Top Critic Average
Subsurface Circular is a landmark moment in interactive storytelling. The elegance of its escalation is simply unmatched, as it tells a story that makes you feel like you're in completely over your head, and yet still perfectly believable. The characters you meet along the way all feel unique with their own personality, which makes interacting with them a test of wit and cunning as you use the conversational mechanics to their full effect. There's nothing quite else quite like Subsurface Circular, and when that uniqueness is combined with the phenomenal narrative at hand, you have all the ingredients for a simply unforgettable and very special journey aboard the subway.
A fantastic exercise in story telling and character driven gaming which could start a new wave of 'short' style gaming. A must play and high bar for other stories to hit for years to come.
Subsurface Circulas is a great adventure release that shines on the Nintendo Switch. The HD rumble ads to the overall feel of the game, and the music greatly complements the overall experience to give us a short but great indie release that is one of the best game's on the Nintendo Switch. The game looks great on TV and on the Switch's screen, with a solid art style that shines on Nintendo's hybrid console.
Subsurface Circular extracts maximum entertainment from limited resources through the admirable trick of great writing, excellent pacing, sparkling dialogue and bang-on story beats. It's a lovely little game, the fine work of a developer whose main skill differential is neither coding, art nor level design, but good old-fashioned storytelling.
The game — really a visual novel with light puzzle-solving elements through text — was released recently on the Switch, after coming out last year on Steam. It’s a short story from Mike Bithell, the creator behind Thomas Was Alone and Volume.
Subsurface Circular has an engaging story with compelling characters that really makes you think about how you'll meet your objectives. While the game is short, clocking in at around two hours, the story itself is enjoyable enough that you really don't mind the short length. For six dollars, Subsurface Circular is worth checking out for the story alone.
Subsurface Circular is the brunch of gaming fare on Nintendo Switch — abbreviated, filling, and definitely worth the price. Anyone who finds some joy in futuristic techno flair will fall in love with this indie darling, and the narrative is short enough that it will leave you wanting more — for better or worse.
Subsurface Circular is worth your attention. It's well-priced, and offers a unique and compelling experience from start to finish which you can very reasonably achieve in a single sitting. The game is concise, but leaves little to be desired, making it a solid value.
Saying anything else will just ruin the magic that this short, intriguing title holds. With its low price point and great pacing, I'd encourage everyone to check this out. If you're a fan of sci-fi, this is almost a no-brainer, but even people who are typically not interested in visual novels would do well to try Subsurface Circular for themselves. The organic integration of puzzle elements makes for one of the best detective games around.
This "Mike Bithell short" is an intriguing, little, adventure. Gameplay wise is as simple as efficient and is visually refined and well polished.
Review in Italian | Read full review
With a cast of well-realised characters, and a story that captivates from start-to-finish, Subsurface Circular's robot mystery will have your attention from the moment the train leaves the station.
A fast-paced, snappily-written story mixed with some sleek visual design makes Subsurface Circular a great title to think about for the two hour runtime it takes to tell its tale. This game is a wonderful addition to the Switch library, and I hope that more Bithell Shorts will be on the way.
Mike Bithell may have intended for Subsurface Circular to be nothing more than something to fill the time between other projects but his team has created an engaging text-based adventure featuring excellent writing, fleshed out characters, a compelling detective story, and a world with the potential to tell many more tales that would be perfect as a single evening's entertainment. Its unorthodox marketing may have seen it slip under your radar when it came to PC and mobile last year but it's definitely worth trying now that it's on Nintendo's console hybrid.
Bithell Games’ experiment into short-form gaming might not rank as the studio’s best release, but if you’re after an evening’s worth of sci-fi entertainment, Subsurface Circular delivers an enjoyable & well-written adventure title.
Subsurface Circular isn’t just a good game to kill time but a great all round experience that you can have done in no time – about the length of two TellTale episode. For less than fiver you can get transported into this future dystopia where robots fear the wrath of humans and discuss this on train journeys away from their gaze. What a terrifying thought.
Subsurface Circular presents a well-woven (albeit short), futuristic detective story full of interesting characters and thoughtful concepts. If you like a good mystery and are looking for a more relaxed, story focused experience, its hard to beat what's on offer here. Though light on action, Subsurface Circular has plenty of intrigue and confidently presents itself as an experience you've got little excuse to pass up.
The time I spent working through the story of Subsurface Circular feels well-spent. I’d say it is just about the right length, neither being frustratingly short or passing a point where it felt like a chore to see through to the end. The story, its eventual choices at its conclusion, and the characters you talk to along the way were all well fleshed out and refreshingly different. If you don’t mind doing some reading while you play it is worth checking out.
I didn't know what to expect with this Subsurface Circular review, the game was billed as a short play experience in between main projects for the developer and I think it fits this role for its audience as well. If you have a few hours to burn they will be well spent picking this up, you may find yourself reflecting on our current world landscape from a slightly different perspective and playing through this game is a smooth and easy go along ride. For such a small investment in money and time its fair to say that this game packs a punch and if you are not put off by what you have read then its definitely a worthwhile experience.
Slickly presented, striking in design, and thought-provoking in the conversations that it unravels, Subsurface Circular marks another welcome addition to the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch. Its narrative focus makes it a little different to everything else that has hit the digital storefront and that’s by no means a bad thing, as the game’s shorter format makes it the perfect distraction between games that demand more of your time.
Subsurface Circular is a visual novel about talking to strangers on a train. Basically, a British person’s worst nightmare. It ends up being a relaxing and thought-provoking experience where you talk to androids and solve a mystery without ever moving from your seat. At ninety minutes long, Subsurface Circular doesn’t overstay its welcome and if anything I wanted the experience to last a little longer.
Subsurface Circular is a fascinating and unique project, one that will probably leave you something despite the short length. An incredibly well-written narrative adventure, built with passion, heart and elegance: if it.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Subsurface Circular is a unique storytelling device and one that gives the illusion of player choice, when in reality the narrative is rather linear in nature. The gameplay is purely dialog tree choices consisting of various questions and answers. It won’t be for everyone, but it’s great to see a deviation from typical game design.
I don't believe I am thinking too deeply about all this: getting the player to think about the consequences of increased automation and the power structures that lead to inequality and scapegoating is the whole point of the game. I think it's commendable and I have no doubt the developer had the best of intentions, I just hope that next time they handle such serious questions with more care.