Circles combines hide and seek with a steady hand

Circles

Circles [official site] caught my eye because I tend to be attracted by that particular clean, geometric aesthetic and I went in expecting something like a logic puzzle because that’s a genre which seems to marry up with the art style – clean lines, logical solutions. But having played the free online demo Circles is actually more like one of those wire loop games from fairs where you have a long, wiggle line of wire and must pass a loop along it without the two touching and setting off a buzzer.

“Circles is an abstract puzzle game that takes your mind off things. No words, no distractions: an invitation to experiment. Relax, let your mind wander and discover the puzzling possibilities of circles.”

What you’re doing in Circles is trying to move your cursor around the space in order to reach a particular spot on the screen. As you move around you also cause the rest of the circles on the map to expand and contract, sometimes opening up new areas, sometimes closing them off. So it’s got the motor control aspect of the wire loop game, but also the warmer/cooler aspect of hide and seek.

I rather liked it as an idea, but it’s that thing where the demo never got complicated or difficult enough that I was assured it would become a satisfying or meaty enough puzzler to justify me picking it up, especially at the $8.99/£6.99 price point (although currently slightly discounted). That said, I’m one of those ridiculous people who relaxes to idiotically difficult puzzle games so YMMV!

But yes, there’s a free browser-based demo so go take a look and let me know what you reckon. The full game is out on Steam, Itch, and Humble for Windows and Mac.

3 Comments

  1. LTK says:

    This mechanic reminds me of that game where you have to move your perspective around a scene until it arranges into a recognisable image. It’s a nice idea but somewhat limited.

  2. Billtvm says:

    It would be a blast if has sudden jump scares thrown in between.

  3. otakucore says:

    I love the concept. It’s very meditative, the way the puzzles are intuitive and you have to move the mouse smoothly and calmly. The dilation of the circles makes me think of breathing.

    Problem is the game only takes a couple of hours to complete. It’s not something you can play every day to relax. Without procedural level generation, I can’t justify spending money on this.