Hey all I’m back with a game I got asked to review a while back, but only just had the time to go through recently! It’s The Magic Circle!
Plot Synopsis: In The Magic Circle, the player takes on the role of a QA tester who was recently hired to help prepare the live demo for a game that has been in development hell for nearly twenty years; said game is the sequel to a cult classic interactive fiction title with a dedicated fan following. The player is introduced to the developers of the game, who make their appearances in the world as floating eyes capable of changing the environment on a whim, only to discover that the two project leads, Ishmael Gilder and Maze Evelyn, have entered into a bitter rivalry over their respective creative philosophies, and due to their inability to cooperate have rendered the game largely vaporware.
Plot: The plot is actually pretty interesting, and I wasn’t expecting it to be so funny to myself as I know what goes into making games. That being said, if you don’t understand how to make games, this game might give you some insights into the process as a whole. However it won’t probably have the same impact as it would on someone like myself.
Characters: Other than yourself and Ish and Maze, there are two other characters. Coda and Pro, Coda is probably my least favorite character. Pro is pretty funny, although he can be rather crude occasionally.
Gameplay: The gameplay itself plays like most First Person story games, like Skyrim or any FPS. However the big difference is that instead of doing combat yourself directly you can only edit or command the various creatures or objects in the world. If you want to give a rock the ability to blast things to death while flying around you, you can do so. It’s fairly ridiculous, but it’s completely doable. I enjoyed the open endedness of the game, as it allowed me to be pretty clever and break puzzles with ease. Of course that’s the premise of the entire game, so I’m sure I did some things according to what the developers thought I’d do.
I don’t think they were planning on me having a swarm of bugs rampaging about me all the time that I could plan on using to destroy everything in my path though.
Art: The art is okay, but it’s also fairly obvious that this isn’t a big budget game, as it definitely looks like it could be from two console generations ago or more.
Music: The musical score is actually pretty interesting, and the voicework is pretty good.
Overall: If you want to get a look at how games are made and how much work it is, than The Magic Circle is definitely for you. Or if you just like to break games in interesting ways.
For those who like: Open-Ended Games, Re-playability, Interesting and Fun Gameplay, Fun Puzzles, Amusing Stories, Great Musical Scores.
Not for those who don’t like: All of the above.