Circadian City is a top-down open world game inspired by titles like Stardew Valley and The Sims. This mix of games is what really highlights Circadian City’s shortcomings.
Every game has its gameplay loop, some of these features are fantastic and really make you want to play the game over and over again, whilst others don’t have very fun and engaging mechanics that make you regret buying the title. Circadian City is different and offers something unique from the likes of The Sims and Stardew Valley whilst still offering something fun.
The main feature in Circadian City is life itself. You create your little mini-you that looks like actual people, unlike some of the games previously mentioned. You must do everything in their day-to-day lives, this includes feeding them, going grocery shopping and even socialising with the local delinquents if you so wish. My character's name was Tracy (I was unable to change this) and I was a young boy who was just starting his first job at the local IT company. When starting the game you get to choose some hobbies for your character to do and to enjoy. I chose gaming as my main hobby. Unfortunately, as in real life, gaming is a very expensive hobby and for your character to really enjoy it they must earn their money by working at the aforementioned IT company.
Luckily, Circadian City isn’t all realistic and does actually have some happy gameplay. This leads into the night section of gameplay that really does inspire you to push your character forward as a person and to better their life. In the night segment of the game you can essentially live out all of your character’s wildest dreams and fantasies, this results in your character becoming a farmer for some reason. So at night you must grow crops, melt different crystals to create ingots and complete crazy side quests like collecting horse poop.
While the title is in Early Access, there are a lot of basic features that look very promising going forward, this includes the hobbies system that I alluded to earlier in the preview. Yes, you can become a pro gamer in Circadian City, but to do this you must earn money by working long hours at your boring job all day; just for you to finally be able to afford a new TV and games system. Once you have finally got this you come to the soul-crushing realisation that money doesn’t grow on trees and just because you have a new games system, doesn’t mean you can just sit there all day playing video games. You have to go to work and balance your gaming time just like the real world.
Circadian City has been developed by Nowhere Studios and has also been published by Way Down Deep, and is now available on Steam Early Access.