Average Playtime: 2 hours

Subsurface Circular

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A detective stationed on the Subsurface Circular investigates a series of disappearances among the city’s robotic working class. Collect words and phrases, then use them in dialogue puzzles to uncover the world's secrets and determine its future.

Inspired by classic adventure games and modern dialogue systems, Bithell Games has created a single session story which respects your time and your intelligence.Key Features

  • A mature, polished, one-sitting game.
  • Developed by the award-winning team behind Thomas Was Alone and Volume.
  • A graphical twist on the classic text-based adventure.
  • Uses 'Focus Points', a unique vocabulary-based inventory system.
  • Original soundtrack by Dan le Sac.

  • Comprehensive art gallery featuring the detailed work that went into this world.

  • Unlockable ‘BithellBot’, our interactive take on a developer’s commentary.

If this game is ‘short’, what’s to stop me getting a refund when I’m done?

You’re browsing Steam, which means you understand the work that goes into games, and are in principle up for paying for ones that entertain you. We hope that after a bit of time with Subsurface Circular, you’ll feel good about the price you paid.

Do I need to have played other Bithell games to enjoy this one?

No. Subsurface Circular tells its own self contained story.

Why is the game only available in English?

As you can imagine, a text adventure game contains a terrifying amount of text, but more importantly, throughout the game we use the particular quirks of word ordering and double meaning in English to support the combination and recombination of threads. Put simply, other languages are going to be more than a straight translation: They’re going to need rewrites and changed design. Not impossible, but more than we could get done this time around. If the game proves successful, we’d like to revisit this.
Release date
Bithell Games
Bithell Games, Ant Workshop, Mike Bithell Games
Age rating
10+ Everyone 10+

System requirements for iOS

iPad Air, iPad Air Cellular, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Mini Retina Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Cellular, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 3 Cellular, iPad Mini 4, iPad Mini 4 Cellular, iPad Pro, iPad Pro Cellular, iPad Pro 9.7, iPad Pro 9.7 Cellular, iPad 6 1 1, iPad 6 1 2, iPad 7 1, iPad 7 2, iPad 7 3, iPad 7 4

System requirements for Nintendo Switch

System requirements for PC

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Dedicated 2048 MB+
  • Storage: 1 GB available space

System requirements for macOS

  • OS: MacOS Sierra+
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Dedicated 2048 MB+
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
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Last Modified: Nov 1, 2023

Where to buy

App Store
Nintendo Store

Top contributors


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Extra Credits
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Subsurface Circular Release Trailer [Steam]
Aug 17, 2017
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Post mortem
Learn a little about the making of Subsurface Circular.
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Subsurface Circular reviews and comments

Translated by
Microsoft from Spain
A short, interesting and beautiful game. In a future where robots and humans coexist, the first below the second, we incarnate a detective robot destined for a subway wagon where he investigates the cases assigned to him. The game takes place in a single train wagon, without moving from our seat, advancing in the plot through dialogues. In case you like conversational adventures or visual novels, you're probably interested. The only problem of the game is that if you have no idea of English these something sold. Ps. DON'T ASK FOR A REFUND. If You do not like obviously yes, but that is short does not mean you have no job behind, or you should return it and recover the money because it has lasted more than the limit. If you liked the game I do not think it costs you a lot to pay the 6 euros it costs. It's Not that much money Either.
Translated by
Microsoft from Spain
Short, no doubt (I could finish the whole in less than 3 hours), but if you see an ' ' Extremely Positive ´ ´ is always something. In this case by a brilliant way of telling you a good story with its good immersion ration (and that having a scarce budget) Said that here I leave two OJOCUIDAO that it is better to have in between before deciding on buying it:-OJOCUIDAO N 1: As It is obvious not tod We share your tastes. In This case if you do not like the games where you will ONLY use dialogue and nothing more... Then surely this is not your favorite game. -OJOCUIDAO N 2: The game itself is entirely in English. On the one hand that is good, because they are not like other companies that decide that they will not translate into Spanish because they do not want. On the other hand, if you have problems with this language better find another game. Or learn languages, that's always good
Translated by
Microsoft from Spain
Never has the phrase "short but sweet" been more true than in this great little game! The premise, as you may have gathered from the trailers, is that you´re a robot (Tek) detective that decides to uncover the mistery behind the disappearance of a robot, all while being unable to leave the Subsurface Circular, an underground line. Throughout the game, you meet and interrogate different robot commuters, who all have different personalities and quirks, while solving an intriguing and well crafted story. This game is mostly played through dialogue choices, but they´re implemented in quite an original way, creating engaging, and entertaining puzzles, that can even get quite complex. But, if you´re in it just for the story, (which is completely understandable) you can make use of both a Hint and Automated Deduction systems, which ease and skip the puzzles respectively. All in all, it is a great game, that knows very well how to make use of its limited runtime. 9/10 EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED!!
In Subsurface Circular you play as a detective Tek (sentient robots in this settings parlance) who takes on a case of disappearing Tek's from an upset Tek whose friend has disappeared. Across two or three hours you investigate, interviewing Tek's that get onto the train at each stop.

For a game that is entirely about sitting on a train interviewing robots, it's impressive how well the SC team maintains the compelling nature of the game. At no point was I ever bored, and the intrigue and characterisation of the Teks kept me playing right up until a fantastic ending decision that had me stop and think. I had to make lunch while I thought about what I'd do.

With a fascinating narrative and a low price point (I paid $10 NZD on the Nintendo eShop) I would say that Subsurface Circular is a must have.
«That ending!»
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