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Similar to Breakout, Circus is a game of bouncing clowns popping rows of balloons. You rotate a knob to control a see-saw, with which you must catch and subsequently launch clowns, high into the air to pop three rows of moving balloons. As a clown is launched upward he will flail his arms about in an attempt to reach as many balloons as possible.
If you pop all of the balloons in one row, the row refills and you are awarded bonus points. Pop all of the balloons in the top row and you are awarded bonus points and an extra clown. There are two small platforms on each side of the screen, from where the clowns will initially jump. The platforms will also break the fall of a clown, slowing his descent and changing his direction. ~ Michael Schwartz/Joan Dykman, All Game Guide