CircusIrata is based on an old Atari 2600 game called "Circus Atari". As in the original, the object of the game is to score as many points as possible, by bouncing Clowns off a seesaw and up into rows of balloons that are flying across the screen overhead!

Basic Gameplay

To start the game (or restart after you gameover), either click a mouse-button or press <F2>. This will cause the first clown to start dropping down and bounce off the trampoline on the left side of the screen -- be ready to catch him on the unoccupied side of your seesaw!

To control your seesaw, move the mouse back and forth. Clicking either mouse-button will flip the seesaw around. Catch your clown on the raised end of the seesaw, in the area marked with red paint.

The game will get a little bit faster every 1,000 points. After every 10,000 points, a bonus life will be awarded. After you lose a life the game will slow down for you, but will quickly regain speed up to the point you last died at.

To exit the game at any time, press <ESC> - the "Q" key will quickly exit the entire program. The "~"/"`" key will pause/unpause the game, and the Space bar will pause the game and automatically minimize the game-window (the old-school "Boss Key"). F1 brings up the Instructions, F2 will restart the game, and F3 will display highscores.

Popping Balloons

As soon as your clown touches a balloon, it will pop! The clown will then bounce away from the balloon, possibly changing direction, so be wary. Point-values for popping balloons of different colors are as follows:

  • Yellow Balloons : 10 points
  • Blue Balloons : 30 points
  • Red Balloons : 100 points

If you pop 5 balloons on one bounce, each balloon after that is worth twice as many points.

You also get a Bonus for clearing an entire line of balloons. These bonus point-values are:

  • Yellow Row : 100 points
  • Blue Row : 300 points
  • Red Row : 1000 points

Advanced Bounce Control

Depending on where on the seesaw you catch a clown, the clown on the other side will be launched into the air at different speeds/angles. If you catch the clown on the inside edge of the red spot, the clown will perform a "mini-bounce", such that he will not reach even the lowest row of balloons. Catching the clown around the middle of the red spot will launch the other clown into the air "normally", while catching him at the outside edge of the red spot will launch the other clown off faster and at a more acute angle.

Also, if the clown lands on a trampoline and you catch him afterwards, the other clown will be launched into the air so that he pops ALL balloons in his way!!

Trick Shots!

Medals are awarded for performing certain "tricks". At the conclusion of the game, these medals are worth varying amounts of points apiece, so are well worth going for! The list of Trick Shots is as follows:

  • Clear all three rows of balloons in the same bounce (3000 points)
  • Clear the row of Blue Balloons three times in a row without clearing any other rows (5000 points)
  • Get 10 Mini-Bounces in a row (500 points)
  • Pop 10 balloons on one bounce (1000 points)
  • Score 10,000 points on one life (2000 points)
  • Score a total of 25,000 points (2000 points)

Each Trick Shot medal can be gained only once each game -- getting 20 Mini-Bounces in a row will NOT give you 2 medals.

Tips and Tricks

The following strategies will help you maximize your score!

  • Keep Moving : Even if you think you can simply leave the seesaw in one place and catch your clown as he comes back down, you should keep moving the seesaw to follow the clown's movement across the screen. As the game gets faster, it will become very difficult to quickly react to the clown changing direction unless you've been moving the seesaw to follow it all along.
  • Shoot High : Whenever possible, try NOT to clear one of the lower-rows of balloons. Keeping just one or two yellow and blue balloons around will let you spend more time popping the higher-valued red balloons.
  • Flip the Seesaw : One of best ways to avoid hitting low point-value balloons, is to flip the seesaw around whenever you feel you are going to hit a yellow balloon on the way up.