Rumble Circuit (Sci-Fi and Fantasy Themed Progression Isekai/Fighting GameLit)

Rumble Circuit (Sci-Fi and Fantasy Themed Progression Isekai/Fighting GameLit)

by S.N. Keirstead

Janus Campbell can't fight. And unfortunately for him, that's the only way to survive.

Upcoming physicist Janus Campbell is trapped in the world of Tersaia, where shadow monsters lurk the streets, anyone can be monitored at any time and fighting is the best way to make a living; either through the Rumble Circuit, a world-wide ranking of combatants that keeps track of participants’ wins and losses in competitive duels, or through slaying the constantly spawning Essencima that terrorize the population.

Unfortunately for Janus, he doesn’t know how to fight. No special moves. No signature techniques. Not even a basic grab.

However, there are two people that might be able to help him out. Itzel, an avaricious woman with the ability to manipulate the wind, and Gurk, a man-crocodile hybrid of few words that can control ice, are the ones that will have to help Janus if they ever want to leave the harrowing alleys of Labrisson and rank up in the Rumble Circuit.

*Art is not mine. It's commissioned.

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S.N. Keirstead

S.N. Keirstead

S.N. Keirstead

85 Reviews
Word Count (15)
150 Review Upvotes
3rd Anniversary
Royal Writathon April 2022 winner
Top List #1500
Table of Contents
175 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Reference Page: Character Art, Command Lists, Bestiary and More (Updated 3/31/22) ago
Chapter 1: Don’t Look Back ago
Chapter 2: Nick of Time ago
Chapter 3: Token of Appreciation ago
Chapter 4: One More Favor ago
Chapter 5: Grub On ago
Chapter 6: Needs More Salt ago
Chapter 7: Table Manners ago
Chapter 8: Challenge Accepted ago
Chapter 9: Stay on Your Guard ago
Chapter 10: Down But Not Out ago
Chapter 11: Unfinished Business ago
Chapter 12: Ogre on the Run ago
Chapter 13: Just Keep Still ago
Chapter 14: All For One ago
Chapter 15: Easy Does It ago
Chapter 16: Under Arrest ago
Chapter 17: Detective on the Scene ago
Chapter 18: Take You for a Ride ago
Chapter 19: Small Talk ago
Chapter 20: Lay It on Me ago
Chapter 21: An Implant a Day ago
Chapter 22: Assist OK! ago
Chapter 23: Out and About ago
Chapter 24: Meet the Parent ago
Chapter 25: Like Mother, Like Daughter ago
Chapter 26: Refinery Woes ago
Chapter 27: Green With Envy ago
Chapter 28: An Eye for a Scar ago
Chapter 29: Terms and Conditions ago
Chapter 30: Demonstration Purposes ago
Chapter 31: Frozen Punching Bag ago
Chapter 32: New Technique ago
Chapter 33: A Small Diversion ago
Chapter 34: No Walk in the Park ago
Chapter 35: Taking Essencima by the Horns ago
Chapter 36: See You Later, Exterminator ago
Chapter 37: Pep Talk ago
Chapter 38: No Service for Crocodiles ago
Chapter 39: Offer on the Table ago
Chapter 40: Mind Your Manners ago
Chapter 41: Sorry for the Scene ago
Chapter 42: Late Night Visitors ago
Chapter 43: No Time to Talk ago
Chapter 44: Into Dangerous Territory ago
Chapter 45: Spitting in the Shadows ago
Chapter 46: A Friendly Reunion ago
Chapter 47: Family History ago
Chapter 48: No Turning Back ago
Chapter 49: Keep Formation ago
Chapter 50: Not in it for the Money ago
Chapter 51: Tauria Rematch ago
Chapter 52: Lost but Now Found ago
Chapter 53: Long Time, No See ago
Chapter 54: Not the Same Person ago
Chapter 55: A Private Affair ago
Chapter 56: Search and Rescue ago
Chapter 57: Sibling Rivalry ago
Chapter 58: More than Meets the Eye ago
Chapter 59: Here's My Signature ago
Chapter 60: The Real Culprit ago
Chapter 61: Goodbye for Now ago
Chapter 62: Just the Beginning ago
Chapter 63: Heading Out ago
Chapter 64: A Fellow Fan ago
Chapter 65: Another Detour ago
Chapter 66: Low Stakes ago
Chapter 67: Intervention Required ago
Chapter 68: Three on Two ago
Chapter 69: Cheaters Don't Prosper ago
Chapter 70: An Exclusive Offer ago
Chapter 71: The Finer Details ago
Chapter 72: A Bit of Sparring ago
