A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The main message of the game seems to be that circuses are fun. A secondary lesson that comes out of playing is that lots of practice is required before you're ready for the big time.
Positive Role Models
In one way of looking at it, you could say that these performers, who take part in very dangerous acts, are not the kind of people most parents want their children emulating. Beyond their careers, though, there's nothing worrisome about them.
Ease of Play
There's a huge disparity in difficulty level among the various mini-games. Some are quite easy to handle with simple controls, while others seem downright impossible on the first twenty-odd attempts. Most players are likely to score 5 out of 5 stars on several acts and 0 out of 5 on others. In a couple of cases, the problem lies in some bit of information being left out of the instructions.
Violence & Scariness
None unless you count pie-throwing or being shot from a cannon as violence.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey brand name and logo is all over the game, which seems intended to make kids not only want to see the circus, but to specifically see this circus.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this colorful collection of circus-themed mini-games offers kids a lot of variety and some really fun active-gaming experiences, but that there are a number of less interesting, harder to play segments as well. The inconsistency may be a source of frustration for some kids.
Is It Any Good?
There's a really awesome big-top game hidden somewhere at the core of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, but a number of way-too-difficult mini-games with touchy controls hold it back from reaching anywhere near "Greatest Game on Earth" status. Successfully guiding a unicycle across a tightrope, for example, apparently requires the hands of a surgeon -- the movements needed to keep the unicycle upright are so minute, that a hairsbreadth in the wrong direction will send you plummeting off screen. And then, strangely, some of the other tightrope games (there are four) can be completed with far less difficulty. All of this is not to say that there isn't fun to be had with Circus. Many of the stunt, animal training, and clown games are a blast to play. And the way the acts you trained for appear in suped-up, more challenging forms when you reach the Big Show is done really nicely. Still, some of the control problems will leave you shaking your head.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate