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If you’ve played and enjoyed the previous installments in this series then you should love Black Circle. If you haven’t played the previous installments but are drawn to the idea of contemplative wandering and solitary exploration of varied and interesting environs hooked to an intriguing storyline - then you should still love it.
If you have played one of these games before, then “The Black Circle” is exactly the kind of high quality point-and-click mystery game you have come to expect from MDNA games. If you are new to the series, this is as good a place as any to start. The Carol Reed Mysteries are independent productions that are fun and easy to play, well-crafted, engaging, and unique in their construction. I would recommend the series, and especially this latest adventure, to anybody looking for a good story-based mystery adventure.
While Norrköping has been the setting for all of the Carol Reed mysteries, it never gets stale, as new places in the city are explored every time and each mystery is unique and intriguing. Black Circle continues that trend, and Carol Reed fans will find another welcome mystery installment here. There is a slower pace to this game (and the series in general) than many, with its humble protagonist and quiet first-person exploration, but that quiet is filled with rich exploration and punctuated with uneasy moments of tension when the story picks up. Its relaxed nature may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this game provided me with an enjoyable few evenings of escape to a lovely Swedish city with a detective that has earned my trust right along with her friends and neighbors. Like Miss Marple in St. Mary Meade, Carol Reed has become a fixture of Norrköping, and she once again manages to deliver an intriguing if darker-than-usual little adventure that’s well worth a return visit.
It's tough to come up with a reason to recommend Black Circle. The story is as uninteresting as it is confusing, the gameplay is boring, and both the visuals and voice acting feel dull and uninspired. Really, with so many other adventure games on the market, why anyone would actually play this game is the real mystery.