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The circus is in town! Under the tent, jugglers, magicians, clowns, strongmen and wild beasts capture the curiosity of a dedicated audience that applauds non-stop. After every performance, your little troupe accumulates fame and may one day pique the interest of P.T. Barnum, the greatest circus mogul of all time.
In 3 Ring Circus, players will take on the role of a circus director who tours the United States at the end of the 19th century. Your objective is to hire artists and offer performances in various towns and cities with the goal of gaining fame. In towns, features are easy to set up and will give you starting resources to upgrade your cast; small cities are somewhat more demanding, but they allow you to come into contact with better artists; audiences in big cities are even more demanding and wish to see very specific acts, but performing there brings you much more fame!
On their turn, players may hire an artist or host a performance. At the start of the game, each player's circuses are empty, so it will be necessary to contract to form the company. Artist cards grant more or fewer benefits depending on the order in which they act, so one of the keys to the game is planning the shows that will be offered.
If they decide to act, players must move to a free space on the map. If it is a town, they get the most basic currency cards as a prize. If you perform in a small city, depending on the number of pedestals you have in your company you can get more or fewer entry cards (the second most valuable) or fame points. In the big cities, you will get a lot of fame points, but the public always demands a specific type of artist.
While your little circus tries to survive, the great and splendid Barnum Circus travels across the country, and when it arrives in a big city, a score is held in that region, and the circuses that have given the most performances there will gain even more fame.