Circus Atari

Circus Atari
Company: Atari
Model #:
Mike Lorenzen
Year: 1980
Based of the Exidy arcade game Circus


Circus Atari is really just a copy of the arcade game Circus by Exidy.  You control the seesaw at the bottom of the screen, you must try and maneuver the seesaw under the bouncing clowns so they bounce up and pop the balloons at the top of the screen.  It's unknown if Atari actually licensed Circus from Exidy, but given the name change it's doubtful.


Notice the black blocks on the sides of the screen?  Those are really a series of black lines that normally appear on the sides of 2600 games which are affectionately known "The Comb".  These are caused by the CPU writing each line of sprite data out to a set of hardware registers (since the 2600 had no Video Memory), in close synchronization with the video display's horizontal retrace timing.  Instead of having an ugly series of black lines, Mike cleverly incorporated them into the game by bunching them together and making each new acrobat jump out of it.


While its graphics may leave a bit to be desired (square balloons?), Circus Atari is still a fun little game that's deceptively difficult.  If Exidy had a dime for every time this game was cloned or pirated, they'd probably still be around today.  Funny how Atari was one of the first companies to break copyright laws, and then turned around and sued everyone else who even came close to infringing on their games.  Talk about being a hypocrite.


Version Cart Text Description
C012030 Circus Atari C012030 Final version


Return to 2600 Software