How times have changed. Back in the â€˜70s and â€˜80s most new releases were little more than shameless clones of Atari’s then ground-breaking arcade titles. Even Nintendo was guilty of this, releasing their own version of Breakout.
Skip forward nearly four decades – Pong is 40 this year, would you believe? – and Atari are treating us to Circus Atari, a free iOS game that’s incredibly similar to the countless horizontal platformers available on the App Store such as Doodle Jump and Froggy Jump.
At least this is a well made clone of the aforementioned. The fearless clown which you fire out of a cannon is nicely drawn and there are a few retro sound-effects thrown in for good measure. The obstacles you face when sky-rocketing up the screen are randomly placed and vary from balloons to Donkey Kong Country-style barrels that automatically fling your clown from one barrel to the next.
On your first play you’re given five safety nets, which in essence act as extra lives. After your first play these have to be purchased either with coins picked up through play or with real money. A magnet power-up helps to bring a few extra coins your way and stops the whole thing from feeling like it’s simply been made to drain your monetary funds.
Despite not having a degree of originality we’d be lying if we didn’t say this one had an addictive streak. Over the last few days we’ve spent quite a bit of time on it, booting it up every few hours and having a few attempts at beating our previous high score.
The fact that it bears very little resemblance to the long forgotten Atari 2600 game of which it shares its name isn’t such a bad thing at all, it would seem.
iTunes App Store: free