Game Review: ‘Vlad Circus: Descend Into Madness’

October 16, 2023

Written by Daniel S. Liuzzi

When I think of 2D Pixle-art games, I remember the old DOS games I played as a kid. As a kid, they were spooky, but after growing up and seeing the evolution of graphics, I now look back at how lame they were. Unfortunately, I still hold this view. Can Indisruption and Blowfish Studios’ psychological horror Vlad Circus: Descend Into Madness make me change my mind?



In Vlad Circus: Descend Into Madness, players play the role of Oliver “Lazy Ollie” Mills, a former circus clown. Ollie has been invited to Petrescu Manor along with some former circus performers, with the hope of revealing the haunting truth behind the tragedy that struck Vlad Circus eight years prior.


Now, on to the game itself! When it comes to the controls, they are pretty easy to remember the layout once you learn them, I only wish there was a better tutorial system for it though. The soundtrack is great and fits the narrative of the story along with the ambiance used. There’s no voiceover work, which is OK, I enjoyed reading, and to be honest, I think voiceovers may have ruined the experience.





Vlad Circus: Descend Into Madness is in 2D pixel art which surprisingly, the devs nailed. While most of the time, pixel art cheapens the look of a game, this was done well enough that I overlooked it. The story was quite intriguing and the question of what’s real and what’s not helped add to the tension of the storytelling. I enjoyed the gameplay and the puzzles they had as they encouraged exploration.


Overall, I had a lot of fun playing Vlad Circus: Descend Into Madness, and will admit I was surprised at how good a game like this was. The atmosphere was great, the story held my attention, the puzzles were challenging but fun, the music fit the mood, and the art of beautiful (for 2D!). On my scale of 1-10, this is a ten from me!


Vlad Circus: Descend Into Madness will be coming out on October 17th, for PlayStations 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


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