Circadian City

Genre: Life Sim / RPG / Farm Simulation
Developer: Nowhere Studios
Gamemode: Singleplayer

This little game is not finished yet and as an early access game you'll find some minor translation mistakes, as well as bad balance issues that are reducing the fun in this game quite a lot. But overall I had very much fun to play it after I got a bit deeper into it, because the beginning is characterized by very few quests and the low energy you'll fast have after working a bit. This wouldn't be a problem if you had the possibility to regain energy as easily as you loose it, but that's not the case. In Stardew Valley you only need to sleep and have full energy, but not in this game.

I personally do not believe that this game is just super happy and superficial, because there are quite some profound and deep thoughts and conversations. As short as the dialogs might seem, if you have experience and are adult you'll feel very fast how much the developers show about their own thoughts and personalities. I got to say I was quite surprised and impressed by some remarks. I rather thought few people share them with me. As an artist I agree on most of the statements they make by their protagonists. It makes the game very unique. What did bother me though was that most of the times you chat with the NPC's they don't answer at all, which makes you wonder if they do have any quests at all.

Indeed the game has a nice background story and meaning that isn't superficial at all and the graphics are really beautiful, except to the faces you can choose from at the character creation, but it is really super hard to get those beautiful with a few pixels. They still managed to put some details into everything and I hope they'll add later on more character customization. The town is gorgeous, there are lots of beautiful places to explore and I enjoyed it to be able to walk or use the metro train instead. The only reason you would eat is because you can't talk to anyone if you are too hungry, but cooking is fun and there is also enough cheap prepared food to buy. Prepared food doesn't stack, which is bad. The fridge is far too small, but fortunately you can expand it by an upgrade that you buy. Also you got a chest in your apartment that you can use till then. If you get to understand more about the game mechanics you'll learn that eating balances your stress and energy too.

I personally had the feeling at the beginning that there wasn't much to do, the NPC's didn't give me many quests and there wasn't much happening in the city, so I was already close to quit ,because it got a bit boring, when finally after talking a lot some quests came up. Those were in the beginning tiny tasks, like get me this or that, talk to that person please. This should be changed, because people might give up too early right now. It's fun getting recipes, finding people that share interests and doing quests even if they can send you around the map several times. The dream world isn't really this much about farming, I'd rather say it is about getting resources and crafting, but I liked it actually at first more, because you get immediately some jobs to do, but as soon as your energy drained by the stress you had at real life you'll have very few time there while sleeping. So your progress will be slowed down. It seems it does have an influence on the time you can spend there if you ate enough and got energy left. I had to ignore the energy level to be able to earn enough money without waiting forever to get my quests done. Luckily only for a few quests I needed energy. But I don't think the developers intended that you ignore the energy.

Now comes the other down side to the game: Every little thing coasts money, which would be ok if some of it wouldn't be that weird. You buy a tv, but need to pay then also constantly every movie, that will be a one time use to recover energy. I simply didn't do that. You can buy a radio, I bet you pay then for each song too. The game console you buy got the same issue. Each game is a one time use only, which should be changed. Such things are unpleasant and make the game tedious grindy. Same in the dream world. I did not mind some resource farming, but some took me forever or felt like it. Also I did not realize that the trader there gave me any currency for some stuff I sold.

The graphic is cute and the music beautiful and relaxing although there could be a few more tracks. I don't want to be too devastating with my critics, but the energy management is terrible in this game right now. It is extremely tedious to get any energy back. Almost everything you'd expect to give you some doesn't really work, not hanging up in a bar, not a walk in the park, drinking coffee, nor your balcony view or eating. Nothing helps or gives any noticeable energy except a massage. I had one time a half filled energy bar while the game still told me I would be out of energy. To me the sounds of the talking are by far the worst in this game. I never experienced such annoying robot sounds that you would not connect to human beings anyways. Other than that the game is adorable, although I don't believe that you can play it already hundreds of hours, which is stated somewhere in the description on steam. The game is still fun and it even runs on Linux, but you might want to know that there is zero mouse support.

We recommend: If you like RPG life simulation games, buy it if you don't mind its current state, I had really a ton of fun dispite its state, the longer I played it, the more I fell in love with it and it touched me very much!