Set within the early days of the American frontier, The Wonderful American Circus is a deck-building recreation by which you journey by the rising states of America. The duels take the type of reveals by which your playing cards dictate the tips you carry out to impress your viewers.
That is an unique and artistic method to deck-building. The sport boasts over 200 hand-illustrated playing cards cut up amongst the 15 forms of performers you may recruit.
The sport begins with you inheriting a circus troupe out of your late father. Your objective is to construct up your circus till it’s proficient sufficient to compete and safe your fortune by successful a circus competitors with a prize of $100,000.
You begin off with simply three low-level artists. You earn cash by performing and, in every city, you may spend on promoting to spice up the viewers. If, nonetheless, they depart unhappy, that cash is misplaced.
You possibly can select your individual route across the map. There are additionally sub-quests you may undertake that give the sport extra of a way of narrative, however they don’t a lot impression the gameplay.
In every city, your fundamental activity is to placed on a present. You choose which artists carry out, how a lot cash to spend on promoting and do the present. With the cash you earn, you may improve varied parts of your circus, recruit new artists and enhance the talents of performers in your troupe. You additionally have to think about the price of meals to maintain your staff on the highway, including a strategic factor to the sport.
Though hypothetically you may carry out with a distinct line-up for every present you placed on, artists achieve expertise and degree up solely once they carry out. Which means you’re seemingly going to make use of the identical performers for many of your reveals.
Generally you’ll get clues about what kind of folks will probably be within the viewers and what they’re more likely to be impressed by. This acts as an incentive to make use of particular artists. Nonetheless, there aren’t locations the place it’s handy to grind to spice up any of these performers that aren’t a part of your common repertoire, so they could do you extra hurt than good.
The artwork type is gorgeous. It blends the sepia tones of the Wild West with splashes of circus color that creates precisely the vibe this recreation wants. That is matched by a 60-minute unique soundtrack impressed by American nation and folks music.
All of those broad strokes create a very nice environment for The Wonderful American Circus, however generally the small print let the sport down. As an illustration, there isn’t a lot selection by way of the duel animations. The cities all look very related. Sure artists’ names will overlap in your posters it doesn’t matter what order you place them in, which seems like one thing that ought to’ve been simple to keep away from.
It additionally presents a really romanticised model of the American frontier, glossing over the much less nice parts of the period. Folkloric tales of thrilling crimes like prepare heists make it into the present, but it surely typically leans into a component of silliness (such because the tigers and chickens you may have carry out at your present).
The gameplay can really feel convoluted. The viewers throws rotten tomatoes at you on their flip, however then be so impressed they’re not an issue any extra the subsequent. Your particular transfer known as the “Finale”, however you may play it any time and it doesn’t assure the top of the present simply because it has the most important impression on the viewers. These mechanics jar the efficiency and don’t really feel as acceptable for the sport as they may very well be.
The Wonderful American Circus has a really cute idea and quite a lot of effort has evidently gone into creating the best environment for it. Nonetheless, when you’ve spent sufficient time on the sport to get into it, you may’t assist however discover the tough edges that might use a bit extra finesse.