Chapter 73: Study Session ago
Chapter 74: Lessons Not Learned ago
Chapter 75: Hands-On Learning ago
Chapter 76: Last Minute Training ago
Chapter 77: You Get What You Pay For ago
Chapter 78: Easier Said Than Done ago
Chapter 79: BRUTE Force ago
Chapter 80: Missed Call ago
Chapter 81: Eyes On Me ago
Chapter 82: True Intentions ago
Chapter 83: A Change in Plans ago
Chapter 84: Recruitment Call ago
Chapter 85: Name Game ago
Chapter 86: Talking Tactics ago
Chapter 87: Order Selection ago
Chapter 88: Follow the Leader ago
Chapter 89: Introductions Out of the Way ago
Chapter 90: Trial by Flail ago
Chapter 91: Time On Your Side ago
Chapter 92: Break Time ago
Chapter 93: Ready for Round Two ago
Chapter 94: Slow on the Draw ago
Chapter 95: Thunder Versus Lightning ago
Chapter 96: Confidence and Commitment ago
Chapter 97: Old Tactic ago
Chapter 98: The Main Event ago
Chapter 99: Advancing Guard ago
Chapter 100: The Upset ago
Chapter 101: Post-Game ago
Chapter 102: New Rivals ago
Chapter 103: A Taste of Fame ago
Chapter 104: New Opportunities ago
Chapter 105: Promises ago
Chapter 106: Claiming a Favor ago
Chapter 107: First Class to Sano Mosado ago
Chapter 108: Fellow Passengers ago
Chapter 109: Staying in School ago
Chapter 110: Learning About Crocs ago
Chapter 111: Not So Smooth Sailing ago
Chapter 112: Carver on the Way ago
Chapter 113: View from the Roof ago
Chapter 114: Screeching Halt ago
Chapter 115: Duel in the Desert ago
Chapter 116: Close Call ago
Chapter 117: Tried and True Tactic ago
Chapter 118: Carver Carved ago
Chapter 119: Riding in Style ago
Chapter 120: Q and A Session ago
Chapter 121: Out of the Desert ago
Chapter 122: A Little Bit of Envy ago
Chapter 123: Food for Thought ago
Chapter 124: Taste of Luxury ago
Chapter 125: Big Guy Meets Little Guy ago
Chapter 126: Peculiar Readings ago
Chapter 127: Captive Audience ago
Chapter 128: A Brutal Briefing ago
Chapter 129: Dinner Before the Show ago
Chapter 130: Like Father, Like Daughter ago
Chapter 131: Sudden Sleep Over ago
Chapter 132: Bitter Reunion ago
Chapter 133: Try to Change My Mind ago
Chapter 134: Motherly Instinct ago
Chapter 135: Big Day Struggles ago
Chapter 136: Lovers' Spat ago
Chapter 137: Watch Your Mouth ago
Chapter 138: Putting a Foot Down ago
Chapter 139: Here Come the Hunters ago
Chapter 140: Father-Daughter Moment ago
Chapter 141: The Other Targets ago
Chapter 142: Chatting in the Armory ago
Chapter 143: To Your Stations ago
Chapter 144: Rookie Mistakes ago
Chapter 145: Critical Audience ago
Chapter 146: Behind the Vines ago
Chapter 147: Targets Unite ago
Chapter 148: Wolf Revealed ago
Chapter 149: Once a Cheater ago
Chapter 150: Desert Trip ago
Chapter 151: Like Brother, Like Sister ago
Chapter 152: Power Play ago
Chapter 153: Kitchen Brawl ago
Chapter 154: Bait and Switch ago
Chapter 155: Captor Turned Captive ago
Chapter 156: The Path of Most Resistance ago
Chapter 157: Towards Separate Sectors ago
Chapter 158: Sniper in the Distance ago
Chapter 159: Gunslinger's Return ago
Chapter 160: Wearied Procession ago
Chapter 161: Point Blank Betrayal ago
Chapter 162: Near Miss ago
Chapter 163: Living Fodder ago
Chapter 164: Hunter Versus Exterminator ago
Chapter 165: The Duel Continues ago
Chapter 166: Last One Standing ago
Chapter 167: Call to Action ago
Chapter 168: Gator Unleashed ago
Chapter 169: On the Menu ago
Chapter 170: Fight and Flight ago
Chapter 171: Reunited at Last ago
Chapter 172: Divide and Conquer ago
Chapter 173: A Revenge Years in the Making ago
Chapter 174: Hunter "Awakened" ago

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Style: The style adds something like a sense of urgency. Don't know why it does that but it somehow does. Only the events that matter are written and that's better than what can be said for most stories. My single gripe with it is how it seems like a lot happened in such a short timeframe but then again, he just got Isekai'ed so it's excusable since a lot is supposed to happen to let him get used to the world.

