The Shadow of the Templars
(Circle of Blood)
||(Win95/98/XP) (DVD Case) (CIRBLOODPR)
On other systems you
can use ScummVM to run this.
Difficulty Level: Easy
ESRB Rating: Kids to Adults - Animated violence and
4 stars from Computer Gaming
A from PC Games
80% from PC Gamer
The Adventure Collective
Previously Released as Circle of
Uncover the identity of a jester assassin. Unlock the legend
of the Knights Templar. And unravel a plot as twisted as the catacombs you'll
As American in Paris George Stobbart, you find it odd when
an accordion-playing clown darts out of a cafe clutching a briefcase. Moments
later, you're sent flying from the force of a massive explosion right into a
sinister world of intrigue. The coveted contents of that briefcase? A fiercely
guarded manuscript penned by a clandestine medieval order - the Knights
Steal it back before a group of megalomaniacs fathoms its
mysteries and overturns the very balance of life.
An intensely twisitng, turning epic based on the
controversial, historical legend of the Knights Templar
hand-painted by artists formerly of the renowned Don Bluth Studios (An American
Tail and laser disc games Dragon's Lair and
Feature film quality animation
Scored by acclaimed composer Barrington Pheloung
Intuitive, easy-to-use interface
Windows 95/98/XP -
486DX2-66 (Pentium 66 or better recommended), 8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended), 2x
CD-ROM drive (4x recommended), 18 MB free hard disk space (150 MB medium
install recommended), sound and video card with DirectX 2 compliant
Does not work on Windows ME. Tested on Windows XP. Requires
Windows 95 compatibility mode, 640x480 with 256 colors to run.
Computer Gaming World, February
"Circle has one of the cleanest interfaces I've ever seen in
an adventure game. Using the now-familiar hotspot routine, the cursor changes
when it passes over objects or people with which he can interact. If he can
pick up an object, he puts it in his pocket for later use, and it appears in a
drop-down bar at the top of the screen. When he talks to someone, the subjects
he can bring up for discussion are displayed as icons across the bottom of the
"Circle's designers deserve applause for displaying
restraint in the puzzle department. Most of the puzzles are plot-based (the
sole exception being a single not-at-all-difficult chess problem), with nary a
maze nor an arcade game in sight to artificially lengthen play. The sometimes
endless conversations take up quite enough time by themselves. Granted, there
are a couple of instances where George needs to be nimble on his feet, but
they're not so frustrating as to bring the game to a standstill. If there is
anything wrong with the puzzles at all, it's that they're too easy. Veteran
gamers won't find much to challenge them and may even get frustrated by the
lack of depth."
PC Games, December 1996
"Right from the start of
this sumptuous animated adventure, you'll know you're onto something out of the
ordinary. (What other computer game lets you play Breakout during the
installation routine?) The intro voice that begins before the graphics do, the
blink-and-you-missed-it subtleties of the intro, the garbage-can cat that
startles both player and character - all evoke the movies in ways quiet and
"And Circle looks like a million bucks. The artists have
quietly incorporated a sense of dimension and perspective in their work that
helps define the focus of your attention and how you play the game. You find
yourself naturally clicking on things that are important. Parallax-scrolling
foregrounds successfully provide a sense of George being within a place, rather
than simply superimposed on one. The characters are so fluidly animated that I
thought them to have been traced from life, with all sorts of purpose-specific
movements, and they blend nicely with the Don Bluth-like cut-scene
"Indeed, there's so much art to the game's construction -
perhaps more than there is to winning - that you'll be consumed by the process
of discovery as much as the search for solution."
PC Gamer, January 1997
"Just when it seemed traditional graphic adventures where
going the way of the afro and bell-bottom jeans, we've seen a recent resurgence
in the genre with Toonstruck, Sherlock Holmes, and even Leisure Suit Larry,
bringing back the excitement of narrow escapes, gathering unrelated objects to
solve puzzles, and studio quality animation to the PC screen. Virgin's Circle
of Blood is among the best of this renaissance, with its thrilling blend of
quality puzzling, sumptuous graphics, and intelligent story line."
"Like classic adventures of the past, Circle of Blood builds
a convincing story from diverse elements and lays interesting groundwork for
exploration, puzzling, and surprise."
"As a whole, though, Circle of Blood is
a fun graphic adventure. The story is compelling, the puzzles are varied, and
the interface becomes second nature very quickly. Aside from only a few
shortcomings, it's an entertaining game that may not blow everyone away, but if
you're a traditional adventure fan that yearns for the days of old, it's an
adventure you can rely on."
Collective by Joe Antol
"The game covers five different European countries in which
you need to travel and unravel the clues to solve the mystery behind the
violent bombing of the café. The story revolves around the legend of the
Knights Templar--a very popular subject that has been brought into a number of
recently produced adventure games. The order of the knights were founded by a
French nobleman in 1100 to protect travelers to Jerusalem during the Crusades.
The Knights managed to amass significant wealth over the next two centuries,
and were considered mercenaries. In any event, not all of the deeds done by the
Knights were good. George sets out on his journey to find out what went wrong.
The story is historically accurate and George have to interact with a great
number of people. As a byproduct, the game gives the player the unique
experience of creative storytelling. The story expands through interrogation of
characters and solving of puzzles. Additional locations of the map of Europe
become evident (as icons) as the game progresses, providing additional areas
for George to explore to complete his quest."
"I have found Broken Sword: The Shadows of the Templars to
be one of the best adventure games I have personally played in a number of
years. The balance between story, graphics, sound, interface, and puzzles is
testimonial to the fine effort of Revolution Software. This is a must play and
experience adventure game for any adventure game lover out there."
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