Quarantine Circular Review
Reviewed on PC
Mike Bithell has this wonderful habit of giving games journalists a reason to fear sudden incoming news from Twitter with no warning. In this instance, much like last August, we have another game out as soon as anyone found out about it. Set once again in the Bithellverse, although this time very much in the same world as Subsurface Circular, the new game Quarantine Circular takes place in the midst of a plague that has ravaged humanity. Vessels sail around full to the brim with medical staff in order to try and cure the illness that has taken so many.
The world crafting shines through in the incredibly well crafted dialogue, everything you need to know is explained in a way that doesn't make it feel like needless exposition. This is a game that respects the player's intelligence, and occasionally demands it as well. Essentially a visual novel, you make dialogue choices in order to achieve different goals as you go through the game.
Through the chapters you will be in control of different characters, all of whom have different personalities, it is here that the game differs most from its predecessor. The changing perspectives and the options that go with them add an interesting feeling of depth to each conversation. Instead of being consistent in your character throughout the game, should you be role playing as the person you are, you get this option and it is truly interesting one to consider.
As with Subsurface this is not a long game, up to about three hours for a play through, so making different choices isn't a huge time sink. The ability to jump into each chapter once you have finished further incentivizes you to play multiple times. You can easily see what the different outcomes are without a huge tax on you for doing so, this is the kind of thing that all of these games should have.
The sound design is fantastic with the music serving to keep you in the correct mind frame at each point, of course with Dan Le Sac at the helm again on this front it is no surprise. The sound effects are just as good, with the seagulls chirping and wailing off in the distance to remind you that you are at sea as well as the noises that one of the characters makes when talking. Graphically the game is good, the dialogue is easy to read, the choices are nicely animated and the interactions are clean and simple.
Once again Bithell Games have made an immensely enjoyable and though provoking game. The marketing of course has been non-existent but that is apparently just how things are done now. If you like Subsurface Circular then you will love this, if you didn't play it then go and play it as well.
Oh and in case you want to read Mike Bithell talking about games generally, you can check out an interview with him here.