Circles scratches a really strange itch. This is a puzzle game that feels similar to those old Shockwave Flash efforts that would take you with moving your mouse cursor through tight fields of objects. Those dumb time killers wasted away many a computer lab back in high school for me.
Imagine those old games with a heck of a lot more polish and a bit of sound design that takes the visual aesthetic and brings it to life. This recent trailer does a great job showcasing the aural work.
You’ll dodge obstacles, figure out how circles react and time your movements with rhythm and motion to solve the increasingly abstract and difficult puzzles. And every single stage is marked by the addictive cadence of a snare drum, quick and rolling as the circles on the board collect into your growing cursor. This feels remarkably good, regardless of how pointless it really is. That snare kept me playing longer than it should have, and it’s a fantastic reminder of how important feedback is to player experience.
As the game evolves, the jazz soundtrack rolls in harder, more obviously and with plugs of the bass and pokes at the keys. The result is an endlessly relaxing, rewarding experience that I know I’ll fire up whenever I feel like a break, a beer and some thinking.
This game has no text. It’s extremely minimal. It asks that players experiment in order to learn, and I find that incredibly satisfying in the modern gaming era.
Circles is set to release on February 17, 2017. It’ll sell for $8.99 on Steam.
Disclaimer: We received an unsolicited code to check out circles from the developer.