Publisher: Electronic Zoo
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Computer & Video Games #100


Roll up! Roll up! Laydees annnnnd gentlemen, put your hands in your pockets and buy yerselves a ticket for the Actionware Sideshow, an arcade simulation of a good ol' American funfair, but without any rides, coin-ops or suspect Gypsies in sight.

The fair consists of eight different stalls entitled Balloon, Balls, Pot Pourri, Strength, Knives, Clock Shoppe, Haunted Hill and Dunk Tank. Each game is played along the lines of everyone's favourite fairground pastime which isn't throwing pounds away in the arcade or throwing your lunch away on the rides, but shooting various objects with a gun. Using either the mouse or Actionware's own lightgun, you do exactly the same but, in this case, it's money, not points or prizes that you're playing for.

During the game your character begins to feel hungry, with the level of hunder represented by a "starvometer" bar. If the bar turns completely red, the game ends, so regular trips to the (expensive!) hot-dog stand are recommended.


Sideshow is a desperately average piece of software, and not even the inclusion of a light-gun option can lift it from the realms of mediocrity. The graphics are quite pleasing, although objects regularly defy the laws of gravity (for instance, the balls in the event of the same name hang around in the air for a while before dropping perfectly into the tubes from which they've been ejected), and sound is of above average quality.

But there just isn't enough variety in the package - I'd have liked to see something other than a collection of ultimately rather tedious shooting games.