As I approach the ripe old age of 27, one lesson I’ve learned is that the quantity of time you need to play video games declines as you grow older. Sure, I’ve enough time to play with a few games to end but the times of completing every single 30 to 50-hour epic are long gone. However, several indie developers have created brief, focused experiences that are just as satisfying and persuasive because its lengthy competitors. Likewise, the developer surprised everybody this week with the launch of another “Bithell Short” titled Quarantine Circular.
In the aftermath of an outbreak that is threatening the human race, an alien has been discovered, captured, and kept in quarantine before the entire world organization specializing in containing the rampant disease — the IDCF (or International Disease Containment Fleet) — can communicate with all the alien and discover out why it’s here. Similar to Subsurface Circular, Quarantine Circular is a text adventure which uses modern dialogue options to tell its story. The choices you make will dictate the way the narrative unfolds.
While its story is straightforward, the themes exemplified throughout the hour and a half of two-hour game are fairly intense. It’s a story that will question your morals each moment of gameplay. Every choice has a weight to it that makes it feel like your actions matter and affect the direction the story takes. It’s a few corny moments but overall, finished for me at a decent way.
Likewise to Subsurface Circular, it informs a concentrated story; there is a conflict and you have to figure out this conflict. How it differs is that the range of characters you play which has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, unlike the robot in Subsurface Circular, I never felt connected to any 1 character because of how it jumped from 1 personality to the next relatively fast. They were well-written and recognized personalities; they were their own personality rather than an avatar that personified my private morals.
The great writing helps strengthen those feelings of urgency. Each of the personalities you meet and play have their own reasons for questioning or trusting the alien’s motivations that are reasonable regardless of whether you agree with your own ruling. I hated Security Officer Teng’s point-of-view about the situation but when I had to play as it compelled me to role-play and to make a remarkably effective storytelling device.
Not too persuasive is its gameplay. For those not having played with Subsurface Circular, the game is entirely text-based in which you select various lines of dialog that help determine the direction of the narrative; since you ask questions and discover more information, you’ll exude “Focus Points” that give you more options to flesh out the story farther.
What made Subsurface Circular‘s gameplay so great was the way that it made these simple dialogue options into exciting word puzzles that were very clever and well thought out. Save for one part near the ending — which comprises a word puzzle that legitimately stumped me for a strong 4 minutes, I understood what I needed to do and solved it quite readily — you’re able to complete the game without difficulty by simply opening as many dialogue options as possible and pick the choices which you feel are correct.
It’s not the the gameplay is awful; rather the opposite, this is actually the best way to tell this particular story. I loved how every character interacted with one another and looking at every one of their notes to determine their thoughts on the current circumstance. I also believed the role-playing element of this makes every moment very interesting. It is the lack of problem-solving which make it marginally mindless. It’s you won’t put any thought to your decision making; you can find some hard decisions you will need to make with the alien. I never felt genuinely challenged by some of the obstacles Quarantine Circular presented to me.
Bithell Games has established a second fantastic, concentrated experience once more using Quarantine Circular. It informs an excellent and straightforward sci-fi narrative that keeps you intrigued during the few hours it requires to finish. The complexities of this tale come from the conclusions you’ll create, questioning your beliefs after each line of dialog. There are a couple of issues such as the disconnect between the player and the figures or the omission of any challenge, but the story and how it is told is performed exceptionally well.