South of the Circle Review
8 September 2022
South of the Circle is a light-hearted story set in the Antarctic and the United Kingdom in the 1960s. It looks at the lives of its two main characters, Peter and Clara, and talks about many different things, from the Cold War to love. The short but delightful game offers a surprisingly deep plot that will stick with you.
1960s love story set in college
At one point in the story, Peter, the main character, walks toward a railway station in a black suit. Beautiful woods and fluffy clouds may be seen in the distance. Cambridge is home to Peter and Clara, both professors there. The interactive tale South of the Circle tells their story. To a large extent, the game’s focus is on the plot and functions as a light interactive story. Depending on how long you spend watching cutscenes, you can finish the game in four or five hours.
Relax, watch, and enjoy
South of the Circle’s gameplay is brutal because there isn’t much to discuss. In the game, the player chooses between different feelings shown by bubbles above the character’s head. These are being calm, “acting like a man,” and taking charge.
The game shows you after you’ve made a big decision by putting an icon at the top of the screen with all the other big decisions you’ve made. Overall, South of the Circle is primarily a “sit back and watch” story, with only a few short chances to interact with the characters. Even though I liked the story and the whole experience, there were times when I wished there was more to do.
Then, you and I should go.
The game looks beautiful, with soft colours and textures and focuses on the most critical parts instead of making huge scenes with lots of unnecessary details. A cutscene in Peter’s childhood bedroom is an excellent example of this.
Most of the room is dark, but the things you can touch, like toy soldiers or a model plane hanging from the ceiling, are lit up to draw your attention. The voice acting is excellent, especially for Peter and Clara. It creates an atmosphere similar to that of a movie in the game. This is made even better by an excellent soundtrack and clever sound design.
A show you have to see
South of the Circle is an excellent example of a game that’s more like an interactive movie or story, and there’s a lot of room for other developers to do the same because of how well the story unfolds in the game.