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Circle Chain

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Rating: 4/5 (22 votes)
Comments (25) | Views (6,143)

JayCircle ChainContinuing the recent theme — no, not Halloween games, though perhaps we'll have another phantom or zombie game for you before the stroke of midnight tonight — of games based on a simple idea, Emanuele Feronato of Italy has created this addictive little action puzzler of chain reactions called Circle Chain.

Just click the mouse to explode the red circle, which then causes a series of chain reactions to occur. You will have to meet the goal conditions indicated to advance through all 20 levels of the game. Yes, much of the gameplay is based on luck, and yet there are a variety of different circle types introduced that serve to change up the strategy just a bit, thus keeping things feeling fresh throughout.

It's a no-frills game production inspired by Danny Miller's Boomshine, and yet it manages to be a somewhat different game altogether. It is also the product of an experiment to monetize a Flash game, which is also an interesting article to read.

Play Circle Chain

Cheers to Emanuele for suggesting his game. =)

Click here for more chain reaction games.


I love the idea and the gameplay is fun- but no, I'm sorry, it's far too frustrating to be on a level where you need to pop 24 bubbles and there's only 25 on the map... maybe it's just me, but it seemed to be asking too much (and after getting 23 time and time again I felt pretty discouraged).


Nice update to Boomshine. Very challenging. I didn't think it was possible to finish the game. But I did. Huzzah!


More difficult than Boomshine, but pretty good for a game done in 3 hours.

FlyingSheep October 31, 2007 10:13 PM

It was fun. Took a while to finish but well worth it.


finished!! 22 minutes!
nice game


Yay, I beat it! That was quite fun. The game kept reprimanding me for not working, but I was playing this at home, not at work. :( *sniffle*


It's very evident that this game was made in 3 hours. And we're to be interested in his "experiment" regarding making money by using ads? That's called "crass capitalism". I do not think that this game deserved to be on this site.


Hey, I have a better experiment! What if someone was to do something not only out of interest in making money!?

Nah, it's crazy, it'd never work.


This game is really challenging, adding an element of timing and spatial judgment to the already complicated task of predicting result (quite far into the future) from a simple input.

I found even the beginning levels to be kind of difficult and different strategies (do I click in dense areas? Do I try and predict where they will collect? etc.) to be a little too difficult to imagine in my head with all the different particles flying around the board. It seems almost to rely too heavily on "luck" that I'm faring pretty bad on level 3.

In honesty, I thought the furthering of the Boomshine idea didn't serve as good as a purpose as there are just too many layers that strip the elegance of the original down to a haphazard guessing game.

The reason Boomshine was so addicting (besides the wonderful soundtrack) was the simplicity of the game play. It is very easy to visualize a circle expanding its radius and then affecting the bouncing balls around it. The rules of play are really easy to understand and trying to decode the strategy or sense out of the patterns, recognizing and testing patterns of execution was what made it fun.

In this game I felt the added element complicated this pattern recognition task as you had to track many different variables at the same time - a sort of cognitive overload as you will. But, it may be just me and my overworked graduate brain.

To end on a positive note, I bet a series of tests and comparisons as to the value of elements to game design between these two games could yield some interesting insight into what makes a game fun and what makes good design. Think about it, you have two people who in essence have the same end goal for behavior action yet their design to achieve this behavior is different. What does one do that the other doesn't? How does it affect the process? This is interesting stuff.


Yeah, the 'made in 3 hours' is pretty apparent. I finished it, but if I'd been made to continue any of the levels for longer than about 3 minutes I would have said "Screw it" and clicked elsewhere. Don't blame anyone else for doing the same... The whole 'experiment' bit doesn't really bother me a lot, because hey, everyone's gotta find a way to earn a living, and if you find a way that works and isn't really hurting anyone (we'll ignore for the moment what the definition of harm is), more power to you. I kind of object to us being basically supplied as guinea pigs, but to be fair it wasn't really bad, just on the low end of mediocre. I certainly won't be buying him a beer for this, though.


With the shots it send out in 4 directions, it reminds me a bit of Splash Back

Main difference, of course, is that in Circle Chain the targets are in motion.

[Edit: Splash Back was stolen from the Cartoon Network folks and then spread virally all over the Web. A shame, really. Please use this link when referring to the game...


And I agree, I thought of this game, too, when writing up the review. -Jay]


The game is short but fun, a lot of games are very similar to this one though. I don't mind the experiment, if flash games begin to be a profit making thing, then you'll see more of them, and maybe higher quality ones as well. With that said, I don't need to read about someone who is trying to do it, but it would be nice of him to post his findings AFTER he finishes for other game makers.


This game just frustrated me.

Maybe, its just me, but many levels are pretty more random on the outcome, so you try again, and again and again and again, and then chuck, lucky, next level.

to gamedesign: a game should give the player a feeling of challenged control, but this just doesnt.


