Circulate is a physics puzzle game from Pi Eye Games, creator of System Mania and the far-too-cute Kitten Sanctuary. This simple title is built around moving marbles through a circular container so they disappear, whether that be through forming matches, falling into black holes, or even smacking into bombs.
The magic in Circulate happens by moving entire levels. Right click and slide the mouse to rotate each screen around the central axis. Turning the environment stirs things up quite a bit, and depending on obstacles and marbles inside the sphere, you could end up meticulously moving the mouse or shaking it like that Yoo-Hoo you found in the back of your fridge that's been there for weeks. Goals vary for each level, but usually you want to get rid of the marbles by sorting them into color groups and nudging them next to each other.
Things get really interesting when power-ups and level limitations are introduced. Think it's rough making those big gray orbs stay away from the tiny red ones? Try keeping bombs separated while you try and set them off one by one. Or using a magnet to separate metallic orbs from non-metallic ones. Or getting one lone marble to the goal without setting off the tilt sensor that explodes if you move the stage beyond a certain point.
Level design is quite creative, ranging from arcade-style shake fests to strategic levels that require a lot of patience. There's even a maze stage or two. Fortunately, if one puzzle isn't your kind of thing, you can always back out to the select screen and skip ahead to another stage. Circulate is quite forgiving when it comes to nurturing your individual play style.
The premise isn't anything revolutionary (although the fact I got to use that pun scores it a few points), but Circulate executes everything with a simple sense of ease. Nothing feels too gimmicky, and new gameplay elements are introduced at a good pace and are utilized quite ingeniously. The variety of visual styles is also impressive, and it's fun to scope out the scenery even if you can't complete the stage to save your life.
No fluff, just 100 odd levels of spinning, physics, and marble destruction. Quite a simple formula for fun!
Download the demo Get the full version
Mac OS X:
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.
The demo was very fun while it lasted, and I was amazed about how the game was still introducing new elements into the gameplay by Level 70 (I skipped about 50 levels just to see how hard the levels could get). Now just imagine this game on iPhone!