Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade; Multi-load Circus Extravaganza
Author : Gary James
Standalone Release(s) : 1988: CIRCUS GAMES, Tynesoft, £9.99
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron Side A, BBC Side B
Actual compatibility : As stated
Supplier : TYNESOFT, Unit 3 Addison Industrial Estate, Blaydon, TYNE & WEAR NE21 4TE. Tel: 091 414 4611
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
"KENNETH FELD presents RINGLING BROS. & BARNUM AND BAILEY, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (R), C I R C U S G A M E S!
Step right up, see the main attraction. Tynesoft welcomes you to the greatest show on earth, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey combine to bring you Circus Games, capturing the thrills and excitement of the Big Top! We challenge you to attempt the High Wire - do Flips, Cartwheels and Hand Stands then ride the Unicycle. Try your hand at Trick Horse Riding - Attempt the daring feats on horse back and warm to the applause of the crowd. For the real spirit of the adventure Tiger Taming dares you to face the fierce Bengal Tigers. Make them stand on their podiums, walk through an obstacle course and jump through flaming hoops. Your skill and judgement are vital when it comes to tackling the Trapeze - you may discover that you're a real high flyer."
* * * TIGHTROPE * * *
The walker must perform a series of tricks on the high wire, including handstands, 180 degree spin cartwheels and flips before mounting the silver unicycle to conclude the performance. The performer commences walk automatically, press the Up key to continue walk whilst at the same time keeping the walker's balance with his pole by moving right or left keys. There are two views of the action - one overhead, the other from the side. The events is split into three sub-events.
The walker must cross the wire perofrming a somersault or can do more tricks if so desired.
The walker crosses the wire performing a handstand and cartwheel - again, can perform more if desired.
Ride Unicycle both across wire and back again.
A somersault = Forward and Fire
A handstand = Left and Fire
A cartwheel = Down and Fire
A 180 degree spin = Right and Fire
When landing on the wire after performing a trick, press Fire instantly otherwise a loss of balance will occur and result in a fall to the sawdust below.
You start with 5 points.
You gain 0.5 points for the first event.
You gain 1 point for the second event.
You gain 2 points for crossing on the Unicycle on third event.
Minus 0.2 points for losing balance.
Minus 1.5 points for a fall.
* * * TRICK HORSE RIDING * * *
The rider must perform a series of tricks whilst mounted on the horse cantering around the ring.
The display at the top of the screen shows the rider's balance. To stay on the horse keep the arrows in the centre of the display. The display at the bottom of the screen depicts the position of the horse as it circles the ring. When the rider walks on, press Fire to commence the jump onto the back of the horse.
The event is split into three sub-events of competition:
From the saddle position jump either side of the horse and stand on saddle for half the ring.
Perform a handstand and somersault.
Whilst standing, perform a 180 degree spin in both directions and a handstand.
To keep your balance move Left and Right in line with the Balance Dis-
UP = To stand
DOWN = To sit
DOWN AND FIRE while seated = Handstand
LEFT AND FIRE while seated = Jump
RIGHT AND FIRE while seated = Jump
UP AND FIRE while standing = Somersault
LEFT AND FIRE while standing = Spin
RIGHT AND FIRE while standing = Spin
You start the event with 5 points.
Event 1 - 1.1 points.
Event 2 - 1.7 points.
Event 3 - 2.2 points.
Minus 1.5 points in a sub-event if you fall off the horse.
* * * TRAPEZE * * *
The action takes place high up above the ring without a safety net. The crowd is captivated by their every action. The flyer has to perform crosses and re-crosses across the arena. A sequence of tricks, double or triple somersaults, mid-air somersaults and corkscrews have to be carried out under the watchful eye of the judges for a good score.
The flyer will automatically catch the trapeze as it passes the platform. Moving the Left or Right keys speeds up the flyer giving him more height. Press Fire to release the flyer from the trapeze. The event is split into 3 sub-events:
Swing back and forth between the two platforms.
Whilst flying from the trapeze, perform a corkscrew and a single somersault.
Flying from trapeze, perform a double or triple somersault.
Left = Moves flyer's legs back
Right = Moves flyer's legs forward
Fire = Release from trapeze
To perform somersault = Right and Fire
To perform corkscrew = Left and Fire
You start with 5 points.
Gain 1 point = Completing Event 1
Gain 1.5 points = Completing Event 2
Gain 1.5 points = Completing a Double Somersault
Gain 2.5 points = Completing a Triple Somersault
Lose 1.5 points = Each fall
A flyer can only be creditted with either a double or a triple somersault but not both.