One issue is how chunky the paragraphs are early on but it's getting better, probably because dialogues are far more frequent. I can't quite say it's "bad" but it somewhat throws me off when what could easily be two paragraphs is present as one, long paragraph.



I can honestly say it's Actually Gamelit. The story itself takes place in a world with what can best be described as "skills" in games and some other elements. That's a refreshing take on it compared to the abundance of Progression LitRPGs on Royal Road.

The only story that I can liken it to (as far as I'm aware) is World Trigger due to the skills. I haven't watched all of it but it gives off the same vibe. So if you like World Trigger, you'll most definitely like this.



Janus's reaction to getting Isekai'ed is spot-on. You don't just go full psycho and try to fight everything. He's actually a sensible and relatable character and that's rare in Isekai. How he manages to figure out the duel shenanigans in Chapter 8 makes sense. Like... it's too relatable, if anything.

The characters from the world he transmigrates into have realistic reactions as well and I can say that they're pretty likable as well. Overall, the characters are decently fleshed out and realistic. Some dialogue borders on info-dumping but that's mandatory when you have to explain everything to someone that got Isekai'ed. It's explained in a pretty organic manner, too, so that's a five star from me.



Couldn't find anything wrong with it so that's a 5 from me.



If you're looking for something similar to World Trigger or a Gamelit World that's kinda similar to Fighting Games, this is the story for you. Got a vibe that I haven't gotten from most other GameLit stories from this one so it's aced my 'uniqueness' test as well.

On top of that, the artwork that's at the end of each chapter makes it easy to imagine the appearances of characters and that's a sweet addition, so a shoutout to that as well.


Alright this story is pretty darn amazing if I do say so myself. The world that our mc finds himself in is like some city which is focused in resource collection. They got refinerys for this material special in the world and stuff. There are then also monsters which tend to encroach on the city. Defeating these monsters is something that provides tokens (the currency in the world).

There is also this system which allows it's members to fight without suffering any real injuries like an arena. The fighters have techniques which they use to fight, and get a healthbar, block meter etc. Once someone runs out of health points, they lose. Doing these fights, u can raise your rank, broadcast your matches to viewers like a streamer, and ultimately make some good mo- tokens.

Excluding the mc so far, a lot of the characters give me video game arcade character vibes. I've never actually played anything in an arcade before, but reading these characters just makes me feel like they could fit well in say the wreck-it-ralph movie lol.

While I really love the story, the main thing I dislike is the mc. I really struggle when the mc comes off as useless most of the time, and I was questioning myself a lot while starting off if this was going to be a waste of my time. I don't remember if it was a chapter in the 20s or 30s, but there is a chapter where finally the mc does something neat. In regards to the development of the mc, this story seems to take it really slow. While I honestly kinda hated on the mc for most of the story, when the author finally let Janus (the mc) do something cool (don't wanna spoil), it was honestly really satisfying. He didn't even really do anything that impressive, but it still felt awesome since he was quite pathetic since the start. Tbh I was questioning if the author was a sadist. Dangling this amazing story but forcing a useless mc onto us to drive us insane lol. Anyways, I'm hoping to see the mc improve and get stronger, and if so then this story is going to be one of my top favourites. The future for this one seems bright, and I can't wait for future chapters! 

Finally, I'd like to say for you to just dive into this. Start reading. Don't mind how useless the mc is. The story is great!


I have incredibly fond memories of playing coin-op arcade machines with my friends as a kid. I must have pumped hundreds of coins into X-Men Vs Street Fighter. This story feels like someone crushed together that nostalgia with an Adult-Swim anime. It’s brilliant and I found myself absolutely bingeing my way through it. 


 The author does an amazing job of conveying the pace of the world. The progression of time feels natural and keeps me immersed. The description is on point and this allows me to visualize the setting. The cool art at the end of some chapters also helps!

There are some familiar elements to the genre here. A man wakes up in a strange new world, and we the readers follow him as he first adjusts and then thrives. It’s presented in a novel way and with an interesting perspective. I don’t know yet exactly where the tension that keeps us reading is going to come from, but I’m engrossed enough in the world to stick around and find out.


Not much not say here, the editing has been excellent. There have been a couple of tiny errors but nothing that has detracted from my understanding or immersion.



As a protagonist Janus is okay. He’s sympathetic and seems fully fleshed out. I don’t have a strong reason to care for him though. In contrast to that, the side characters are where this story really shines. Itzel and Gurk are detailed and compelling, their backstories are developed and are internally consistent with the universe the author is creating. Seeing into Itzel’s home gave the reader an insight into her own personality and aided the world-building immensely.


