Apple Arcade’s South of the Circle is a playable novel of love and survival

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‘South of the Circle‘ debuted Friday on Apple Arcade
South of the Circle is as much an emotional journey as a real one.
Photo: Apple/State of Play Games

South of the Circle is a narrative adventure game that starts with a plane crash in Antarctica in 1964. Its animation style results from motion-captured performances from a cast of actors.

The story begins Friday on Apple Arcade, this company’s subscription gaming service.

South of the Circle is about love and survival

The “circle” in the title is the Antarctic Circle. And the characters are in serious trouble. “A crashed aircraft, tail to the sky,” says State of Play Games, the developer. “Cambridge academic Peter stumbles from the wreckage in search of help, fighting the cold. As his attempts to escape the ice grow more desperate, the lines between his past and present begin to blur.“

South of the Circle is also a love story between Peter and Clara, who is also in the crash. Their adventure is set against the backdrop of the Cold War, and explores the consequences of not dealing with the past.

It as much about the characters’ feelings as their actions. And their emotional choices affect the game. These emotions are portrayed in motion-capture of Gwilym Lee (Bohemian Rhapsody), Olivia Vinall (The Woman in White), Anton Lesser (Game of Thrones), Adrian Rawlings (Chernobyl) and Michael Fox (Downton Abby).

This is a single-player game. External controllers are supported. State of Play games prepared a trailer for South of the Circle.

Previous State of Play offerings won awards, including a BAFTA for Artistic Achievement for its handmade puzzle adventure game Lumino City and the Apple Design Award 2016 for INKS.

Enjoy it now on Apple Arcade

South of the Circle debuted Friday on Apple Arcade. The gaming service costs $4.99 per month but there are no hidden fees, as in-app purchases, ads and loot boxes are banned.

And the service includes almost 140 other titles. Similar ones include Necrobarista, Neversong and Next Stop Nowhere.