In a surprise announcement, indie darling Subsurface Circular will be making its first console appearance on the Nintendo Switch. Even better, there is hardly any delay between the reveal and launch; Mike Bithell’s sci-fi adventure game will be coming in exactly two weeks.
If you haven’t heard of Subsurface Circular, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised. The game is the first in a series of Bithell’s (Thomas Was Alone) Bithell Shorts saga — mini-experiences that are intended to be enjoyed in a single-session experience. The game has only been on the market since mid-August when the game launched on PC (later coming to iOS). Bithell himself has noted the game as a success financially at DICE 2017.
Highlighted in the reveal trailer below, Subsurface Circular is a classically-inspired text-based adventure game with a modern flair. In the game you hope to solve the mystery of disappearing Teks — semi-autonomous helper robots — that continue to vanish from the subway cars. Using branching skill trees, good ol’ detective work, and the occasional puzzle solving, it’s up to you to piece together the mystery.
As to why Mike Bithell is expanding to Nintendo Switch (as compared to PS4 and Xbox One), he explains that it plays in part to Nintendo’s commitment to indie gaming as well as the real-world portable capabilities of the Switch:
“Nintendo Switch is an ideal platform for players to experience Subsurface Circular, a game perfectly suited to playing on an actual train. Nintendo has displayed a commitment to the success of independent gaming on Nintendo Switch, and we’re thrilled to join their expanding library of games.”
Funny enough, DualShockers has asked Bithell about his intention to bring Subsurface Circular to Nintendo Switch in a 2017 interview — a question he at that time expertly dodged:
“Yeah, I like the Switch. I can definitely see that working. We’re going to continue to play with different things. For me, it’s always about making a version of a game feel great on a platform then we’ll probably get to it and start playing with it…. We’ll experiment around and yeah, maybe. I love the Switch. That is all I can really say on the subject for now.”
This may be seen as a relative departure for Bithell business practices, given that previous projects for his studio has worked to give timed-exclusivity to PlayStation consoles. Thomas Was Alone launched first on console for PlayStation 3, packed with timed-exclusive levels. Meanwhile, stealth-based game Volume (and its VR iteration, Volume: Coda) was only ever released on consoles for PlayStation hardware — specifically, both the PS4 and PlayStation Vita.
Although the game was created by Bithell Games, it will actually be ported by Scottish developer Ant Workshop — a studio that previously worked on Binaries and upcoming Ren & Stimpy-inspired Dead End Job.
As mentioned above, Subsurface Circular is slated to launch on March 1, 2018 at the budget price of $5.99; the game is currently available for iOS and PC. You can check out the brand new Nintendo Switch trailer as well as some screenshots, below: