BAVE you ever wanted to run away from home and join the circus? What better way to get the urge out your system than with the latest Golden Goblin release, Circus Attractions.
This double-disc game offers five different performing arts type games. These include trampoline, juggling, knife throwing, tightrope walking and clown-jumping, which does not involve a motorbike and a lot of worried little men in red noses, but three clowns being catapulted across the circus ring using planks placed across barrels. By careful timing and some careful aerial manoeuvres, you can land the hapless little fellow on the correct part of the plank and send his compatriot into orbit. This is by far the best game and looks very funny. The animation and spot effects are good, but after a short time it dawns on you that this is all there is. There are clowns. They jump.
The juggling is disappointing. Not only is it technically inaccurate - you are reading a regular juggler here - but it is downright silly as well. Just when you get the hang of juggling six tennis balls you are run down by a midget on a motorbike. This game is not kind towards small people. Perhaps the programmer was attacked by a garden gnome when a child.
Trampolining next. You get on the trampoline and bounce up and down. The audience get bored and the game stops. I know how they feel.
Tightrope walking is, erm, different. A female assistant walks across a rope suspended above the ring. If she wobbles, which she does with alarming regularity, you make her wiggle her arms about to try to regain her balance and so prevent her from falling. Various jumps and somersaults can be attempted if you feel overly confident and want to fall to a horrible death. The computer makes a "Wheeeee" noise and your badly overworked imagination must do the rest.
Knife throwing proves an interesting experience. An assistant hands you knives which you aim and throw at a human target tied to a large rotating wheel. The assistant will occasionally pass you a stick of dynamite that will explode when you take it. If you do not take it, the assistant will explode.
Quite why she tries to blow you up is never explained. Perhaps she is part of the terrorist wing of the Female Assistants and Midgets against Exploitation movement.
Each game can be played individually, or with someone you wish to get into an argument with. In juggling, one player passes the balls to the other. With the jumping clowns ,each player takes it in turn to control a would-be astronaut. Similarly with the other games - no direct competition, just two players.
The music is of the predictable Circus March variety. On the Amiga it is beautifully played, but that does not mean it is enjoyable. After hearing the same little ditty over and over again every time you accidentally fall off the trampoline, you will reach for the volume control.
The instruction manual has been translated from the original German and is very funny. It is actually meant to be funny. The bad translation adds to it.
But it does not change the fact that what we have here is a collection of five short gamelets tied together with a common circus theme. Each game will last about five plays before becoming boring, and that includes the two-player options. It makes a change from shooting aliens, but then so does washing the car.