Circuit Dude (Switch, Mobile, PC)

Meet Circuit Dude.  He’s a little robot who needs your help.  Guide him to place chips into slots so he can power up his big invention (whatever that is).  Run around 2-D top down mazes, solving puzzles along the way in this downloadable title for Switch, mobile devices, and PC (reviewed on Switch here).

At first glance, Circuit Dude resembles an older top down puzzler called Chip’s Challenge.  But instead of collecting chips, like you did in Chip’s Challenge, here you place down chips into squares that have slots on them.  Once you place down a chip, you can’t walk there again, so most of the puzzles involve figuring out how to keep a path open if need be.  Other obstacles include switches that open or close paths, blocks to push, enemies to avoid, and much more.  Once you place all the chips into slots, the exit will open.  Pass the exit to complete the level.

If you get stuck or mess up, you can hold down the A button to make Circuit Dude overheat and explode, and start the level over.  There are 100 levels in all, plus a level editor.  I couldn’t figure out if you could share created levels online, but I don’t think you can.  It’s a shame because that is such a missed opportunity.  The game has some other minor problems, too.  After you die a few times on a level, you’ll get a hint to help you pass it (you can turn off the hints).  But the hints are oftentimes very vague and not very helpful.  A step by step hint feature would’ve been nice, or an option to undo a move if you mess up.

But despite the problems, Circuit Dude is still a fun little puzzler.  If you enjoy ‘Sokuban” style games like the aforementioned Chip’s Challenge, or other NES classics like Adventures of Lolo or Kickle Cubicle, you’ll want to check this one out, too.

Kid Factor:

If you mess up, you can make Circuit Dude explode with a cartoony “BAM” symbol, but that’s about as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers may find later levels too difficult.  The game could be considered educational as it teaches logic and thinking skills.  Circuit Dude is rated E for Everyone.

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