* * * TIGER TRAINING * * *
A large cage is placed in the centre of the ring - the door opens and in bounds a Bengal tiger. You, as the Trainer, have to get all the big cat to perform a series of tricks, jump through a flaming hoop, jump onto a podium and walk through a tube on the obstacle course without being devoured by the magnificent animal.
The Trainer holds a chair in his left hand to defend himself and calm the tiger if he is put under threat. The chair is operated by any key and Fire.
In the Trainer's right hand is a whip; this is used to move the animals to your selected position. The whip is controlled by Fire alone. The Tiger's Head Cursor is controlled with Left/Right, Up/Down. This is used to show the direction the whip is directed. If the Tiger's Head Cursor enlarges, it indicates a direct hit on the animal. This is dangerous and unnecessary as it will only annoy the big cat and cause a threat, major threat and, eventually, an attack.
To direct the Tiger, place the tiger's head in direction you want the animal to turn then crack the whip, until it is fully extended.
At the bottom of the screen is a rectangular Threat Meter.
Half filled Meter = Threat
Full Meter = Major Threat
The 'Threat' can be reduced by correctly using the chair, otherwise an attack will take place.
To Gain Maximum Score
To achieve the maximum score get the tiger to complete the obstacle course in obstacle order thus avoiding incurring penalty points.
You start with a 5 points base score
Then 3.5 points for the tiger that completes the full obstacle course
Minus 0.1 points for an ineffective whip command
Minus 0.4 points for hitting the tiger with the whip
Minus 0.5 points if the tiger makes a major threat
Minus 1.5 points if you are attacked by the tiger
Once you have completed the International Competition and your final score is greater than one of the existing High Scores, then the Ring Master will announce your inclusion in the High Score Table.
Z - Left, X - Right, : - Up, / - Down, <RETURN> - Fire
<ESCAPE> - Stop, £/_ - Pause On/Off
Instructions' Source : CIRCUS GAMES (Tynesoft) Back and Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Big Top Extravaganza"
Donning sequinned tights and a lurex leotard, I step flamboyantly into the circus ring. Stefan Brookolini, master of high wire and tamer of big stripy pussy cats, is ready to take part in the circus spectacular of the year, CIRCUS GAMES, courtesy of Tynesoft.
Up to four players can compete in the big top tournament - a four event extravaganza that includes tiger training, tightrope walking, trapeze and trick horse riding. I suggest you take advantage of the practice option - at these there will be no audience to laugh as you plummet to your three deaths.
The tiger training event was quite puzzling - according to the instructions the ring should have contained an obstacle course over which the tiger was to be guided, a tiger-head cursor, a tiger and me. All of the afore mentioned items were present except for one - me. I was nowhere to be seen.
I hope my absence was not due to cowardice on my sprite's part. Although this is an interesting game section, the big cat's colours were very poor indeed and he looked like a mottled tabby rather than a striped tiger. That apart it's great fun.
Old timers who remember Superior Software's HUNCHBACK will have a distinct advantage when playing event number two, the trapeze. You stand there high above the ring and as the rope swings towards you, you jump and grab hold. By moving your legs at the correct time you can increase the height of your swing - one of the most critical factors affecting your success. Swing too high and you will soar into the lights, too low and you will plummet like a falling trapeze artist.
As if swinging wasn't enough to cope with, you must time your release so that the far trapeze is within your reach as you complete your graceful arc across the ring. And if you intend scoring any points at this event you had better perform an assortment of twists and somersaults to impress the judges.
The tightrope event employs a dual view display as the walker is seen both from the side and above. The top view allows you to see when you are beginning to overbalance to the left or right, a state of affairs which can be corrected using the appropriate keys.
A remarkable degree of realism has been programmed into this event. Just as in the real discipline, there is a tendency for the inexperienced walker to make a dash for the far podium - this invariably finished with the artiste providing an involuntary demonstration of Newton's laws of gravity.
The final event is the easiest of the four. Sitting and standing on a galloping white charger you have to perform a series of somersaults and handstands. Once again the left and right keys are used to maintain your balance while the fire key initiates any of the four breathtaking stunts. All events are realistically animated and respond well to the controls, but the sound is limited to a few beeps.
CIRCUS GAMES is a new and interesting variation on the decathlon type of program that has proved so successful over the years. I see no reason why this game should be any different.
* * * Second Opinion * * * (Electron User)
CIRCUS GAMES is another blockbuster of a package from Tynesoft. If you've got a disc drive then the disc version is an absolute must as loading time is cut to seconds. You can practice events and chop and change as much as you like.
The graphics are excellent, and though the attempt at digitised sound at the start is interesting, it doesn't quite work. Overall it's a superb compilation of unusual and interesting games.
Sound ........................... 4
Graphics ....................... 10
Playability ..................... 9
Value for money ................. 9
Overall ......................... 9
ELECTRON USER 6. 8