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About the StoryWhat is your crime? Why do you feel both guilty and unjustly punished? What has happened to your memory? How will you draw a square circle and get out of your prison? What will you find then?
Nominee, Best Puzzles - 2004 XYZZY Awards
>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
Square Circle suffers from being oversized for a comp game -- not heinously so, but I think I was only about 75% through when the two-hour bell rang. So that'll hurt its rating with me. Otherwise, though it's a little unpolished in places, this game offers an intriguing scenario and some enjoyable puzzles, and I recommend it, especially if it sees a revised post-comp edition.
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Number of Reviews: 6
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Kafkaesque is a word many have used to describe this game, and indeed a sense of claustrophobia pervades the entire escape attempt. The writing is solid and sometimes witty; most visible objects were implemented. It was, however, marred for me with imperfect line breaks and the occasional "infodump".
Balance between story and puzzles was probably a tough call here. There is plenty of both, which provides for a rich playing experience, but the delivery of major plot points was often delivered as an uninterrupted chunk of text. Reading the 'infodump' like that broke the flow of the story and, for me, lessened the impact of the most major twists. The puzzles were well-hinted with contextual hints, and there are multiple solutions to some of the puzzles. Despite this, the puzzles are not easy. For me, solutions weren't immediately obvious and I often referred to the hints. I found it hard to find that moment of enlightenment when solving the puzzles, partly because there wasn't enough material with which I could experiment. Also, it seems to be possible to put the game into an unwinnable state, probably meriting its Nasty rating on the Forgiveness scale.
Conversation in Square Circle also merits some mention, with most topics of conversation given an appropriate response. As with Blighted Isle, Eve also includes some natural-sounding responses to topics for which the NPCs do not have an answer - a thoughtful, and also playful, gesture.
Square Circle is technically strong, with a well-thought-out story and interesting puzzles. There is a good twist towards the end, and perhaps could adopt a more strongly consistent tone, but well worth playing.
The plot wasn't as compelling as other Eric Eve games, but it was still pretty good. You are put in prison, your memory erased, until you can make a 'square circle'.
The solution to this puzzle was unexpected to me, and I used a hint, but it was fun. What was much more fun, however, was the psychological drama that unfolded for the rest of the game.
This game was well-regarded for its puzzles, and I found them fun as well. I prefer Nightfall, Blighted Isle, and All Hope Abandone by Eve to this game, but it is still a very good game.
Recommended for everyone.
See All 6 Member Reviews
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