In August of 2017 Mike Bithell, developer of the games Thomas was Alone and Volume, announced that he was going to be working on video game “shorts”. The same day he released Subsurface Circular, the first of these shorts. These games are intended to be quick to make and play, giving thought-provoking short stories that can be digested in a single sitting. Today Bithell has announced a second one of these in the form of Quarantine Circular, and you won’t have to wait long to play it as it’s available today.
Similar to the first game, Quarantine Circular seeks to combine classic text adventures with modern dialogue systems. Taking place in a world that has been ravaged by a mysterious plague, you’ll spend the game on a boat having a talk with an alien that is suspected to be the cause. Your goal is to try and figure out both the alien’s motivation and its intentions. Why is it there? Is it behind the plague? Can it help? Hopefully, you can figure out the answers to those questions.
To do so you’ll have discussions with various characters. You’re given dialogue choices to advance the game. As you talk to people you can pick up on specific phrases that become focus points. You can then use these focus points to ask specific questions or give specific answers, changing the way that you communicate. If you’ve played Subsurface Circular then you’ll fit right in with this style of gameplay. If you haven’t, no worries. The steam page notes that you don’t have to play it, or any of Bithell’s other games, to understand Quarantine Circular. The steam page also mentions that you can unlock concept art that showcases the game’s development, and the ability to play with “Mr. Commentary”, which will serve as developer’s commentary on the game.
At the current time, Quarantine Circular is available on PC for $5.99. The last game was later ported to mobile devices and Nintendo Switch, so it doesn’t seem like a stretch to assume this one will be as well.