HAVE you ever met a bailiff? They're the big men with very wide sholders and little conversation. They do not wear clown make-up and silly shoes. Freddy does. He has been sent by the bank to reclaim a $10,000 loan. If you can't pay him, your circus will become the foundations for a new property development. There is only one way to avoid this Rose Theatre fate - put on the deathest-
There are six events. Do well enough in all of them and the circus will earn money from ticket sales to carry the show on.
Even from the lowest board of the high dive, the tub looks pretty small. On the way down you have to adopt a string of poses - emulating King Tut or meditating in the yoga position for instance.
You fall straight, but in the tumbles between positions you drift off target. Frantic joystick waggling is the order of the day. As you move up the diving boards the targets get smaller. And they don't just look smaller - you end up diving into a teacup.
Freddy might appear at any moment armed with a fan to blow you away, but this is tame compared with his later antics. While you are unicycling and juggling Freddy distracts the seal - your ball-
On to the knife throwing, which has shades of Operation Wolf as you try to pop balloons without turning your female assistant into a kebab. Freddy will help by throwing bombs which puts you off your aim.
My favourite event is the flying trapeze, not just because it stirs memories of Pitfall but because I find it quite easy. Match the swing of the next trapeze with the one your girl is on, and shout like Tarzan as you press Fire. Later on you get to jump at flaming hoops.
Switching back to the hunky male character, the tightrope would be quite straightforward - advance by pressing forward on the joystick, correct a wobble with left and right - if it weren't for Freddy. He'll cut you in two by throwing a disc in much the same way as Odd Job did in Goldfinger.
The grand finale is the human cannonball. The bimbo smiles as you brace yourself. She carries on smiling as she fills the cannon with powder. The spotlight is reflected in her toothy grin as you climb on the barrel.
Then when Freddy appears and plugs the gun with a cork does she grimace? Does she look worried as the whole lot explodes? Not a bit of it, she just keeps up her tabloid pose. I think I'm in love.
Targeting the gun is more fun that A level physics. You have to move the net and balance the trajectory against the amount of powder. I wrote a program like this years ago. Sold five copies.
For each round you are given a score. This comes in the best possible form: Money. You use the cash to pay off the bank and hopefully win the game. How much you win depends on a judging panel composed of slapstick clowns.
Throughout the game the graphics are superb. Not just for the jaunty way they are drawn but for the cartoonist's tricks - like motion blur and rubber people - which makes watching as much fun as playing. New twists, the hysterical clowns and the sense of achievement when you complete a level, put you in the party mood. Invite some friends around and use the five player option!
If there is a flaw, it is in the juggling. Not the round in which Freddy hand you a bomb, but the juggling between the three game discs. You soon get fed up having to remove the "Amazing Disc A" and replace the "Death-
But Fiendish Freddy really is very, very funny to watch and play. I'd recommend it to anyone with young children.