I agree with fuzzygrid. "Hard" means it is difficult to reach high levels. "Challenge" means you need to use and develop a particular skill. This game is hard, but not a challenge - the levels are impossible to predict, and I got frustrated very early on.


Frustrating, but a very interesting game. Much more creative than 95% of flash games appearing on the web.


I finished this game in 15 minutes. It was a good challenge. Keep up the good work Emanuele. Jay I love your site. Tx again for all the good work you do here with all your partners.


Lots of fun to be had here, but one complaint that I have with many a flash game: Mute button please!

I like to listen to my own music while playing games and when the game has no option to mute it's own repetitive soundtrack, it really loses appeal for me.

Apart from the repetitive music and the lack of a mute button, I had a lotta fun with this game.

hoyvinmayvin November 1, 2007 7:21 PM

Fun with music: right-click and play resets the game, with the soundtrack restarting and overlapping with the one already playing. Like if the soundtrack was
X--- and you restart the game mid-measure, you get a loop of X-X-. Of course, the soundtrack is a little more complex. I didn't try any sort of timing and ended up with a jungly little loop using two overlaps.


Wow. A whole bunch of things to address here.

First of all, the game. I found it to be a poorer cousin of Boomshine. With Boomshine, I found that, yes, there was a certain amount of luck involved, especially at the later levels, but I could get into a sort of Matrix-type zone where I could see the big picture and see how the circles were going to move. Or maybe it was more of a feeling. Actually, it was probably closer to a hallucination or delusion. But the important point is that it felt like it took some measure of skill. The reason for this, I think, is that the mechanics of Boomshine were very simple. All you had to do was make sure the "booms" touched the other circles. With Circle Chain, though, you have relatively complex mechanics. The result is that any level with a lot of circles ends up becoming sheer luck because our brains are not capable of calculating all the permutations, and levels with only a few circles become tedious as you wait for everything to line up properly. (I did finish the game, by the way, and didn't find it that difficult. I also didn't find it that interesting.)

My other complaint about the game itself is the music. The music isn't bad, but the loop is very short and it gets very, very grating after a short while. Is it really that hard to make a button to turn off sound/music in Flash? I'm not a Flash programmer, so I don't know. I mean, maybe it requires several days of hard work, and thus was impossible to implement in a one-day game. I'm guessing, though, that it isn't all that difficult. Emanuele: Forcing your users to choose between turning off their sound entirely and going insane is a sure way to drive them away. Oh, and scolding your players for not working when you have no idea where they might be? If you can do it with humor, OK, but that's hard to pull off. Here it just comes off as annoying.

OK, now for the "experiment." For starters, it is nothing new. How many times have you seen Flash games with ads around them? If you're a regular at JayIsGames, I'm guessing a lot. So why the hostility? Just because the developer clearly stated that he actually wanted to make money? What's wrong with that? "Crass capitalism," you say? No, just capitalism (unless you're the type of person who can't manage to utter the word "capitalism" without slapping "crass" in front of it).

Let's take a look at this "capitalism" thing for a moment. What is it, exactly? Well, how about: "an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market" (from Merriam-Webster). To put it in simpler terms, anyone can produce a product and put it out there on the market, and the success of that product (and thus the producer) is determined by how well it does in the market. The beauty of capitalism is that if a product sucks, the market is not going to support it and it will eventually disappear. Of course, it's a bit more complex than that because people have different ideas concerning what sucks (the continued existence of Chia pets is, in my mind, one example of this reality), but the principle itself is sound.

Bottom line: don't hate on Emanuele just because he openly admits to wanting to make some money. If you don't like his product, don't support it. It's that simple.

(That turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. But it needed to be said, so I'm sticking with it.)


Suho1004: The concept of capitalism not necessary the same as free market economy. If you want to sound smart don't mix them up.

Capitalism is the power of the capital owners, a free market economy (without the capitalism word) theorteically power could also by in the hands of the workforce.

Flash game productions is luckly NOT capitalism, because well you don't need a lot of capital (that is factories) to create them, any giften talented can do it.

I have nothing against people getting something for return, or anything, and not strictly against it. But if we get philosophical lets keep things straight :-)

Anonymous November 8, 2007 3:23 AM

umm i am at level 10 and it says " all 3 colors together" and yet it says i have to hit 5 things to advance! sumbuddy help me out here please!!! TX Kellie X

Jellie Bean November 8, 2007 3:27 AM

hey i got it guys its okay! lol


It's certainly not Boomshine! I love that game. This game was just too much. I didn't enjoy it because the creator was too busy trying to make it complicated. The instructions were not clear, and the levels were somewhat difficult at times. Not that I mind a good challenge. I don't want to play guess the instructions for each level. It got annoying and the game became tedious to play. I don't know that I will play again right away. This is surly a "rainy day" game. Note to creator: Keep it simple!!!


I still can't believe I got that level with like 24 purples and one blue on the first try. Talk about luck!


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