Morning, Ralph.

Text adventure Subsurface Circular finds its way to iPad

iPad, PC/Mac •

Hey, everyone! It’s Monday and I’m still sick! This announcement has nothing to do with the game we’re about to discuss or with garnering sympathy (I’ll take it, but that’s not the main point), but I wanted everyone to understand why content might be a little slow over the next few days. The flu I seem to have picked up is accompanied by migraine level headaches, and staring at a screen makes it about 100x worse, which is kind of an issue when writing a blog. Hopefully this clears up quickly and things can get back to normal, but I thought you should know.

Back to our regular programming: Let’s talk about Subsurface Circular.

Subsurface Circular is a game that landed on PC and Mac back in August and, just yesterday, arrived on the App Store for iPad. It is a text adventure, which might make you think of grues and typing “get lamp”, but it’s a little more involved than that.

You’re a detective looking into the disappearance of robotic workers located underground on the Subsurface Circular. You’ll learn words and phrases and then use those phrases later to unlock puzzles and whatnot as you continue your journey to solving the mystery. It combines classic Zork-like text adventure with more modern dialogue systems and it looks and sounds pretty damn cool.

  • A MATURE, POLISHED, ONE-SITTING GAME Developed by the award-winning team behind Thomas Was Alone and Volume.
  • A GRAPHICAL TWIST ON THE CLASSIC TEXT-BASED ADVENTURE Use ‘Focus Points’, a unique vocabulary-based inventory system.
  • ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK BY DAN LE SAC As part of immersive and atmospheric soundscape.
  • EXPLORE THE ART BEHIND THE GAME Comprehensive art gallery featuring the detailed work that went into this world.
  • AFTER IT’S OVER, ENJOY AN IN DEPTH COMMENTARY Unlockable ‘BithellBot’, our interactive take on a developer’s commentary.

The game is short, however. It’s not a secret; the developer states right in the description that it’s a one-sitting game. Steam reviews don’t seem to care, however, as Subsurface Circular has almost universal praise, with much of it centered on the atmosphere and the narrative. Is a game you can finish in under 2 hours worth $5? I would say, yes, if it’s a good one. If you’d rather wait before jumping in, however, Kelsey should have a review up later this week with more details.

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Notable Replies

  1. I didn’t know this game was coming to iOS so soon after its Steam release, but I’ll definitely pick it up at some point. Mike Bithell also developed Thomas Was Alone, one of my personal favorites.

  2. Hardco says:

    I’ve never found the time to replay the old Infocoms since Lost Treasures came out for ios, so maybe this is what I need.

    Even though I didn’t find the time, I’m still saddened to see that Lost Treasures of Infocom didn’t survive the Appocalypse!

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