In this darkly comedic story, you are the hero of an unfinished fantasy game, and your designers have failed you. Steal the power of a game god - trap their creations, swap behaviors and body parts, crafting your own unique solutions to free-form puzzles. Can you release a game ...from the inside?
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (70 reviews) - 97% of the 70 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (629 reviews) - 92% of the 629 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 9, 2015

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Recent updates View all (37)

June 14

June Update with a Number of Tweaks and Fixes

This update focuses on a few technical issues that could have affected framerate in certain conditions, some usability and training improvements, a fix for overlays on creatures not updating properly in certain cases, and a number of other minor tweaks and stability improvements. For the full list of changes check out the tech support forum.

Thanks to everyone who has been playing and those who brought issues to our attention in the forums. We are super grateful and hope you have enjoyed your time with The Magic Circle.

-Question

2 comments Read more

April 18

Small Update With A Puzzle Tweak and Small Fix

This update has a fix for a rare problem that could occur if you crash or quit out of the game during a certain level transition. It also has a small visual tweak to one of the puzzles to try and better communicate why certain strategies won't work. The detailed change list can be seen on the forums as always.

Thanks to everyone who bought the game during the recent sale, we hope you have a great time with it!

-Question

3 comments Read more

Reviews

“If you love games at all - or just like poking fun at how they're made - you cannot miss this gem.The Magic Circle is the best "broken" game you've ever played - and a rich satire of the industry to boot. The hype is real. Play this game.”
4.5/5 – The Escapist

“Not since Portal 2 has a game so expertly taken you on that emotional journey from pure bamboozlement to sharp, bright, blissful clarity.”
Gamespot

“I've been amazed. I've been dumbfounded [...] Few games have done that to me - so I would immensely recommend that you get and play this game.”
Skyzm (Let's Player 114k subs)

About This Game

You are the protagonist of an unfinished 1st person fantasy game, trapped in development hell. The designers (played by James Urbaniak, Ashly Burch, and Karen Dyer) are god-like, but so indecisive that they've given you no powers whatsoever. With the help of a mysterious disembodied voice (Stephen Russell) you must seize the tools of game development from these unworthy 'gods', uncovering more of the darkly comic story as you go. Rather than traditional puzzles with a single solution, the incomplete state of each environment is a question that you answer in your own way. Trap the designers' creations, steal their behaviors, and re-mix them to explore and master this world-in-progress. Can you out-think the game gods? Can you ship The Magic Circle from inside it?

Warning: Some strong language and references to adult subject matter.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3800+ 2.4Ghz or better, Intel Pentium 4 530 3.0Ghz Processor or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA 7800GT 256MB graphics card or better, ATI Radeon X1900 256MB graphics card or better that supports Shader Model 3 and has at least 256 MB of VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% DirectX 9.0C compliant sound card or onboard sound
    • Additional Notes: NOTICE: Intel HD 4000 chipset is not supported
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Dual Core 2.60Ghz, Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 Dual Core 2.13Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA 8800GT 512MB graphics card or better, ATI Radeon HD4830 512MB graphics card or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% DirectX 9.0C compliant sound card or onboard sound
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X v10.7 Lion or higher
    • Processor: 1.80GHz Processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 3870 / NVidia Geforce 640M
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: NOTICE: Intel HD 4000 chipset is not supported
    Recommended:
    • OS: OS X v10.7 Lion or higher
    • Processor: 1.80GHz Processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5870 / NVidia Geforce GTX 775M
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3800+ 2.4Ghz or better, Intel Pentium 4 530 3.0Ghz Processor or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA 7800GT 256MB graphics card or better, ATI Radeon X1900 256MB graphics card or better that supports Shader Model 3 and has at least 256 MB of VRAM
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Some users have reported issues with Intel HD 4000 series cards. Also, users using open source graphics drivers such as Mesa have had problems. We recommend installing the manufacturers drivers for the most robust compatibility.
    Recommended:
    • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3800+ 2.4Ghz or better, Intel Pentium 4 530 3.0Ghz Processor or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA 8800GT 512MB graphics card or better, ATI Radeon HD4830 512MB graphics card or better
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (70 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (629 reviews)
Recently Posted
Rashen Tal
( 4.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
Great game!
+Very interesting playstyle and mechanics!
+Artstyle is wonderful.
+Great storyline! The ending is just.....wow.

