Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 45 / FEBRUARY 1984 / PAGE 62


Craig Setera

You don't have to run away to join the circus. Here's your chance to be Head Clown and pop clouds of balloons by catapulting your fellow clowns all around the big top. Originally written for unexpanded VIC; versions also are included for 64, Atari, and TI-99/4a. Joystick required for the VIC, 64, and Atari.

The circus has closed for the evening. It's your job to help clowns remove the cloud of balloons from the ceiling of the big top, by catapulting them in to the air so they can pop all the brightly colored spheres. But a prankster has released one balloon filled with laughing gas. If one of the clowns pops the laughing gas balloon, he's out of the game. Even the clown can't bounce and pop and giggle at the same time.

When the laughing gas balloon is yellow, it's safe to pop, and you are awarded 250 points. But if it's black, watch out. Each row of balloons has a different point value. The blue (bottom) row is worth 50 points, the green (middle) row is worth 75 points, and the red (top) row has a point value of 100.

Whenever you catch a clown on your board, you get 5 points. An extra man is awarded for every 2000 points.

To start a game, press the fire button on the joystick. As you play, you will notice a block moving left to right below the balloons. This block will cause your clown to rebound in the direction from which he came. There also are two platforms, one on each side, that keep the clown within reach of your teeter board. The platform can be thought of as constructed with upside-down trap doors. When a clown lands on top, he will bounce back, but if he hits the bottom, he will pass through.

"Circus" is a two-part program for the unexpanded VIC. The firs program contains the custom character data and play instructions. When it is finished running, it will NEW itself, so be sure to SAVE it before you RUN it. The second program contains the game. You must LOAD and RUN the second program after running the first program, because the first program sets up the special graphics characters for the second program.

64, Atari, and TI/99/4A Version Notes For Circus

Patrick Parrish, Programming Supervisor

In "Circus," you must pop the balloons at the top of the tent. On the Commodore 64 and Atari, two clowns assist you in this task. Using a springboard positioned horizontally with your joystick (joystick #2 on the 64, joystick1 on the Atari), alternately catapult one ant then the other clown in the rows of balloons. On the TI-99/4A (with Extended BASIC), a clown is vaulted to the top of the tent by a trampoline which you wheel about with < and > keys.

Points are awarded based on the number and location of the balloons you pop. The balloons nearest you are worth 50 points, those in the second row from you give 75 points, and those furthest from you are worth 100 points.

But, in the top row, is a balloon filled with laughing gas. When this balloon it yellow, it is safe to pop. If you succeed you are awarded 250 points. However, if this balloon is black (or green on the Atari) and you try to pop it, look out! A clown is lost, and the tent is once again filled with balloons. On the TI-99/4A, you lose a clown, but no more balloons appear at this point. In any case, you are given three clowns when the game begins, and you receive an additional clown fir every 2000 points.

VIC version

Commodore 64 version

Atari version

TI 99/4A version

A Touch Of Havoc

Catapulting the clown to the top of the tent is real art on the 64 and Atari. You must catch the clown at the very end of the springboard and hope for the best. By contrast, on the TI-99/4A you have some measure of control over the clown. You'll find that your clown will assume a different direction, depending on where he strikes the trampoline.

To add a little havoc to the game, to platforms which spring clowns at different angles have been added. On the 64 and Atari, a block also moves across the tent near the first row of balloons which will send the clown flying off in another direction if he should strike it. On the TI-99/4A, instead of a block, three pigeons, formed from sprites, flay across the tent. These pigeons won't collide with your clown, but they will surely distract you.