faster the beans start to fall and they also spawn more and more frequently. The game gets harder as you progress, so it really ends up being a race against your endurance and an increasing difficulty.

Getting hit by a bean means game over. If a bean falls to the ground, it destroys one of the floor tiles. This is bad news because it limits your movement on the screen. If too many tiles fall off, you’ll become immobile and at the mercy of any bean that spawns above you.

There are three types of bean:

Green bean: this bean is the standard type. It does nothing except fall down and kill you or grant points when eaten.

White bean: same as the green bean, but when eaten it gives back the nearest missing tile to Pyoro.

Shiny bean: This is the rarest bean, and only starts appearing after 5,000 points. It destroys all the other beans on screen (for 50 points each) and gives back the nearest 10 tiles.

As you advance through the game, the music and background changes. The game starts with a piano tune during the afternoon. At 5,000 points, you get a drum beat and the setting changes to dusk. And at 10,000 you get a synth piano (I think that’s what it’s called) and it becomes full night time. At first I thought it was because of passing time, but I’m quite sure it’s because you reach point milestones.

Pyoro 64 also has a 2-player mode if you really want to be racking up the points.

How to score high in Pyoro 64 (meta game)

As the beans fall, the score they give out falls lower and lower:

  • 1000: This score can only be achieved if your tongue is already airborne and a bean spawns in its path.
  • 300: You can get 300 points if you see the bean spawn and immediately extend your tongue without repositioning.
  • 100: This is the most consistent score to get with a bit of effort – if you can reposition yourself quickly after you see a bean spawn, it’s possible to get 100 points.
  • 50: This is what you get if a bean falls about midway down the screen. When you miss a bean that was in the 300-point range, you can quicly reposition to still get 50 points.
  • 10: When you eat a bean that’s right above your head, you get ten points. Not really worthwhile pointwise, so it’s only recommended to aim for these to prevent tiles from falling.

This makes it a lot more worthwhile to hit the beans up top than the ones further down. Think about it – you need to get 100 of the 10-point beans to get the same score as a 1000-point bean.

In the beginning of the game, this (ironically) means that the best strategy is to stay put in one place and extend your tongue into nothingness in hopes that you get those 1000-pointers. Of course if you rely on this, then eventually you’ll get bottled into a 2-3 wide space and end up getting a game over so take this advice with a grain of salt.

The game takes a pretty big twist after 5,000 points. This is the part where the game starts to get crazy. Way more beans start to fall, more than you can handle so you must get the shiny ones in order to survive. Those clear the screen of beans and recover 10 tiles which you will need to compensate for the number of ones lost. This also means that if you miss a shiny bean, you’re dead. You might be lucky enough to get two consecutive ones, but those are few and far between. Besides shiny beans, the late game consists o trying to keep your immediate vicinity clear of beans.

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to keep your tongue extending when you miss a bean. In the early game it gives you the chance to get a 1,000-pointer and in the late game you’re likely to hit anything any way. This means that the time you spent extending in the first time isn’t wasted.

Pyoro 2

This is an alternate mode of Pyoro. The game is essentially the same thing, except that you blow gusts of wind rather than extend your tongue. This means that the ‘path’ is invisible (making it harder to aim) but it destroys all beans in its path. The scoring is a standard 50 per bean, but increases if you hit multiple beans.

For some reason, I couldn’t unlock this mode. It’s said that you need to reach 10,000 points, but that didn’t work. Then I tried to beat the default high score (14,316, an impossible score considering that it must be a multiple of 10) but that didn’t work, so I’m assuming it’s bugged.

My opinion on Pyoro 64

It’s really impressive that a game this complete was made by someone on the N64 in 2018. It’s the game I spent the most time playing trying to get that high score up to beat the default one. As with many arcade-style games, it seems a bit shallow at first but the game’s complexity lies in its nuances.

I played the game for about three hours before I managed to get 15,000 points and it was a time well spent. The graphics are colourful, music is cheerful and dynamic… it’s just a basic fun arcade style game.

I didn’t find any bugs or crashes besides not being able to unlock Pyoro 2. It might be just a problem with my version of the game.

Pyoro 64’s development

One of the greatest things about this game (that we’ll be seeing more of in the future) is that this game was released with the full source code and a development log (manual?). It’s quite in-depth so I won’t get to it for the moment, but here are the links:

Articles across the web

Pyoro 64 by Buu342 is the best N64 homebrew game we're seen in a while. Let's have a look at what this game has to offer.
Article published on N64 Squid

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