The One

Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun

Author: Gordon Houghton
Publisher: Mindscape International Inc
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in The One #12

Mindscape's Big Top O' Fun certainly isn't fair... as Gordon Houghton found out when he performed with the appropriately named Fiendish Freddy.

Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun

The Big Top is in danger of closing down - and we can't let that happen, can we, children? That's why tonight's performance had better be something special.

In this game of high finance and high wire acts, there are two protagonists. In the Good Corner we've got the fat ringmaster, who has to raise enough money to keep the Big Top erect and maintain his supply of doughnuts. And in the Bad Corner is Fiendish Freddy, a clown whose sinister leer hides a malevolent scheme to ruin the circus for good.

Most computer games avoid using humour, partly because of the premise that, even if the joke is funny once, it won't be funny after continual playing. Fiendish Freddy more often than not proves an exception to ths rule.

Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun

some of the presentation sequences become a mite tiresome, but the quality of the animation coupled with the subtle variety and quantity of visual jokes used means you won't get bored for quite some time.

This humour is reinforced by a wide variety of silly but catchy tunes; one for each event and others for individual scenes. The gameplay behaves more like a string of demos in which you take part rather than a game which requires quick reactions and a constant test of skill.

Its lastability is none the worse for this, particularly when you play it with someone else (up to five people can take part) and because there's always the goal of earning $10,000 to strive for. There are a couple of drawbacks: the multiload and disk-swapping is a pain, particularly if you haven't got at least a couple of drives, and the price is no joke either.

It's not an essential purchase by any means, but it's well worth a look if you want a good laugh.

Gordon Houghton

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