Square Circle is a very neat puzzle-based text adventure with a great plot. Although the game is much longer than an average IFComp game, and some puzzles are so difficult you will likely need to consult the walkthrough unless you are an expert, the excellent plot and ingenious puzzles will make you grit your teeth to see the ending. The game begins in a typical amnesia-ridden-protagonist fashion: you wake up in a prison cell only to find a note that says you will only be released once you create a "square circle". |
Contrary to most IF games, the first puzzle in the game is easily the hardest; you will appreciate the ingenuity though. Some of the puzzles should be better clued-in – one puzzle was not even revealed to be a puzzle by the built-in HINT command, and another was a bad "guess the verb" kind. On the upside, many puzzles have multiple solutions, the HINT function works well most of the time, and the game even has multiple endings.
With regards to the plot and NPCs, they are both very well written. The NPCs have a lot of interesting things to say, and many conversations reveal interesting details about your protagonist's pre-amnesia history as well as tidbits about the gameworld. Although the game drags a bit in the middle – I felt there were too many puzzles that are just there for the sake of giving you some things to do – the surprising ending of Square Circle that delivers on its premise more than makes it worth your time and patience. Highly recommended for all IF fans.
Reviewed by: Underdogs