Circuit's Edge is an atmospheric, well-written game based on "When Gravity Fails", an excellent sci-fi series by George Effinger about the Budayeen -- a small corner of Morocco notorious for violence, sex, and drugs. The game's strength lies in the outstanding and rich depiction of the world that Effinger envisioned.|
You play Marid, a down-on-his-luck two-bit courier looking for a job. The gameplay: walking city streets, visiting bars and talking to gender-nonconformists, using a cellphone, taking drugs, fighting punks, putting chips in your head. Few games are akin to it in terms of grit and a skilfully realized game world. The game also features an ingenious CHIP IN/OUT feature that is reminiscent of Interplay's Neuromancer: you can buy or obtain skill chips that can be activated to solve puzzles and increase your aptitude. Despite the seemingly endless freedom in exploring the city and partaking in its many vices, however, the gameplay is linear - one event after another, with lax time constraints, and the endless wandering is always cut short by messages in your wristwatch reminding you of your current task. The interface and encounters are exciting enough, but the characters you encounter, while gritty, are limited in their variance (but then again, few designers cared about the sexual history of characters in computer games back in 1988, or even now).
Though the game's story and prose are very violent, the story is still very interesting, and ranks among the best-developed in adventure games. There are also fighting sequences in the game, most of which don't drive the plot forwards but add action and atmosphere. Overall, Circuit's Edge is a must-play for all cyberpunk fans -- highly recommended.
Reviewed by: Underdogs