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Circus Atari is rarely static. Your clown flies back at you in unpredictable ways and you really have to work to make sure you position your teeter-totter right in order to catch him and launch the next clown. Such a simple concept but just such a blast to play.
Nevertheless, Circus Atari is a favorite of mine, and is a refreshing change from Breakout and not merely a slight rehash. There's enough here to satisfy any ball-and-paddle fanatic, and reason enough to get a real Atari to play it on (since an emulator can't exactly replicate the controllers, can they?)
Plus it never gets old watching a clown bite the dust. This has got to be THE only game that I can think of on any platform where I don't get mad whenever I lose a life. :)
I enjoy the frantic nature of the game, but have you noticed how the action always tends to gravitate towards the right side of the screen? I don't like that. Few would consider Circus Atari a great game, but its fast action puts your reflexes to the test.
Overall, this game is a reasonably good alternative to Breakout or Super Breakout if you want something just a little different. Like Breakout and Super Breakout, this game requires a paddle controller, which might be a turnoff to a few, but it should not be a big deal to most fans of the Atari 2600. It also has enough different game modes to last a while. The game is quite common as well, so it should not be hard or expensive to find. Despite it being a clone, you could do far worse than to add this game to your collection.