(none) Quintin Stone - Interactive Fiction Review
Interactive Fiction
Role-playing Games

Square Circle

Author: Eric Eve
Language: TADS3
Score: 8

In a dark, dystopian future, convicted of a crime you cannot remember, you need only solve a simple riddle to gain your freedom. Or is it really quite as simple as that? Well, no, of course not!

Certainly the beginning appears to set up Square Circle as yet another one-puzzle competition game. However, once you get passed the initial quandry, the real meat of the game presents itself. And while I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had more depth than I first surmised, something about the game left me feeling disconnected. It lacked a certain verisimilitude that would have let me become truly immersed in the game.

The only minor problem I encountered was a few issues with the context-sensitive hint system. Occasionally there were hints that wouldn't show up and alternatively, some that didn't disappear after the puzzle was solved.

A few of the puzzles came off a tad obscure to me, leading me to resort to the hints and walkthrough on more than one occasion. Something about the overall game felt a little hollow to me. I think it was the sense of emptiness I got traveling the map, as if this would wasn't really inhabited. The inventory limit became frustrating at the end, making me wish that the author had implemented an automatic sack object. However, it was an interesting story with a nice twist.

Final score: 8

High point:
Getting to the twist. It probably won't be too hard to figure out beforehand, but it did surprise me.

Low point:
My own particular solution to the introductory puzzle, while being visually indistinguishable from the "correct" solution, was not accepted.
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