Electric Circus is a tactical RPG that combines many beloved elements of turn-based fighting and management games in a steampunk setting to create something completely unique. Game fans like darkest dungeon will see many things they like featured in Electric Circus alongside refreshing new mechanics and an engaging storyline. Although the game’s potential complexity may be off-putting to some players, at its core Electric Circus is a title that almost every strategy fan can enjoy.
Players assume the role of Amelia, a journalist covering the reopening of her uncle’s circus, Circus Electrique. Amelia harbors a deep resentment towards her ringmaster uncle, and for good reason – the forced closure of Circus Electrique years before was due to the death on stage of Amelia’s mother, which Amelia blames on her uncle’s neglect. The reopening soon descends into chaos, as the lighting of the Electric Pillar of Power causes widespread violence within the crowd, setting off an ongoing disaster dubbed The Maddening. Circus artists are among the few unaffected by the event and take it upon themselves to fight back.
The world of Electric Circus is rich in lore that shines through almost every element of the game. The game is set in an alternate timeline in 1899 London, where an event called The Spark has led to a much greater prevalence of technology. The developers of Electric Circus were largely inspired by history, including many elements of historical fiction in the narrative. The sparkle is the foundation of the game’s steampunk aesthetic, and having an explanation behind the theme helps keep it from feeling stale or overplayed. Players will experience more world-building through exposition story scenes as well as the daily newspaper, which reports on circus success and current events alongside fun circus-themed announcements. steampunk.
A lot of Electric CircusThe uniqueness of comes from its combination of turn-based combat and circus management, giving players a satisfying gameplay loop of putting together different shows and battling steam-powered enemies on the streets of London. While the management aspects of the game aren’t as in-depth as titles like roller coaster designer, there is still an immense amount of planning involved. As players build an ever-expanding roster of artists and unlock a myriad of different show formats, they’ll need to consider artists’ preferences for both their position in the show – this i.e. whether they wish to be in a position as the opening act or headliner – and who they like and dislike working with. Putting artists in their favorite niches by working alongside those they love will lead to higher ratings, which players can split between viewership, entertainment, and complexity values to earn different material and monetary rewards.
As players progress through Electric Circus, they will unlock new types of performers. The game starts with clowns, fire blowers and strongmen available to players, and expands to other performers like escape artists, illusionists, snake charmers, ventriloquists and even robot bears. Each performer comes with an array of four stats: Fun, Amazement, Laughs, and Thrill. Performances each have different requirements for each of these values, which means that while players may find the perfect synergy between performers, they may need to substitute other characters if these stat requirements are not met for the show. . It’s easy to get lost in the details of this complex system, a recurring theme for many elements of Electric Circus.
As performers gain experience, their stats can be upgraded, as can their six moves used in combat. Each character brings different abilities and archetypes to the table – there are tanky strongmen with powerful damage moves, the healing-focused and more vulnerable Fakir, a weakened and poison-focused snake charmer, and so on. Players will need to manage their party the same way as darkest dungeon, keeping tabs on their devotion and health and their performer’s preferred stance in battle. Devotion is an interesting mechanic that applies to both allies and enemies, and if it drops too low, it’s possible for characters on either side to flee the battle. Upgrading character skills is one of the places Electric Circus feels a bit tedious, as skills are upgraded individually rather than as a whole as characters level up, each requiring several different materials to level up.
The circus itself can also be upgraded by Electric Circus, unlocking new buildings like a Craftsman where useful items can be crafted – all of which require many different materials – and Training Grounds where unused Artists can be placed to gain experience. Each building can also be upgraded – for example, when upgraded, the train where players recruit talent will offer higher level artists. This massive amount of moving parts might seem like a big undertaking, it all fits together nicely for the most part, though the inability to compare potential Train recruits with existing performers is disappointing given the value of the game’s stats.
fight in Electric Circus is managed via a world map, with players unlocking different areas of London over time. Alongside battles, players will encounter a number of fun and interesting alien events, interview opportunities that help give exposure to mini-games and bar brawls where players can earn rewards like special characters and gadgets, which provide different benefits to the artists to whom they are given. similar relics in kill the arrow. Players will encounter a host of different creative enemies, from robot Bobbies to chimney sweeps and Posh Girls. Boss encounters are truly something to behold, with some late-game fights proving to be an impressive and innovative challenge. A unique Amazemeter mechanic also features special moves provided by Amelia’s blind lion, Leonidas, such as healing performers or dealing damage to all enemies which are earned by impressing the crowd.
The cinematics of Electric Circus aren’t very animated, mostly made up of speech bubbles next to character portraits, but the voice acting and entertaining writing more than make up for their simplicity. As the story unfolds, the way the Maddening mystery unfolds is still engaging, and some hard-hitting conversations between Amelia and her uncle add a solid dose of emotion to the gameplay. There are some visual errors in these scenes some characters shaking when appearing with dialogue, but this is an infrequent issue.
The extreme amount of minutiae in Electric CircusThe simulation and tactical combination of may seem overly complicated to some players, and up to a point they wouldn’t be wrong – the game could definitely have a little less hardware and there are times when the game tries to make also a lot. However, one of the best parts of the game is that it is as intricate as the player wants, managing to be both intricate and accessible. Apart from the fact that the game has an always-available guide to all of its features, players can very well enjoy the game on a more superficial level while still enjoying it. On the other hand, there are certainly players who will enjoy contemplating the perfect next move and ideal lineup of the circus show for ages, and Electric Circus offers this style of player the complexity they desire in spades. Whether players are looking for their next strategic obsession or just some steampunk circus fun, Electric Circus offers an experience that almost any type of tactical fan can enjoy.
Electric Circus is available for Playstation consoles, Xbox consoles, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam and Epic Games Store. Screen Rant received a PC code for the purposes of this review.