[PAX EAST] Hands On With Circadian City

Written by Derek Wright

A Whole New World!

Hands On With Circadian City

One of the many blessings of the Switch library is how many different and diverse genres are available to us. A genre that I have not dabbled in much was been simulations. The original Roller Coaster Tycoon was the last sim I have experienced, so when I was given the opportunity to try a very peculiar sim called Circadian City, my interest was piqued. Between the unique art style and explorable dreamscapes, this title sounds like it could bring real innovation to the genre.

Circadian City, from Way Down Deep and Nowhere Studios, wants to give complete control of a characters 24 hours cycle to the players, from waking to dreaming and back again. In the demo I played, I was presented with a stock character, but was informed that there is a decently deep character creation system. Once you are in the game, your character has moved to a new town and sadly don’t know a soul. In your new town, there are plenty of lively citizens strewn about that you can befriend.

Okay, You Can Shut Your Eyes

In the first day of the game, I met my neighbor and chatted with them a bit before moving outside and seeing what the vibrant and colorful town had to offer. There were shops aplenty and more NPCs lying in wait. It was here I noticed the game had stunning art that was reminiscent of Earthbound and Citizens of Earth. I say this in the highest regards as Earthbound is one of my favorite RPGs because of its quirkiness. That bit of eccentricity carries over into the character designs. They all seem to be caricatures of what real people would be, which in fact made them more exciting to interact with.

While galavanting around town, I noticed I had a few different meters for my character. One was showing my energy, and another was showing my hunger. I was then shown by the developer how to procure and cook food. It was a rather easy process if you had a recipe and, in my case, my in-game mother sent me one. I was able to purchase items to make dishes and my kitchen at home had a few items already.

A New Dreamtastic Point of View

Once I made the dish, I consumed it via my inventory screen and decided to end the day. After doing this, I awoke in the dream world. A rather curious NPC informed me that I was dreaming, and I need to complete a quest, like in a video game. Quite cheeky, but the humor was appreciated. I set off gathering materials in my dreamscape for them, which is very similar to many simulation or RPGs with sim elements. Walk over to tree or rock, smash it with whatever you have available in your inventory and then collect it. Wash, rinse, repeat. I did this for a while, exploring as much of the world as possible. Then I returned to the NPC, completed the quest and decided to reawaken in the real world.

For the rest of my demo I searched another neighboring area by way of the subway and saw quite a bit more fellows to interact with. During this final section the developers informed me that this title will have dozens of hours and their hope is that the game will be infinitely replayable. I believe the audience for this title should be thoroughly satisfied. I am definitely wanting to spend more time with this once the game releases.

Circadian City invades both dreaming and waking worlds in 2020.

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