Nightmare Circus

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Nightmare Circus Coverart.jpg

Nightmare Circus is a side-scrolling action game developed by Funcom in 1996 for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis but cancelled and then somehow finding its way to Brazil, being released by TecToy. In the game, you play with a native American-looking guy, who is trapped in the titular Nightmare Circus.

Why it Sucks

  1. Overly sensitive and complicated controls to the extent that this is one of the only Genesis games to use the "Mode" button on the 6-button controller.
  2. Awful collision detection.
  3. Constantly respawning enemies.
  4. Stages are never-ending, meaning once you enter a stage you're trapped there forever until you die or reset the system.
  5. Only four stages total, with little variation between.
  6. Figuring out the controls as well as how to complete level is impossible without a guide.
  7. The Sega logo at the beginning is badly-drawn, especially the letter A, which is flipped horizontally with the tip of the left leg being vertical.
  8. The game is not even technically complete, it's some prototype that was released as full game.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Great graphics, adding a gritty mood to the scenario.
  2. Awesome music.
  3. If the game was polished and finished further it could had been good or even awesome. Otherwise, the game has good ideas that weren't executed well.


  1. According to Game Sack, Wikipedia once said that this game was Sega's answer to Donkey Kong Country and that it was hard to believe it and that it was sad if it was true.