- A bit confusing with some of the puzzles but it really makes you think outside the box for the solutions.
- Somewhat limited skills, little use of "late game" skills. Flight
- Quite a bit of walking if you don't use fast travel
- Limited replayability.

Overall, fun and intriging experience. 7/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Aqua
( 4.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
Highly reccomend. 4-5 hours of average gameplay. I would try to get it on sale, but definately reccomend.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
urdörtduvar
( 5.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
the magic circle is a great idea on paper, genius even (-_*). an idea to creative a living world with complete and constant control of the player. common scripts for every object creates true hierarchy for a alternative world. it's so sad that great idea is killed by firm story line with dominantly linear gameplay. I can understand it doe; the start point of the game was the humor of it. it supposted to be half finished game so thats why you can experience this mechanics in a restricted way. I'm gonna recommenc the game anyway and this is why; cause there is no game offering the same thing with this one adn that makes it worth to play anyway x)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Steven, A.D.
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
This was a fantastic little gem which I'm very glad to have picked up without really knowing anything about it. It's basically a free-form narrative-driven exploration and puzzle game, and it really kept me intrigued throughout the whole playthrough. The sound design is also just the best.

Anything I could really say on things like story and gameplay have really been covered by other reviews, but I will say that if you are one of those people who ♥♥♥♥♥ about walking simulators and the like, just, stay far away from this as you probably won't like or get what it's trying to do.

I guess I don't have anything that insightful to say, but if you're looking for a fun time in a game that satirizes or deconstructs what making games is even about ANYWAY, I'd say give it a go.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
dustintcooper
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
I gave this 70 minutes, and what I've experiences is a game that has some interesting ideas, but none of them work. It tries to be satire, but none of it is funny or insightful. It has a mechanic where you rewrite the abilities and AI of NPCs, but not much has been done with it, and what's there feels kind of pointless so far. It gives you a character who seems to have achieved sentience within the game, but he's goes between being uninteresting and annoying. This is an interesting, but failed, experiment.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheOtherFrost
( 4.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Product received for free
The best part about this game is there's a free demo!!! :D

The mood is established quite nicely by the narrative and the gameplay. You don't feel like you're the all powerful one come to rid the land of evil (even though you're called "hero") because anyone could be doing what you're doing. You just happen to be the one that's come along to get things moving.

The enjoyment you get from this game will correlate heavily with how you choose to explore the the world and the creatures in it. You could do a barebones run and complete the game with minimal effort, or you could explore and see what's around the next corner. You could get around with few interactions or form your own monstrous squad to follow you around and keep you company :)

There are a few moments in the game where you may get lost in confusion. You can't really get lost because you have a teleport function on your map, but the game needs a little bit of backtracking at time. It may not be obvious when you have gained the knowledge to progress further in.



Wonderful game. Try to let go of some of your gaming habits if you're a hard core gamer. The best part is: it has a demo :D :D:D try it out!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Meatbag
( 4.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
10/10, interesting characters and story, forth wall jokes, interesting mechanics and amazing trippy visuals. Recommend to everyone.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kanman Kuma
( 4.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
The games short,You can finish it in about 3-4 hours.The game is a great view into how a game can just keep getting caught in the BS of it's lead, while also being fun and creative from the view of the game itself. The audio logs are enjoyable and most of the characters are entertaining. Coda's dialogue near the end is SUPER CRINGY, but she's voiced by Ashly Burch, so par for the course. But besides that great game. Ended the game on a fleet of hive mind flying rocks with rail guns. 8/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nicholas
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Clever without being overbearing or pretentious. Story-rich without becoming a "walking simulator".

The writing, voice acting and design are excellent, and the puzzles are logical and rewarding.

An engrossing, unique experience, offering an interesting insight into game design. Highly recommended.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
roastchicken
( 3.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Very interesting game. Not exactly difficult, but rewarding. If you enjoy metagames (think Stanley Parable) or sandbox games, you'll like this. I'd call it a Stanley Parable where you're really in control.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
15 of 15 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
This is probably one of the best games I have played in *years*! I want to write a in-depth review, but I simply don't belive I can do that without spoiling it, so I'll just say a bit about the game in general:
------------------------------------------

The Magic Circle is a saterical story-driven explorative game about you (the player) play testing a game being developed by an egotisical game designer who is never happy with his work. You are inseted into his unfionished game, were a mysterious entity wants you to bring it all crashing down on his head. You play through the game rewriting the game from the inside, controlling it to your advantage as you hide your presense from the system.

