Codex Gamicus


Clowns is a 1978 multiplayer game (consisting of 1 - 2 players) similar to Circus Atari in which the player controls a seesaw to propel two clowns into the air, catching balloons situated in three rows at the top of the screen. "Clowns" has no definite ending - instead players can compete against previously-set high scores in beaten levels. On multi-player mode, two players can go against each other, seeing who can get the highest score or complete levels together. The game was released in the arcade in 1978,[1] on cartridge for VIC-20 home computers in 1982, and then released a year later for the Commodore 64.


Players start with two clowns and they get to control where they go with a seesaw. The goal is to prevent them from falling to the ground, or else the level is lost. Players get three lives and can earn more after getting a certain amount of points. Getting to the center ring at the top of the sky, while gaining points from popping balloons, will help players complete levels. As the player advances to the next level, hazards and objects will start appearing in the air trying to hurt the clowns.


In the game, some items help players earn a certain amount of points.

  • Yellow balloons - 20 points
  • Cyan balloons - 50 points
  • Dark blue Balloon - 100 points
  • Green balloons - 200 points
  • Bonus/extra seesaw - you earn this after getting 20,000 points; this gives you an extra life.


Earning points helps players advance through a series of levels.

  • 100 points - Player clears all cyan balloons
  • 10,000 points - Player clears all dark blue balloons
  • 20,000 points - Gives player a bonus/extra seesaw