Circulate

Circulate - PC - Gameplay Screenshot
Truth be said, I’m not much of a casual games fan and even less so when I’m too busy to spare the few precious moments needed for that extra drink. Also I’m not in the best of moods. And ButtonSmasher has been taking up too much of my gaming/blogging time. Oh, yes, and Circulate, the brand new game I’m supposed to be reviewing here, is definitely advertised as one of them casual offerings. Then again, were I wearing a sombrero (sombreros always make you happy, mind) I’d definitely describe it as an indie, physics based, action heavy puzzle game, which definitely sounds a lot better and is closer to the truth too.
Circulate - PC - Gameplay Screenshot

So, what precisely is Circulate, I pretend to hear you ask. I mean, besides an indie, physics based, action heavy puzzle game. Well, that’s not a very easy answer to give unfortunately. Circulate, you see, has the player spinning whole levels around and occasionally clicking on -for lack of a better word- spheres, while trying to get them spheres in containers, trying to make them vanish, or generally moving them properly around while avoiding a variety of obstacles and traps. A concept that is apparently way easier to understand than explain.

Circulate - PC - Gameplay Screenshot

And is it a good a game, I pretend to hear you ask again, while thinking I should cut down on the habit. Why, yes, yes it is. Innovative and maddeningly addictive too. The learning curve is just perfect, the controls are intuitive, the levels incredibly varied and more than enough to keep you sleepless for a few nights (there are 120 of them), the kaleidoscopic graphics are beautiful, the music is just fine, the tutorial mode works perfectly and the game is an absolute blast to play. Add the numerous options available, including the one to play Circulate in windowed mode, its modest price and the very reasonable hardware requirements, and you got a game any PC gamer should try.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umVdDP0vYQE[/youtube]

That’s a (seven and a half) out of (ten).


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Konstantinos Dimopoulos

Hi, my name is Gnome, a.k.a Konstantinos and I own the blog Gnome's Lair which is all about gaming in all of its many and varied guises. It is thus about computer & video games, old games, new games, indie games, adventure games, free games, board games, ludology, game creation, RPGs, books on games, games on books, and well the theory of and in games.

16 thoughts on “Circulate

  • March 20, 2008 at 5:55 PM
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    Wow! Impressive stuff! It looks a little perplexing though, and I’m a little bit tipsy again…

    Do you know Gnome, I’ve restricted my drinking to only two nights a week (for the first time in years), but I always seem to check in here ont those sordid Friday/Saturday nights…

    Email me midweek and I’ll check this lovely game out in glorious sobriety…

    Are we meeting up in Cyprus this week?

  • March 21, 2008 at 1:02 AM
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    Is this a remake of the 2004 edition of Circulate that I see at MobyGames?

  • March 21, 2008 at 8:32 AM
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    Well, Father dear, as I’m definitely not setting foot on Cyprus, I guess you’d better have a stop at Athens. And play Circulate while heavily intoxicated… How’s that?

    It seems you are right djp mom. Might be the same game too really, but I’m not really sure…

  • March 21, 2008 at 11:13 AM
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    If you are not a fan of casual games, then why do you own a Wii?

  • March 21, 2008 at 11:26 AM
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    Uhm, what part of Zelda, Metroid or even Pro Evo do you consider to be casual dear funnyman?

  • March 21, 2008 at 8:53 PM
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    Aren’t the bulk of Wii games causal like Wii fit and Wii sports? Isn’t Nintendo promoting the Wii as a casual console?

  • March 22, 2008 at 5:43 AM
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    This looks like something more akin to my wife’s tastes than mine. If I can’t shoot it, stab it, or blow it up, I generally don’t play it (unless it’s MYST, that is).

    To me, not interesting – let alone for $15.

  • March 22, 2008 at 7:50 AM
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    Well, funnyman dear, I don’t quite care how Nintendo is promoting the console. After all I don’t give a fuck about Nintendo or any other corporation. What truly matters to me is the fact that there are over a dozen excellent non-casual games… But, really, why are you so passionate about the Wii? Doesn’t quite compute as we’d say ages ago.

    Fair enough oh Dane. One question though… besides Myst, are you generally into adventures too?

  • March 22, 2008 at 11:14 AM
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    I don’t care about the Wii, but you mentioned that you are not a fan of casual games in this blog post. If you say that there are also non-casual games on the Wii, then I believe you. But I always see, hear, and read about the Wii being a console for casual gamers on tv and on sites. These sites are claiming that the Wii is for casual players. I am guessing they are all wrong. Father, close your eyes because I know how much you love IGN.

    http://games.ign.com/articles/827/827272p1.html

    http://www.gamecritics.com/wii-and-the-casual-gaming-boom

    http://ce.tekrati.com/research/10080/

  • March 23, 2008 at 12:54 AM
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    Funnyman, I think what Gnome means that, while Nintendo may be marketing the Wii to a casual market and the bulk of releases may be casual games, hardcore titles such as Metroid Prime and Super Mario Galaxy make up for that.

  • March 23, 2008 at 10:51 AM
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    Yes, Funnyman, nice American sites mostly catering to boys, that -as is to be expected of them- tend to oversimplify. Try having a read at this instead:

    http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=95130

    Oh, and Ross, well, not quite really, but what you say is closer to what I think than Funnyman’s perception. On the other hand, defining a casual game would be mot difficult really. Is Tetris -for example- casual?

  • March 23, 2008 at 11:48 AM
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    I guess if something can be played easily and enjoyed by a mass market then it can be considered casual…

    Unfortunately the Wii has the most shovel ware out of all the next-gen consoles right now. For every excellent release there’s fifty titles like Ninja Reflex and Carnival Games.

  • March 23, 2008 at 12:15 PM
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    Interesting set of criteria Ross, but wouldn’t they make Halo 3, Super Mario Galaxy and Monkey Island 2 casual games?

    Oh, and shovelware does indeed exist on the Wii. In its worse form too, but it’s so easy to ignore it doesn’t really matter.

  • March 25, 2008 at 4:42 AM
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    Gnome… as far as adventures, I suppose I’d have to ask for more specifics. Some yes – some a resounding “no”. The genre has very much fractured over the past 10 years, and there are many definitions as to what an “adventure” game truly is.

  • March 25, 2008 at 6:40 AM
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    Oh, well, dear Dane I am almost always referring to point-and-click adventures. Think Monkey Island, Gabriel Knight, Scratches, Grim Fandango and even Runaway.

  • November 26, 2009 at 12:41 AM
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    Circulate seems interesting. I have not tried this game yet, but seems a good game to try.

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