Circus Electrique Reviews
In the end, the main takeaway I have from playing through Circus Electrique is just how flat it all feels. Playing the game is never explicitly unpleasant but is never memorable or particularly fun, either. Instead, the game is almost liminal. So while the game is unlikely to end up on any lists for worst games of the year, I doubt that most players who try it will remember its release for very long.
There’s a lot going on, but it doesn’t stop the game from feeling stale. Only getting to do one battle per in-game day makes the title's pacing feel very slow, and the story feels disappointingly broken up as a result.
While Circus Electrique attempts to provide its own unique twist to various elements, it finds varying levels of success.
Circus Electrique is a decent RPG. While the combat won't blow you away, and the management simulation is rather poor. The stellar music and superb visuals will make you want to stay and live in that world for just a little longer. This, combined with the game's serviceable story and fantastic worldbuilding and you have a game that will soak up hours of time if you wish it to.
Circus Electrique originally blends circus management and turn-based combat but stumbles in its execution.
Although Circus Electrique has its intriguing quirks, with the reliance on devotion and the occasional circus-management opportunity, too many flaws accompany them. With most of its story revolving around combat, it soon becomes an annoyance rather than an enjoyable element. The game does offer refreshing and unique twists on the genre; still, there's a lack of drive to keep you wanting to fight through London's steampunk streets. The story grips you initially, but it takes a while to develop and a lot of the initial dialogue is wasted on family feuds which offer no real substance. To fans of turn-based strategy and those who loved Darkest Dungeon, Circus Electrique may be more enjoyable, but it's a little too disjointed and repetitive to recommend wholeheartedly.
Circus Electrique has a plethora of intriguing ideas. Unfortunately, most of these don't mesh well with the core gameplay, leading to a tedious romp.
Circus Electrique has so much promise. It’s gameplay foundation is incredibly solid, the theme unique and well executed, and there’s plenty of variety in everything. And while it’s definitely inherently flawed, there’s nothing here that can’t be fixed. Right off the bat, a store or resource exchange system would go far in improving your dealings with RNG. A way to leave current districts and replay previous ones to grind would as well. Balance changes are as always the easiest to pull off, and I’m sure some are on the way even now. The point is, while these issues are critical to actually playing and enjoying the game, they’re all easily fixable and I’m really hoping the developers realize this. Because this really is a fun and unique game, and I’d really really love to actually be able to enjoy it.
Circus Electrique features a unique take on a blend of genres that are nicely balanced against one another – a fun narrative, slick turn based combat and interesting circus management simulation. The art style (a steampunk take on Victorian London) is easy on the eye and players can customise their game to be as strategic as they like. That said, the gameplay loop can be either too demanding or passively easy if not played on the right difficulty.
It is clear that this has been a labour of love for the developers and is certainly one of the most unusual games to be released on Xbox this year. If Steampunk Victorian archetypes and challenging gameplay are your things this game has your name written all over it.
Circus Electrique is unlike any other RPG. Genre fans who like deep stat management will find a lot to like here. The mix of circus management and combat makes for a unique experience, although the management aspect does disrupt the flow. The game's strength is in its storytelling and how well the voice acting and art compliment the narrative. The preferred way to play this game is on the TV, as in handheld mode, it's difficult to read the text or see the different icons for the characters.
Circus Electrique is an unusual piece that is aimed at short play-sessions. The setting is unique, but the overall game balance can feel a bit uneven.
Review in Russian | Read full review
It doesn't help that, while the Tesla circus aesthetic is fun, the game's use of 3D models means that it is not as visually distinct as the game that inspired it. One aspect that may change your mind about trying it is that, unlike Darkest Dungeon, Circus Electrique has difficulty options that include an easy mode where characters regain a bit of health at the end of each day, but even with this it was not enough to hold my interest the whole way through. If you like Darkest Dungeon, this is absolutely a game you should give a shot, but otherwise the grand Circus Electrique is probably not going to change your life.
Circus Electrique is the kind of game that does so many different and unique things that they end up making up for some mistakes and missteps seen throughout it. Despite not figuring in any list of "best of the year", it deserves to be remembered among the good and unique titles of 2022.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Circus Electrique is truly a unique experience compared to the range of games on offer today. With a mix of several different genres, it somehow manages to blend them together in a way that makes logical sense and create seamless gameplay. However, the caveat is that there is a lot to learn as it isn't a simple casual game. Both management and tactical RPG systems require a lot of strategic planning and knowledge which can become overwhelming quite quickly if you aren't careful in following all the directions. Despite this, Circus Electrique delivers a gorgeous environment to play in alongside a diverse range of performers to pick from. If steampunk is your aesthetic and you enjoy a challenge, Circus Electrique will give you an experience you won't soon forget.
Overall though, while it may be a bit harder to recommend Circus Electrique to those that do not like a challenge, especially a tougher challenge, for those that do? There’s plenty of challenges to be found. Add in a great visual presentation of a Victorian Steampunk’d London and Zen Studios have created something memorable that I’m going to remember for quite some time.
Circus Electrique may not be a tactical sensation, but it is definitely a worthy show.
Review in Russian | Read full review
Circus Electrique is like a complex trifle: it has many layers that need to be in sync in order to achieve balance. It is not a game you can take lightly, and you will spend a lot of time figuring out details, statistics, strategies and tactics.
Circus Electrique is a great example of how being a "clone" doesn't mean being boring or bad. You can trace the game's roots back to Darkest Dungeon, but it has enough of its own charm and style to make it a worthwhile experience on its own merits. It's more linear and less punishing, which has the potential to make it fair and more accessible than its darker predecessor. I was engaged from start to finish, so it's well worth your time if you're looking for something to scratch the classic Darkest Dungeon itch or if you really like the circus aesthetic.
Even though it doesn't feel like you are going to lose everything when you make mistakes in Circus Electrique, the Steampunk RPG continues to keep a firm grasp on the audience. Not only do you take a plunge into the crazy yet charming streets of dystopian London but you also experience tough encounters, which will not hold your hand. If you have been searching for a challenging yet forgiving alternative to Darkest Dungeon that will keep you immersed for hours, then Circus Electrique is the right game for you!