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ZOOM Broken Sword:
The Shadow of the Templars
(Circle of Blood)
Sold Out (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 blood

George begins his questioning.Ratings:

4 stars from Computer Gaming World

A from PC Games

80% from PC Gamer

5/5 from The Adventure Collective

Previously Released as Circle of Blood

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 be prowling.

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 Templar.

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

That man going in will never see the light of day again. Completely hand-painted by artists formerly of the renowned Don Bluth Studios (An American Tail and laser disc games Dragon's Lair and Space Ace)

Feature film quality animation

Scored by acclaimed composer Barrington Pheloung (Nostradamus)

Intuitive, easy-to-use interface


George appears after surveying the sewers of ParisWindows 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 drivers.

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 1997

"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 screen."

"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

George is surveying a key country locale."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 familiar."

"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 animations.

"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."

George surveys the aftermath of the bomb blast."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."

The Adventure 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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