The Magic Circle Image
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79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

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  • Summary: In this darkly comedic story, you are the hero of an unfinished fantasy game - and your designers have failed you. Trap their creations. Swap behaviors and body parts, crafting your own unique solutions to free-form puzzles. Steal the power of creation, to either ship the game from theIn this darkly comedic story, you are the hero of an unfinished fantasy game - and your designers have failed you. Trap their creations. Swap behaviors and body parts, crafting your own unique solutions to free-form puzzles. Steal the power of creation, to either ship the game from the inside ... or cancel it. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Aug 3, 2015
    90
    The Magic Circle is an unfinished game in which you play a game about a game that is unfinished; a satirical opinion on the games industry and community. The voice acting is spot on, the world is minimalistic but rich and the unique game mechanics and strong story are making you wonder if you are playing the game, or if the game is playing you.
  2. Jul 14, 2015
    90
    The Magic Circle is the best "broken" game you've ever played - and a rich satire of the industry to boot.
  3. Oct 8, 2015
    85
    The Stanley Parable was a brilliant satire on video games. The creators of The Magic Circle picked a different target — not games themselves, but people that work on them. And, unlike those “walking simulators”, there is plenty of fun stuff to do.
  4. Aug 7, 2015
    80
    Simultaneously cynical and sincere, The Magic Circle is a postmodern critique of video games that comes in the form of a neofuturist video game.
  5. Jul 31, 2015
    78
    A marvelously creative, puzzling adventure that’s very mad at you.
  6. The Magic Circle’s appeal runs the gamut of the video game industry. While players might have one experience, someone who has actually worked in game development might get something entirely different from the game. And with a well-written script and some talented voice acting, it has a narrative that you’ll actually enjoy instead of merely coasting through to see the credits roll.
  7. Nov 4, 2015
    60
    A very creative and original story as well as gameplay. It has a unique style which give it life. A few added controls and some minor graphic and menu changes, and I Believe I could really get into this game.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Jul 19, 2015
    10
    Fully complete and yet it's an unfinished mastery of story and gameplay. I found myself picking up a copy as soon as I learned of this gamesFully complete and yet it's an unfinished mastery of story and gameplay. I found myself picking up a copy as soon as I learned of this games existence.... Having completed the story twice I can say it's wonderfully complete. I found myself looking for combinations of powers just to see what would happen. If you don't already know. The Magic Circle is an adventure style game that takes place inside of a broken incomplete game. Stripped of your abilities and left to your own devices you progress through a drudge fest of a "game" created by the games godlike Developers. over time you capture the entities of the game removing their traits and rewriting them as you see fit. Wanna see a fire breathing horde of gnome sized mushrooms it's yours. Given the few hour's I've had with this game i'm writing my first review because I had to tell others of the adventure. Expand
  2. Jul 14, 2015
    10
    A pretty interesting satire on the state of the modern game industry and an interesting free-form puzzle game.
    The game takes place inside a
    A pretty interesting satire on the state of the modern game industry and an interesting free-form puzzle game.
    The game takes place inside a broken game that is never going to be fixed and you are an entity that has found it's way into the world of the game. You can edit your enemies by going inside their heads and making them your allies, You can control said Allies, make them attack enemies and such. Sometimes you can get a little lost and it can sometimes take a while to figure out what to do but in my opinion that is part of the game's charm. I wholly recommend this game. There are some nice visual flourishes too. For example, the unfinished world is grey and drab but wherever you walk there is a spot of colour beneath you. Your 'Magic Circle' trap looks amazing as well. There is always some amazing thing to look at, some visually creative place in this forsaken world.
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  3. Jul 17, 2015
    10
    I would not consider myself an insider - but I do like fun games. This game was a blast to play, has amazing voice talent, not to mentionI would not consider myself an insider - but I do like fun games. This game was a blast to play, has amazing voice talent, not to mention mechanics that allowed me to build an army of undead to do my bidding. What's not to like? Expand
  4. May 4, 2016
    6
    The Magic Circle
    From Magic to lame
    The Magic Circle is basically a game about game development.. development teams not agreeing on what
    The Magic Circle
    From Magic to lame
    The Magic Circle is basically a game about game development..
    development teams not agreeing on what goes where, and who should have what powers…
    so its up to you to try and finish this game…
    The game starts out with a feeling of mystery.. and exploration ironically thanks to the linear feel the game originally gives off … coming across a sword and the developers changing the world and story around you…discovering your first deleted cave, All of this instantly got me excited for what was to come.. that I was going to play an ever changing game in conflict…but once you realize that this is actually an open world game that goes back and forth between colorless plains and a pixilated space station, it quickly loses all magic and charm, and ends up being quite dull…
    The game for the most part takes place in an unfinished open world rpg
    its all about exploring the world and editing creatures and their abilities to help you progress through the world.
    You can strip abilities from some items and use them on another item.. you can bring non living items to life.. make a certain object or creature attack another…
    Cool idea on paper, but you can literally just make everything your ally removing all threat in the game..
    Turning this more into a lifeless open world puzzle game…
    of course you will run into objects that give you troubles, but it will only last for a few seconds…
    and there are literally only like 80 enemies in the entire world and half of them are mushrooms and rocks.
    At the end you do get to make your own game with a laughable amount of options and design choices..
    with no real urge or need to get creative… unless you want a 10/10 score for a trophy,
    but again the options are so boring that this is chore…
    I was in love with magic circle during its first moments.
    but unfortunately this game gets worse the longer you play it.
    I give the magic circle
    a 6/10
    Expand
  5. Oct 22, 2016
    6
    As others have written, it's a satire on gamedev industry. Arguing game developers, long projects, nothing works, nothing finished etc. YouAs others have written, it's a satire on gamedev industry. Arguing game developers, long projects, nothing works, nothing finished etc. You run around an ugly world converting monsters and solving small puzzles. There are some pretty interesting ideas here, e.g. you can change parameters of monsters (like make them your ally, just like that). However, after you've "got it" (like, "ok, this is how bad gamedev is") there isn't much else to see or enjoy but the game drags on. Frankly, i didn't find the narrative funny or even entertaining. It's over-acted daily routine of developers, sitcom-level. For comparison, dilbert.com comic strips are much cleverer and funnier, if you want some satire on IT industry in general. Not sure if there is anything like that about game development industry in particular. I'm still giving this game a 6 because of the novelty and the experimental feel of this. Such games are definitely needed. Expand
  6. Aug 24, 2017
    5
    Fun gameplay in the first part, with one of these annoying meta storylines that amount to designer's intellectual masturbation (also known asFun gameplay in the first part, with one of these annoying meta storylines that amount to designer's intellectual masturbation (also known as artsy fartsy,) and that you can easily ignore. Nice demo-like graphics, some good puzzles, most of them optional, some exploration, and a general impression of freedom of play, despite a rather small map. The idea could be developed into a better, richer game, as the actors' attributes you can manipulate are for the most part useless. That could have been done in a second chapter, on a new map, but...