An Engrossing Story in a Fun World!

Reviewed at: Chapter 9: Stay on Your Guard

I don't have much experience with Isekai aside from a few summaries of other works, but this is still an amazingly fun and engrossing story! You have an ordinary guy thrown into a videogame-esque world, and must learn the ropes with the help of some odd friends to survive. The author's descriptive and well-written dialogue is an absolute treat, and the icing on the cake is all the character sketches that occasionally show up after you finish a chapter! Definitely give this story a read, you'll be hooked instantly!

Edge Valmond

Splendid Like I Remember—> GameLit

Reviewed at: Chapter 11: Unfinished Business

Style Score:

By now, peeps should know I don not grade this.

Grammar Score:

Thinkinb back, which has been difficult. I believe there were some corrections. Needless to say, I did not find anything wrong. Certainly someone might, but as for me? I am fine. Maybe I am too lenient, but life is too short.

Story Score:

Now then, I cannot say that there are any visible changes. It starts off more unsettling to say. With Janus in an unknown place, and being saved by someone. The two he meets are quite a duo, one more strict, the other lighter. Either way, it seems to be some kind of dystopia society. Where they need to have a kind of tracker on them, kinda reminding me of a movie really. Anyway, the tournament known as Rumble Circuit are where those complete for ranking and prizes I guess, and then there is something about extermination. Needless to say, it smoothly transitions. As for the battles? Pretty nice, it gives a more old school feel if you know what I mean.

Character Score:

To be honest, they were well together. Given how different two of them are. The third which is a crocodile I believe, seems to be more along the accepting side. Probably gonna go broke, yeah...the hell did this become so grim? Moving on. Janus is someone not from that place, I think he was Isekai or something. Either way, there are divisions. Those who live outside, and those who live within. More or less finding himself two companions that would help him. One not at first, the other more willing. Misfits I would say, and it works wonderfully.

I hope I did not spoil anything. Give it a read yourself, I do recommend it.


Please bear in mind that this review is done after only 20 chapters in. The story is 84 chapters long. That said, from what I have seen, here's my break down.

STYLE: Nothing wrong here. Everything flows pretty well but at the same time the style of the story's telling doesn't take center stage, it blends in and lets the characters and events in the story take center stage. This lets us immerse ourselves in the story's events more instead of distracting from them. The only downside here is that it comes off as less artsy and more straightforward. But that in itself is a strength considering the action and character interactions that are packed into the story get greater emphasis because of it, instead of some disembodied narrator that other authors rely on to keep the audience entertained many times.

STORY: I stopped reading during what I still consider to be the beginning act of the book (yes, 20 chapters in and the book still feels like it's building, but the book is 84 chapters long). Despite this, from what I see, it looks like the story has a solid direction it's building towards and I have no doubt that it's moving towards that final goal post. The events are well thought out to introduce us to this new world that the MC finds himself in. Exposition is very cleverly and palpably done and there are no info dumps. Furthermore, the politics of this world have an edge of realism to them that help the audience accept this new environment without having to try to hard to. The only thing making me give it a 4.5 is the fact that I haven't read the whole story yet and have yet to see how things turn out.

GRAMMAR: As an English major I give this work a clean bill of health. lol Very few if any typos were found and the author seems to correct errors quickly. Very good grammar and prose overall. You don't have to worry about any mistakes breaking your immersion here. Two thumbs up!

CHARACTER: From what I have seen so far, the characters have their own personalities and they have unique dynamics with each other. Each dynamic seems natural given the context of the individual characters' personalities and there are no obnoxious characters that you wanna smack upside the head or reach in and strangle personally. lol The one downside is that so far I don't have enough of a grasp on the main character's personality to say whether or not he's the character I like best. For me, Gurk, the gator-man is the favorite, followed by a character I'm not sure is a one time appearance yet or a reoccuring character. But regardless, it's a minor downside since it's clear that the MC will be around the rest of the cast a lot and the rest of the cast are oozing with personality.

OVERALL: A solid read if you're looking for some urban fantasy/isekai/distopian story to kind of chill to and be taken along for a ride. ^.^


Style - I think it is a well-written story, it is exceptionally easy to read, and easily understandable, with no apparent flaws. Actually, when it comes to following the story, it is actually even better than other stories I also called easy to read. But I can't give it more than 5 stars, so that's it. 

Grammar - Oh, truly eldritch power of The Grammar. It still eludes me. I am not a native English speaker, all stories receive 5 stars for Grammar from me.

