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The Magic Circle is out in Early Access

Magic Circle

"I've just reprogrammed a dog to attack mushrooms," is how Sam's preview of The Magic Circle begins. Y'see, you can focus on the story's clever game-within-a-game meta-setting, or a development team that includes Irrational alumni Jordan Thomas and Stephen Alexander, but sometimes it's best to focus on the important stuff. Programmable dogs attacking mushrooms.

The Magic Circle is in Early Access now. As hinted above, it's a first-person puzzley-adventure thing set inside an unfinished fantasy game. You can edit the game's creatures—swapping behaviour patterns and even body parts—leading to a multitude of solutions to each objective.

The team are hoping for a "relatively short" six-week Early Access period. For the most part, they're looking for feedback on localisation, and to officially recognise certain player-found solutions that will inevitably be created. As always in a systems playground, it's hard to support solutions that the developer hasn't conceived of.

Additional language subtitles aside, the Early Access build is "feature complete" and contains the full story. I can't confirm if that story includes a chapter where the game is released on Early Access.

For more details, head to The Magic Circle's Steam page.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.