    It turns to rubbish afterwards. The second half is nothing but a boring, minimalistic dungeon-maker. Its only purpose is to demonstrate how clever the designers are at recording a flexible voice-over for the guy who tests your dungeon. Unfortunately not so clever at playing it, so he keeps dying like a wuss, or running indefinitely into your traps. That leaves you zero creativity, and you reduce the threat so many times, room by room, that the voice-over quickly runs out.
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  7. Apr 14, 2016
    1
    The Magic Circle wants to be a game about making games. As one of those artsy meta-games, in the game it is a “game within a game”, whereinThe Magic Circle wants to be a game about making games. As one of those artsy meta-games, in the game it is a “game within a game”, wherein you are a playtester for a gaming company whose game, the Magic Circle, has been in development hell for the last 20 years. You are quickly introduced to the four main characters. Ish, the pretentious game developer who seems to be riffing on a number of haughty, pretentious game designers. Coda, a fangirl new to the company who has joined the team and is responsible for creating a demo but who is deeply angry about Ish’s failure to deliver a game for so long, and extremely possessive of the game world. Haze, a pro gamer who joined the team ten years ago to try and help Ish understand gamers. And Pro, an AI trapped inside the world, the PC of the previous version of the game which was trashed ten years ago when they started over from scratch.

    This game is really driven by story, but it suffers from the flaw of everyone being kind of a jerk. The “good guys” are Pro and Haze, and they’re trying to destroy the company around them. It just goes downhill from there. This makes it hard to really like any of them; they’re kind of fun to watch for a bit, but after a while, it just becomes horror heaped upon horror. Moreover, the actual character arcs are fairly limited, and unfortunately, it felt a bit inconsistent at times.

    The actual gameplay isn’t very good either; in fact, I’d classify it as outright bad. While some of this is intentional meta-badness, it is genuinely not a fun game to play. The gameplay consists of pretty obvious, basic actions. It is definitely not a twitch-based game, and is really centered around solving puzzles with the tools you have.

    The core of the gameplay – in fact, the ONLY gameplay in the game – is shooting a little magic circle under an enemy. You have tons of time to do this, so this isn’t really hard. Once they’re trapped in your circle, you can strip off all the abilities from the enemy or even make it into your friend so it will attack other enemies for you.

    This sounds neat, but it is literally the only gameplay mechanic there is. There are a few enemies later on in the game which your dudes cannot attack easily, and which require you to kill them by getting a tractor beam ability to pull them down to be attacked, or to get the railgun ability to shoot them from range. Then, you just do the same thing.

    These three things – plus the ability to ride around on the back of a fireproof turtle – solve every puzzle in the game.

    The result, then, is that the gameplay mostly consists of wandering around the game world searching for collectables; you can complete the entire game in under two hours if you’re just trying to beat it, and frankly, the collectibles don’t really add all that much. The puzzles are mostly just “find ability and use it to solve the puzzle”; none of the solutions are ever particularly clever, and almost all of them basically have one or two “pieces” to them.

    The gameplay is just too straightforward, without anything really to mix things up until the end of the game where you create a little mini-dungeon to send the AI through – which is really very basic and not all that fun to create.

    As there is no intensity in the actual gameplay itself, and the game world is deliberately drab and ugly (and very monotonous looking after a while), there’s just not much to love here. The story is only okay, it ends up coming off as a bit too caught up in how clever it thinks it is, and the gameplay itself is pretty poor.

    All in all, I can’t really recommend this. It had some vaguely interesting ideas, but ultimately, not much was done with them, and the moment-to-moment gameplay of the game is just not very engaging.
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See all 10 User Reviews