Story - A Portal Fantasy story. It handles the events it describes quite well, even though I have to point out there is one aspect of the story that seems incredibly convoluted. The protagonist, a guy from our world, is transported to this fantasy (science fantasy I guess) universe, provided with new clothes appropriate for the setting, yet not with Implant ID. Chips are mandatory. Illuminati and NWO approve this story too. But this is the setup where the protagonist is railroaded to the event where he ends up in debt for the prize of the chip, which raises too many questions about what the force (providing him with clothes, but not ID) thought ... it relies on two many specific points where he simply had to meet the reasonable policewoman who arranged the chip instead of just arresting him or deporting him, or whatever. Like, a series of events that are required some sentient force that equip the protagonist with clothes predicted... I will give it 4-star.

Characters - I think characters are handled fairly well. The protagonist is actually handled quite realistically, he is cautious, just as his new acquaintances, and the way he has handled sets this story apart from LitRPG where protagonist lashes out against everything with superior easily gained skills. Because in this protagonist is powerless, useless, if he does have powers, he doesn't know about them ... and I honestly don't know if I should rate the story up or down because of it. In one way, it's a nice change of pace, making the story unique, on the other a steep change he will have to undergo to keep up with superpowered fighters in the future would make it just the same as he got powers in the first chapter. But I give it benefit of the doubt, and 5-star it. 


Overall, it is a very decent story, and I enjoy it, so give it 5-star, it was easy to read to this point, and this easiness motivated me to read into it more so I thought about all things above. Plus I appreciate it has illustrations. 


Um melting pot of genres that doesn't necessarily work. We have the impression that the author tried to fill many boxes that could please RR. It remains however a story as wacky as interesting, inspired by the pop culture of the 90s/2000. It's still very well written, and therefore easy to follow. The story is quite long, but it is quickly read because of its fight by fight construction. In the end, I had a lot of fun.

Akten Dreams

Overall, I like the story. The only reason I did not give 5 Stars for the Overall score is that the chapters are short, especially the early ones. The battle chapters are longer, so thank you for that.

Style Score 4.5 - The story style is pretty simple. The dude wakes up in a different but similar world and has to make a living. Only here he has to go Mortal Combat Style for Life. Even without the other two MCs, it would have been good but with them there is unity. The reason I am giving it 4.5 instead of 5 stars is because of how the Power system works. It's a bit wonky for me as I like to understand how stuff works.

Grammar Score 4.5 - During the story I have noticed that sometimes some simple adjectives are missing. They are rare though and I did not see any big grammar mistakes. By RR standards, it deserves 4.5 Stars.

Story Score 5 - Now here is the good part. The story has substance. It has goals to look forward to and most of all it has a good flow between arcs. Deserves 5 Stars, at least from me.

Character Score - Now we reach the best part. Now, who would have thought I would take a liking to a veggie eating and talking croc who can fight and have such a big heart. He alone gives more meaning to the story but the others do not fall behind. They all have solid characteristics that make them unique but most of all they just kinda fit for this story. Another good thing is that there is art attached to this story so it is much easier to relate to a character and their traits.

As I said, overall this is a very good story and I would not mind giving a shoutout for it in my own story, actually, now that I am writing this review, that is exactly what I will do. 

Once I have more time I will read the other stories written by .

eldritch duck

A good execution on an old formula

Reviewed at: Chapter 23: Out and About

Rumble Circuit follows the general path of its genre, which is an isekai gamelit. The main character, Janus, is inexplicably plopped into the cyberpunk city of Labrisson. He's attacked by monsters, and helped out by two prickly but warm hearted monster hunters. He learns quickly that this world operates by its own rules, and in a game like style. His primary struggle is to adapt to the new world about him without many of the powers needed for him to survive. 

I really can't say I was surprised by the direction of the plot, at least so far. There are hints of an upcoming conflict, and I feel like the author has done a good job with characterization. There are a few points I don't understand well, and a few I feel are glossed over; 

I.e, Janus is a physicist, but rather then using his field of expertise, he immediately turns to extermination work, which was way outside of his comfort zone. It doesn't really seem to mesh with his own aspirations and desires. 

The main character I feel has very few goals. This makes it hard for me to understand and sympathise with. Usually it makes sense with an isekai scenario to have the MC  just try to survive for the first few chapters, but I really could not feel a drive from the main character, which makes it feel like he is a stand in for the reader rather then a dynamic person.
The side characters really make up for this, they are fairly dynamic, and with good chemisty. I really got engaged with them, and they made for a very easy reading experience.

Author prose is tight, to the point, and an easy read. Always a plus for a web novel, where it is easy for my eyes to skip over large paragraphs. Props to the author for that.

A good read, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.