Big Top (video game)
Big Top is a 1983 ladder-climbing platform game for the IBM PC family of computers, written by Michael Abrash and published by Funtastic. The game has elements similar to another platform game released the same year, Sammy Lightfoot from Sierra On-line.
Big Top features a circus or "big top" theme. The user plays the part of a circus clown and has the job of gathering up all of the hats on each level of play. To accent the circus theme, the levels are called rings, and the clowns face various types of obstacles. One of the trickiest obstacles in each ring is the presence of evil clowns. Each ring spans across at least two screens, which was an unusual feature at the time. Each ring has an upper and lower level and as the levels progress, they get bigger as well as harder. As the levels are completed by grabbing up all of the hats in each ring, and then reaching a stair that climbs up to the next level, the clowns become more and more evil, and the platforms themselves become more difficult to negotiate. The platforms become smaller and the gamer has to really hone his jumping skills in order to make successful leaps. The jumping portion of the game is actually very difficult from the beginning, and it only grows more so, with the addition of new hazards such as cannons shooting small projectiles or rolling barrels.