The story and personal conflicts are derlivered through both hiden collectables and story elements. As you progress, the story gets more and more surreal, as what defines the game you are playing is further called into question.

It's a very open game, with no major hints or "hand holding" - you figure out how to proceed, and there are always multiple ways do so.

------------------------------------------
The game even has a *demo* (haven't seen a demo in YEARS!), so I STROYNGLY recommend this game to anyone, and you can try it for free and decide for yourself.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 27
A little confusing, but compelling. Graphically some interesting choices. The sound was great, I like when a game makes me take my headphones off thinking I may have heard something in real life.

I didn't always know what the heck I was doing and the game mechanics are a little bit learn-as-you-go. They teach you the basics, and you have the freedom to use the tools and entities available in lots of ways. It's nice to know that there is not just one way to solve a puzzle.

I just finished it, and I'm already thinking of revisiting it to see how I may have done things more effectively, or try some crazy combinations just for fun.

The key to playing is definitely exploring the map. You will need to collect tools/behaviours in order to progress.

The voice acting was absolutely wonderful. Voice actors are worth every penny.

This game has no shortage of surprises. Even when it was over(?), there was still some interesting tidbits.

An experience unlike almost any other.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 10
This game surprised me with how unique it is. At first I was skeptical of the premise, and put off playing it for quite a while, and though it started slow, I quickly got into the flow of the game. Modifying monsters to my delight. Having a Spider problem? Send it hordes of flaming rocks. Can't reach a certain area? Ride on one of your newly flying rocks. Something got you down? Nothing cuter than a flying muchroom.

Puzzles and solutions, along with this unique gameply makes me highly recoomend it to anyone looking for a unique (abeit a little short) experience.

And the end game is the icing on the cake.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
14 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
Peter Molyneux simulator.

It really does explain everything.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
===SHORT SPOILER FREE VERSION===

Highly recommended.
Compelling story.
Interesting game mechanics.
Interesting graphics engine.
A bit unchallenging.

*Similar* vein to The Stanley Parable.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
Story

In The Magic Circle, you are a tester of an unfinished game. You can edit the monsters that attack you to do various things.


Graphics

Simple graphics. Not to bad, they look "unfinished" to reflect the story.


Gameplay

You control monsters to help you solve puzzles. You can edit their abilities and what they do.


Music

Game was pretty silent, not that much background music to notice it.


Score

9/10 - The game is pretty short, yet the story is really good.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
I have no clue what I just played, but I ♥♥♥♥ing loved it! Hopefully the devs sell out and we will see a fully fledged RPG that takes full advantage of the awesome editing mechanics.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
A trippy experience from start to finish (or at least I ASSUME I finished things, if you play you'll see what I mean...) and certainly one of the more unconventional storylines and playstyles. Lots of neat little things to hunt down and places to check out. Vaguely Metroid/Zelda like with areas being locked off until you are clever enough to get inside (or not). Got it as part of the Humble Monthly and plays lovely on F22 (linux), cranked up the settings and was smooth as silk on my older FX quad-core and my R9-280X. I would bet that if I put it down for a month or two and came back it would be very enjoyable the second time round.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
Amazing despite being a bit short, I would recommend this game to anyone, especially long-time gamers looking for something new. My only complaint about it is I wish it was longer, because there's so much to work with here that could make for plenty more interesting content. I definitely think this should be a required play for any and everyone considering developing their own games...though, as an artist myself, it's a good play for any sort of creator. It definitely makes you think.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
I have spent hours wandering this pseudo-monochromatic test build world and beyond. I've witnessed the stageplay shattered dreams of a washed-up over-the-hill development lead in his unending stride to achieve the unachievable, and the resigned attempts of his staff to deliver. My entourage now includes, among other things, a rat on wheels and a pixelated lightsaber-wielding zombie. I have no idea what I am doing anymore.

If I have a complaint or two, it's that the walking speed is just a tad glacial for the size of world you're exploring, and there are a lot of seemingly arbitrary triggers that can interrupt the all-important narration and audio cues. It also gets a little too real at times in all honesty. It's amazing what it manages to pull off with a straight face given the context of everything that's happening, though, and as far as games about "breaking" the game you're in go, it's definitely one of the more colourful and mechanically intriguing.
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