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Nightmare Circus

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Nightmare Circus
Nightmare Circus Coverart.jpg
This game is sure a nightmare to play.
Genre(s): Action
Platform(s): Sega Genesis
Release: 1996
Developer(s): Funcom
Publisher(s): TecToy

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. The only way Americans were able to access this game was via the Sega Channel services, along with games such as Mega Man: The Wily Wars, Golden Axe III, Alien Soldier and Pulseman. In the game, you play with a native American-looking guy, who is trapped in the titular Nightmare Circus.

Why It's A Nightmare

  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. This isn't actually true, & their answer to Donkey Kong Country was actually Vectorman and its sequel, Vectorman 2, both of which were better received.



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