Undoubtedly Michael Abrash's masterpiece, and one of my most favorite games of all time, Funtastic's Big Top is an incredibly addictive "ladder" game that adds so many extras and nice touches that set it apart from the likes of Lode Runner. The goal is straightforward: in each level (called "ring" in the game), you must retrieve all of the circus Ringmasters' hats that are scattered around the level while avoiding evil clowns. What makes Big Top special is the amazing level design and very good enemy AI -- you'll actually have to *think* your way through each level to minimize damage, and carefully observe the evil clowns' pattern. The levels, naturally, get more and more difficult, but they also get much bigger. One of the things I like about the game is how each ring is not only one-screen big, but spans at least 2 screens (e.g. lower and upper level). |
Like most Michael Abrash's games, Big Top is very immersive-- you'll hold your breath when making seamingly impossible leaps across platforms, and you'll be staying late into the night trying "just one more ring" to see more devious levels where the exit always seem out of reach. If you like fast, fun arcade games, look no further than Big Top. A true classic in every respect-- two thumbs up!
Note: This download includes original disk image of the game (it's a self-booting game), and Flopper program to run it. You'll need to first install Flopper, then play the game from 3.5" floppy. I could have waited for Demonlord to make MS-DOS version, but the game is so good I can't wait :) If you find Flopper difficult to use, please comment in our forum.
Reviewed by: Underdogs