What happens when you take elements of the arcade classics Joust, Defender, and Kickman, toss in some Disney magic, a clever control scheme, and engaging game play? You get a delightful cocktail known as Dumbo’s Flying Circus for the Atari 2600. This was intended to be another of the Disney/Atari series of cartridges that began with Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and continued with Donald’s Speedboat Race.

Unfortunately, due to the crash of ’83 – ’84, neither Dumbo nor Donald ever saw their games progress beyond prototype status. This is a shame as Dumbo’s Flying Circus is an excellent game that would’ve sold quite well given a chance.

The scenario involves Dumbo flying around underneath the big top catching or popping balloons. The player maneuvers the pachyderm with the joystick, controlling his direction in the conventional manner, and using “up” to flap his ears for lift. He flies rather similarly to the ostriches in Joust and the momentum is comparable. Balloons rise from the floor, which Dumbo can catch by colliding with them, or can pop by firing a well-timed peanut from his trunk.

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