The Micro User

Circus Games

Author: Circus_Games
Publisher: Tynesoft
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in The Micro User 7.03

Four Ring Fun

Resplendent in sequined tights and alurex leotard I step flamboyantly into the circus ring. Stefan Brookolini, master of the high wire and tamer of big stripey pussy cats, is ready to take part in the circus spectacular of the year.

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 least there will be no audience to laugh as you plummet to any of 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 aforementioned items were present except for one - me. I was nowhere to be seen.

Circus Games

I can only assume that my absence was due to a bug in my pre-production copy and not extreme cowardice on my sprite's part! Although this is an interesting spot the tiger's colours were very poor indeed - he looked mottled rather than striped.

Old timers who remember Superior Software's Hunchback will have a distinct advantage when playing event number two, the trapeze. By moving your legs at the correct time you can increase the height of your swing - one of the critical factors affecting your success. Swing too high and you will soar into the lights, too low and you will plummet like a falling star. 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 in this event, you had better produce an assortment of twists and somersaults to impress the judges.

The tightrope event employs a dual view display - the walker is seen both from the side and above. The top view allows you to see when you are beginning to over-balance to the left or right, a situation which can be corrected by using the appropriate keys.

Circus Games

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 results in the artist proving Newton was right about gravity.

The final event is the easiest of the four. Sitting and standing on agalloping 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 four breathtaking stunts.

All events are realistically animated and respond well to the controls, but apart from the title tune, 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 one should be any different.