I’m not generally a huge fan of visual novels. I’ve picked up popular titles like Dream Daddy and Doki Doki Literature Club over the past year, but only ended up spending a few hours with each of them. Since the character designs for Seventh Circle looked promising, I gave their demo a shot. I was pleasantly surprised.

There were a lot of things worth talking about in the short section of the game I was able to play. For now, I’ll touch on just a few factors that make Seventh Circle a Kickstarter campaign I’m keeping my eye on.

A screenshot from Seventh Circle. Will's dialogue reads: "Pride and Prejudice isn't dirty! Austen cemented the concept of companionable marriage as we know it today."

For one thing, it’s educational.

Seventh Circle drops players into their first day of a new career at the Trillian, an elite group of battle-mages who clash in story for the entertainment of their fans. Mixing superpower and celebrity status smacks of other stellar urban fantasy stories, such as The Wicked + The Divine. Adding an element of almost professional-wrestling-esque sports entertainment is even more promising.

Making Magic

While you don’t actually enter the arena in the demo, you’re introduced to the schools of magic that combatants use. The player will, at some point, have the option of choosing a magical school to specialize in. This choice will unlock some unique in-game options and gameplay versatility. As a rule, visual novels are a genre that live or die on their replay value. Adding in additional variables like this is an excellent way to generate interesting content for multiple playthroughs.

Then of course, there’s the reason that most of us play visual novels in the first place: the relationships. Before this I’d never found a visual novel where I actually wanted to spend time with every single character. Playing Seventh Circle had me genuinely interested in seeing all of the main cast’s storylines. It wasn’t that they were all just likable, although some of them were very much so. Instead, the way each character interacted with the others and with the player felt like a genuine friend group. I was, needless to say, extremely hype when they added me to their battle-mage group chat.

A screenshot from Seventh Circle. Marius' dialogue reads: "Hell yeah! My carbonara will make you weak in the knees."

I’d highly recommend taking a look at Seventh Circle if you’re at all into visual novels. Apart from (from what I’ve seen so far) very good queer representation, the game promises a great story filled with intrigue, rivalry, and friendship. You can check out the game on Kickstarter, or go straight here if you want to try the short demo for yourself.

About the Author

Lucia Taylor

Lucia's an avid RPG gamer with a soft spot for old-school titles, the clunkier the better. They're also a part-time dungeon master and full-time tabletop enthusiast. On the off-chance they're not busy thinking about magic swords, they're probably on a desperate, mindless scrounge to find another cup of tea.

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