The Magic Circle review

April 27, 2016 no comments Posted in Indie, PC, Playstation & Sony, Video Games


So, On PC, at a 20 euro pricetag, I’ll give it a 7.65(recursive, of course) out of 10. I’d definitely recommend it if you are interested in game development at all and are ok with spending 20 on a 6.5 hour game.

A genre-obliterating 1st person epic. A singular journey, 20 years in the making. Ishmael Gilder, a.k.a. STARFATHER, a living legend of game design – brings you a cutting edge 4D * graphical re-imagining of the classic text adventure that swept the globe. Through it, STARFATHER met you, the Player… his co-star – and at first sight, he knew just how he felt about you. The Magic Circle is more than a sequel – it is a state of consciousness, utterly without precedent – and at last, it is worthy… of you.

*4D technology is a stretch goal, pending the contribution of backrs like you

-from The Magic Circle’s kbackr page

I couldn’t write it better myself so I just copied and pasted their description of the game.
Though, I can add the details and views that need to be mentioned but cannot be said by TMC games without sounding too full of themselves; The Magic Circle is perhaps the most complete 4D* experience this side of the 2015, Ishmael Gilder is not living legend, for gods such as himself should not be tainted by the classification ‘living’. In fact, I punish myself for using the year 2015, as the more suitable epoch of which to base modern time off is the day the world was blessed of his creation.


The Magic Circle is a puzzle/adventure game where you take control of a play tester gone rogue, who through the help of synth Nick Valentine — originally from Fallout 4 but left that universe when the Automatron DLC had all these new, customizable robots replace him as the player’s favourite — hack your way through the game you are testing, to the dismay of it’s semi-competent creators who have been stuck in development hell for over 10 years.

The game is filled with various creatures with unique abilities and attributes, which can be hacked to do your bidding. Puzzles are solved by taking attributes from creatures, putting them in others and getting them to work together for your nefarious intentions, like taking the fireproof from a rock, putting it in a turtle and riding it across a lake of lava(A much easier way to learn about the Entity Component System)

The Magic Circle is probably the most original game (that actually attempts to be something people enjoy playing) I’ve ever played. Earlier I described this as a puzzle/adventure, but it doesn’t feel like any game in that category I’ve played before because of it’s hugely non-linear nature, I am interested how other players solved various puzzles, not because I didn’t solve them, but because there are many ways to solve any given puzzle, and the order you do the puzzles(and even which ones you do) is largely up to the player. And the non-linearity does not take away from immersion like it would in other games, I am supposed to be breaking the rules. Completing puzzles my own way is more rewarding.


TMC  has an excellent VA cast, with Stephen Russell, James Urbaniak, Ashly Burch and Karen Dyer. There are developer notes hidden throughout the game which deliver a story that’s very funny, with a niche, meta satirical humour with lots of game designer inside jokes and references. Though, some of the character’s rants could do with a laughing track so you can make the satire out from the truth. The general plot is nothing groundbreaking, but still impressive and goes along with the gameplay very nicely.

In conclusion, The Magic Circle is a very original, entertaining, funny and rewarding game with great voice actors. By far it’s main flaw is being too brief, otherwise nothing much stands out as a problem. So, On PC, at a 20 euro price tag, I’ll give it a 7.65(recursive, of course) out of 10. I’d definitely recommend it if you are interested in game development at all and are ok with spending 20 on a 6.5 hour game.




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