CIRCUS GAMES by Richard Karsmakers
Tiny droplets of salty water emerged from certain microscopic
cavities upon the forehead of Cronos the Cumbersome, formerly
mercenary and hired gun, now one of the new acts of Circus
Piccadilly. Before him was the deep abyss of the theatre, with a
concrete floor covered by a thin layer of sand. A trapeze swung
to and fro in the air. Spotlights were aimed at him. Many, many
metres below him, hundreds of the planet's inhabitants sat gazing
with open mouths.
He was about to do the most dangerous trapeze discipline ever
done by a rookie.
It had all started two or three weeks ago. War was his business,
and business was slow. He had come here to liquidate a writer of
some offensive book that had to flee from planet Earth due to
threats made upon his life. Lots of outlaws and refugees lived on
Ambulor Eight, and Cronos had considered it to be his best best.
So it was. The author had been found quickly and was eliminated
accordingly, but now he had to go back to Earth for the payment.
And that was a tougher job than he had imagined it to be. He
didn't have any money with him and some outlaw had pinched his
American Traveller's Cheques.
So he went to an employment agency in search for some means to
earn money on a decent way. It was very difficult, since he knew
how to handle about every weapon and was a master in most martial
sports, but didn't have any qualifications.
The job he got at the Ambulor Eight Thai Boxing Training Centre
hadn't worked out satisfactory: After he accidentally cripled a
pupil there, he was assigned to clean the sanitary
availabilities. When he had to clean away the excrements of a
Mutant Maxi-Mega Monster of Multifizzic Omega once, he found out
that he definitely wasn't 'educated' to do this kind of job.
Another job, at the Salvation Army, also didn't work out due to
So now he was eventually hired by a circus. How they came upon
selecting him? Nobody knew, and least of all Warchild himself.
But his utter lack of being able to come up with any
qualifications at all might have helped.
And now he stood there. About to do something that he was not
supposed to survive, probably. He saw the circus manager
standing, partly behind a curtain, talking with a dude that
looked just as mutant as the undescribable thing he recently saw
in a Thai Boxing School's loo.
"Another one of which we can tear apart his payment's cheque in
another minute," the circus manager whispered, "I still can't
believe he agreed to do this stunt - with HIS experience!"
He chuckled and thereby accidentally swallowed a piece of
chewing gum. He coughed, and the mutant creature next to him
patted him on the back - quite hard, one might add.
Cronos couldn't hear this conversation, of course: Not only
because they whispered and were too far away, but also because he
had forgotten his hearing aid back on his home planet.
The trapeze bar was coming toward him now. He jumped. Just about
every female creature and several weak-hearted outlaws cried out
when they saw the huge body flying through the air, totally
missing the trapeze bar by several yards.
"Shit." he said, before crushing down into the heavy concrete
floor, many feet below.
Cronos Warchild currently resides in the Ambulor Eight Hospital
for the very very Splattered, surrounded by Mutant nurses and
people that keep on talking about pills, poison, jumping off high
buildings and trying to stop Mega-Superspeed trains.
When the dedicated ST user saw Tynesoft's first release, "Winter
Olympiad", he might already have been somewhat astounded at what
these guys apparently knew to achieve on the ST. "Winter
Olympiad" features some pretty neat and extremely smooth
horizontal dual-speed scrolling, and also some smooth diagonal
With their second major release, "Summer Olympiad", they
displayed their awesome talent with regard to graphics. The in-
between-level pictures were pretty impressive: That's what
graphics should be like!
"Circus Games" goes on where the other titles left off.
Graphics-wise, it is a considerable improvement; it's the
graphics that make the game worth having in the first place!
Unfortunately, "Circus Games" also comprises two steps in the
wrong direction: Playability has decreased, and so had the number
of disciplines. There are now only four events left: Tight-rope,
Horses, Trapeze and Tigers.
All events are equally difficult to play, especially when you've
just bought the game and haven't had any practice playing it. But
everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, has been melted in a form
that will eventually make you think: "Boy, the guys surely know
how to make it all look audiovisually pleasing!"
Yeah, they surely know how to do that all right!
Between the individual events, there are quite complex
introductory scenes involving clowns that do all kinds of weird
things. Really well done: Cars that fall apart and the usual
The programmers didn't particularly make it easy for themselves:
They have not always sought for the most easy way of making the
game representable. There are multiple scrolling everywhere, and
everything is just...well....FINISHED is the word.
"Circus Games" looks and sounds magnificent. Its playability and
durability leave quite something to be desired, though. Pity.
Name: Circus Games
Value for money: 7
Overall rating: 8-
Remark: Two disks filled with fantastic
graphics and well programmed stuff
Hardware: Color only
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.