Circle Empires (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 08.12.2018

Review for Circle Empires on PC

The real-time strategy genre is both saturated, as well as falling out of favour with the majority of gamers. The golden years of RTS titles certainly seem behind us, but there are still new ones that come out with a new take to try to separate themselves from the pack. Circle Empires does this with a very simple strategy game where one starts from one 'circle' and must attack nearby circles until they eventually take over all of them. Sadly, the whole thing can be completed in about 20 minutes or less…

Throwing you straight into the fray with little instruction, the average player may feel quite worried for this RTS. However, the entire game is easy to pick up, and this design choice was clever to show how to play by a true trial by fire, and with only a few arrows as a guide. Throughout the experience one thing that sticks out about Circle Empires is how easy everything is. As a result however, this ease makes the game both approachable, but ultimately lacking in depth.

The gameplay is easy to explain: everyone starts with a 'circle' that is their kingdom, has a couple of workers, and up to three different resources - food, wood, or gold, with workers instantly and automatically handling resource gathering. Players can click and instantly build a unit anywhere they have control, and as there is no unit-producing building, players merely have to have the resources to make a unit appear with a click, and, yes, this means you can instantly spam an army if you have the money.

From here players can attack adjacent circles and if they kill everything in it, it becomes theirs. This unlocks new resources, which means faster resource income, which translates into more production of units in a feedback cycle. There are only a few units, and on some level it works. There is the worker, footman, archer, knight, horse archer, two types of wizards and a dragon. The last three are very expensive so it's almost always the previous units.

Screenshot for Circle Empires on PC

One of the grateful things they did is that workers both auto-harvest and are also not selectable when dragging a box to select military units. Such an obvious game design, and one that way, way too many RTS titles miss. There are some other positive elements in here such as that each unit has experience and will level up to a more powerful version, and that there are different 'heroes' of sorts to start with that give small bonuses. It would have been cooler to see this deeper, which unfortunately gets into the main problem of the game.

The major issue present throughout this is the lack of depth and, ultimately, replayability. For what amounts to a very thin story mode of hunting various bosses across levels, Circle Empires is fun and fast enough that it is enjoyable. However, this takes at most a few hours, and from there the flaws become apparent. The units are not very balanced at all (archers in particularly are insane with their multi-circle range and knockback), and there just isn't much too truly do in here.

The experience is streamlined so much that choice is ultimately ripped out from the one in control. There isn't really any strategy to talk about, short of something of "amass archers and move out, build workers, repeat." The scope of the game ultimately dooms it from becoming any sort of critically acclaimed experience. In the end it's a fun, short RTS romp, but it lacks anything close to typical RTS depth or breadth.

Screenshot for Circle Empires on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

For what it is, Circle Empires is actually pretty fun. The experience is streamlined, fast, and enjoyable. The lack of any depth is what ultimately kills the game and stops it from becoming anything greater. It is fun for a few romps, or enough to beat the "campaign" of sorts, but there is not enough meat to encourage longer than a few hours' play, maximum. Those few are fun but, after that, the magic at hand quickly wears away.

Developer

Luminous

Publisher

Iceberg

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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