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Journey of the Broken Circle is a Simple Game With a Surprisingly Emotional Story

journey of the broken circle

Everyone goes through tough times every once in a while.

It’s easy to let a few bad things ruin your entire day. And a few bad days might ruin your entire month or year. The broken circle, in the adventure title Journey of the Broken Circle, has had quite a bad time of it. He feels incomplete, like his life is pointless and he worries he’ll never feel whole. But when he meets Sticky, things start looking up.

Sticky is only the first of many partners that Circle will meet throughout Journey of the Broken Circle. Each character that he teams up with has their own special ability that Circle can use to traverse some of the harsh environments that players will encounter along the way. Sticky is able to stick to things, making it easy for Circle to climb walls. Later on in the game, you’ll connect with a balloon which lets Circle fly. Unfortunately, not many of these partners stick around for a long period of time so you’ll have to move on, looking for your next partner.

Journey of the Broken Circle‘s controls are so easy that any player of any experience level should feel encouraged to try it out. You control Circle using the arrow keys on your keyboard. You might occasionally have a use for the space bar, but not often. When obstacles present themselves players can jump, climb, or fly over them.

In the beginning, the levels are pretty easy with the most difficult bits being simply a few jumping puzzles. But as you progress through the game, particularly when you join up with the balloon, traversing can get really difficult and even dangerous. Balloon can help Circle fly, but only with assistance from clouds. So if you happen to be flying and miss the opportunity to duck into a cloud for some extra air, you might find yourself careening back towards the Earth. And at a certain point, the balloon even starts to feel deflated; you’ll go from having flight whenever you need it, to inflating the balloon each time. It’s an ingenious mechanic that hikes up the difficulty of the game at just the right time.

One of the most charming elements of Journey of the Broken Circle is its characters and their dialogue. The game’s world isn’t particularly teeming with life, but the characters that you do meet are fun and interesting. You’ll meet a needy slug who professes his love for you, a group of balloons whose passion is explaining what an existential crisis is, and more quirky folks along the way.

Journey of the Broken Circle isn’t just about Circle exploring the world; it’s about an existential crisis. Yes, you read that correctly. Like I mentioned, Circle feels incomplete. He feels like he can’t do anything right and wonders if he’s even really useful without someone making him complete. It’s a surprising subject matter for a game that looks and feels pretty cutesy. Even though it is a serious topic, this title tackles it beautifully.

If you’re looking for a new little platforming game, Journey of the Broken Circle is a very nice title. There aren’t flashy-looking graphics or over-complicated puzzle mechanics to deal with, but there’s beauty to be found in its simplicity.

Journey of the Broken Circle is available now on Steam.

Becca knew that she would be addicted to video games for the rest of her life when she saw the first pixelated zombie shambling across her TV screen while playing Resident Evil 3. She particularly enjoys being scared, laughing until she cries, or just plain crying while experiencing games. When she isn't playing games she loves spoiling her cat Usagi and eating any kind of sushi she can find.