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iPhone  header logo

CiRCA6


For: iPhone

It's not square

Product: CiRCA6 | Developer: Rishi Mody | Publisher: Rishi Mody | Format: iPhone | Genre: Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
CiRCA6 iPhone, thumbnail 1
CiRCA6 is a simple, minimalistic game: you take control of a little blue circle, using a joystick to propel it around the screen by means of its wake - an endless stream of smaller blue circles. So drag right and you move left, spewing a wake in the opposite direction.

For some reason, the other circles living in the very circle-dominated environment of CiRCA6 have it in for Blue. They like nothing better than colliding with the game's hero, and when that happens one of Blue's three lives is lost.

And that's pretty much the entire game.

Circle back

BUT! As with arcade classics of old, everything's in the execution and fine details. Here, CiRCA6 has plenty to offer. Beyond the slightly odd controls that are reminiscent of 'goofy' equivalents in sports titles - and initially wrongfoot you - there's an intriguing floaty feel throughout.

With coloured aggressors relentlessly closing in, CiRCA6 ends up playing a lot like a real-time take on ancient PC title Robots dumped in the soupy environment of Osmos - only you're armed with infinite bullets.

There's not much here in terms of depth, so controls are of paramount importance, and CiRCA6 copes reasonably well. The joystick is responsive, and early on subtler swipes are especially useful.

Later, though, as enemies attack from all directions, CiRCA6 transforms into a desperate continuous bid for survival. At that point, the joystick becomes a touch problematic: for every graceful arc of doom, you'll carve a path akin to that of a dying fly.

This in part stems from the joystick being fixed and success relying on your thumb or finger not shifting out of alignment. A joystick-free swipe-based control system would be welcome in an update, and would also deal with the issue of your thumb always covering a specific part of the screen, shielding incoming adversaries.

Perfect curve

CiRCA6 fares better with its difficulty level. The game starts out in a fairly relaxed state, with you only having to fend off the odd orange circle, each of which makes a beeline towards you via the shortest possible route.

Soon, though, discs of other colours appear, each with its own movement pattern, such as zig-zagging or avoiding your wake. Progression is fast - within a minute or so, you'll feel both overwhelmed and certain that you'll crack it next time.

Once you twig the multiplier (hint: stay alive) and how to use the landscape to your advantage, you'll be on the way to higher scores, too.

Aesthetically, CiRCA6 is nothing to shout about, but it's at least a nice change for a game of this type to not be dressed in neon garb and accompanied by dreary thumping techno. That said, the single twee tune on offer is the kind of earworm that deserves to be catapulted out of the window at the next possible opportunity.

The only other niggle is the iPhone's viewport giving little warning of enemies approaching from the left or right of the screen. On that basis, the game might be better on the squarer iPad display, and the developer has promised a Universal update.

Regardless of any flaws, though, CiRCA6 is fun and uncomplicated. It's probably not going to sit alongside the Robotrons in the annals of gaming history, but for a tier-one iOS title, it's definitely worth a blast if you like shooty/avoidy games or happen to have a circle fetish.
 
CiRCA6
Reviewer photo
Craig Grannell | 19 May 2014
Fun, simple, and possibly a little bit throwaway, however, CiRCA6's basic charms mean it's always good for a quick blast
 
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