Circus Electrique has intrigued me from the beginning. The publisher described the game as part story-drive RPG, part tactics, and part circus management; and it’s not like there’s tons of circus-themed turn-based tactical management RPGs floating around out there. I’m so interested in it, that it made my list of the top five games I’m looking forward to in 2022. Set in a steampunk version of Victorian London, the game revolves around “The Maddening.” The mysterious event turns everyday people into violent killers, and only the circus performers can save the day.
This circus is the greatest show in London… or at least, it used to be. Its performers include Strongmen, Fire Blowers, Clowns, and more. These will be the players party members in battle against the blood-thirsty Londoners. Each has unique talents. Because of this, recruiting for the circus itself is extra important: choose strategically to try for the best lineup possible for both the circus and the fights. The villains range from Bobbies gone bad to aggressive Posh Girls.
The game is inspired by vintage circus posters, Victorian-era archetypes, and classic steampunk charm. It really does look gorgeous, colourful yet dark. When it comes to the circus itself, well, let’s just say that it is no longer at its prime. The goal is to rebuild it to its former glory. There’s a Devotion system that influences both character morale and performance (in battle and at the circus).
When it comes to the name, there’s a reason there’s both English and French words. The developer explained it to me over Twitter; it turns out the ringmaster knows his audience so much that he left “Circus” in English so patrons would know what it was and chose to make “Electrique” French because it sounds so exotic.
Developed by Zen Studios and published by Saber Interactive, Circus Electrique will be released for PC via Steam/Epic, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, and Xbox One on September 6.