The Magic Circle Gold Edition Review by Yodz

You are the protagonist of an unfinished 1st person fantasy game, trapped in development hell. The designers (played by James Urbaniak, Ashly Burch, and Karen Dyer) are god-like, but so indecisive that they've given you no powers whatsoever. With the help of a mysterious disembodied voice (Stephen Russell) you must seize the tools of game development from these unworthy 'gods', uncovering more of the darkly comic story as you go. Rather than traditional puzzles with a single solution, the incomplete state of each environment is a question that you answer in your own way. Trap the designers' creations, steal their behaviours, and re-mix them to explore and master this world-in-progress. Can you out-think the game gods? Can you ship The Magic Circle from inside it?

One of the first things I noticed about The Magic Circle is how truly unique the game is, everything from the story to gameplay and graphics is so well put together.

When you first start out you are introduced to the developers to the game within a game. You are the "hero", a lone tester who must explore the unfinished game and take the tools available to finish the game and get it ready for the E4 press conference. All while fighting off creatures and using the ability's from the creatures against them. Which has to be one of my favourite aspects of The Magic Circle.


As you progress through the game and defeat the creatures you are able to take the ability’s of said creature then apply them to basically any other creature or item you see in the game. Giving you the chance to give a rock a flying ability and have it breath fire, seems a bit ridiculous right, well it is a game after all!

There are many creature's you will encounter on your journey all unique with awesome ability's you can use to your advantage. You can even edit said creatures to be your ally and have them fight for you, or you can give that creature a parasite and have it infect anything it kills, which was one of my favourite parts of the game. You truly have the ability to create and edit with ease. You can even edit their names, their enemies, their attacks and special powers.

The world is vibrant despite being black and white for the most part, not all of the world is black and white because essentially you are within a unfinished game within a game, if that makes sense. You can go from a wild mountain side wasteland to a 90's sci fi game style space station similar to what FPS games like Doom or Quake looked like in in the 90's. There are tons of things to find in the game, such as development notes, commentary, special upgrades to better your health or even the health and speed of the creatures you allied. Some of the collectables are a bit easy to find but a few truly had me stumped as to where they were, which I didn't mind because it encouraged me to explore the land even more.


On the audio side of things I have no complaints, the voice acting is superb and it really engages you into the story. I was always eager to hear more and anxious to learn more about the story. Music is well done and sets the tone for all aspects of the game. Very simple but well done.


One of my few gripes with The Magic Circle is that you really have to figure out the game for yourself, aside from the short tutorial you are guided through, there really isn't much that teaches you how all the mechanics work, such as what certain ability's actually do and just what you can apply those ability's to do, but I'm also thinking that's how the actual development team wanted it to be, because after all the game is about being a tester in a unfinished game. And honestly the lack of tutorial shouldn't drive you from the game.

My next gripe is the length of the actual gameplay itself, I was able to complete the game 100% in just under 12 hours, not terribly short but disappointing when the story is so well done and I was so engaged with the game.


As for achievements the list comprises of 13 achievements that can all be unlocked with little effort, most are story related with one for finding all collectables. There are about 100 collectables in all and can be found with ease. It will be a fairly easy 1000 gamerscore when you use a few guides to figure them all out, unfortunately it will require two playthoughs but I didn't mind at all because I simply enjoyed the game so much.


Overall I highly recommend this game to anyone hungry for a engaging story or unique gameplay. I was hardpressed to find anything wrong with the game, yes the game may be a little short but at the $20 price point you still get your moneys worth. The voice acting is A+ and The Magic Circle truly provides a unique experience.


Final Score - 8/10


Written by John S aka Yodz.

You can find me on Twitter @akaYodz or on Xbox: Yodz


A code was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review


You can purchase The Magic Circle Gold Edition on the Xbox Store Here


Release Date - Wednesday‎, ‎29‎ ‎June‎ ‎2016

Price - $19.99

Download Size - 1.82 GB



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