Circuit Breakers is an arcade retro shooter, developed by Triverske, releasing in November 2015. There isn’t really a story to this game, it’s completely focused on the gameplay, as I would expect from an arcade title, so don’t go into this expecting a deep thriller backstory.
The gameplay concept is very simple; you pick which character you want to play as at the start of the game, these are based on what weapon you use, such as machine gun, shotgun, rocket launcher and laser, these classes have their own strength and weaknesses, but are not apparent from the start. The objective in the game is to kill all the enemies in a room and then progress to the next, every ten rooms you complete you will have to take on a boss. Probably my favourite feature in Circuit Breakers, is that you are able to upgrade your weapon to a stronger one of the same type, simply by killing enemies and finding more “ammo” pickups, and once you run out of ammo, you just drop down to the previous gun you were using, it sounds complicated but it actually plays out very smoothly and adds a nice level of excitement to your runs. The game play is very fast paced as you can sometimes get hundreds of enemies on the screen at once, the enemies are for the most part very easy to mow through but some can take a good pounding before finally being beaten.
The art style on show in Circuit Breakers has a very retro arcade feel to it. I really liked this art style and it is not very often you see it done as well as this. It takes a very Metal Slug vibe very strongly, and I salute the developers for pulling this off. All of the rooms and backdrops in which you fight in throughout the game are really nicely designed too, with lots of different textures and layouts to keep you on your toes.
Circuit Breakers is a very hard game. I only managed to get past the first 10 rooms on a handful of occasions, purely because the latter stages of the rooms you just get absolutely swarmed with enemies and you have to be very quick on your feet to keep ahead of them. Where you can get an advantage is playing with more than one person in the local co-op side of the game; this is where you will probably get the most enjoyment as well. If you have someone to play with that isn’t the best at video games, maybe a partner or younger sibling, I would still recommend they try it with you, since the controls and gameplay is very simple to pick up, only difficult to master.
I have been playing Circuit Breakers for an hour here and there over the past two weeks and managed to rack up just over 20 hours of time in it. I haven’t come close to getting even one of the achievements, let a long completing the game. On top of the game’s arcade mode which is where you will probably spend a lot of your time, the game also has a challenge mode. You unlock challenges by progressing in the arcade mode; I really liked this way of unlocking new challenges as it gives you incentive to better yourself to unlock more content. The replay ability factor and addictiveness nature of this game stands it in good stead to be a game I will keep installed on my PC allowing me to drop in for an hour here every now and again.
The only technical issue I ran into when playing is, that if you don’t launch the game when you have your controller plugged in, it won’t recognize it unless you reload. It’s not a major problem, just a little issue that I found annoying. Other than that, it runs well on all resolutions without any issues.
To sum up, Circuit Breakers is a really good game to play in short bursts with a very fast paced action based game play to keep you coming back for more. Definitely one that gets better the more people you play with, and has a really high difficulty ceiling to. With online leader boards with your friends, it will also bring out your competitive nature as well. I can highly recommend Circuit Breakers, especially for its low retail price of £6,99.