3 Ring Circus: The Greatest Show arrives your home! 

3 Ring Circus, the board game designed by Fabio Lopiano and Remo Conzadori, challenges us to build a circus troupe in the United States at the end of the 19th century. 

The circus has come to town! Under the big top, jugglers, clowns, magicians, trapeze artists and strongmen capture the curiosity of a devoted audience that applauds incessantly. This board game takes us back to the late 19th century, when for many small town spectators the circus was the greatest entertainment they would see for months. However, the wonders displayed by your modest troupe are nothing compared to those of P. T. Barnum's majestic circus, which you hope to join one day. 

As managers of a 3-ring circus, players will expand their company by hiring performers and gain fame by putting on shows. In the small towns, the shows are easy to put on and provide the initial resources to improve the show; the small cities are a bit more demanding, but allow you to get in touch with better artists. And the audiences in the big cities are the most selective and want to see very specific acts, but performing there can bring you much more fame! While the players compete for fame, Barnum's circus also moves around the map, dazzling with its wonders. Hopefully one day you will be famous enough to catch their attention! 

The authors, Fabio Lopiano (designer of Merv, Autobahn and Calimala) and Remo Conzadori have interwoven various mechanics so that players, throughout the game, can build an engine of cards on their personal boards that will allow them to make all kinds of combos to get resources and points. But if the strategic component is already attractive, the graphic section is  equally appealing.  Edu Valls (responsible for the art of games like Bitoku or Tiny Turbo Cars) has deployed all his talent to transfer the magic of the American circus of a century ago into the game tables. Valls was inspired by historical circus posters to give life to the different attractions that will be added to the companies. The game also incorporates a solo mode, created by David Turczi (author of games such as Imperium and Bitoku's solitaire mode).  

The components 

The central board of 3 Ring Circus shows a large map of the northeastern United States divided into 5 regions. Each of these areas contains a big city, 2 small cities and 6 villages, through which the players' companies will move to hire artists and offer their spectacles. In the upper margin there are the spaces reserved to put the different decks of cards and around the board there is the score indicator. 


Each player has his own personal board, with unique graphic details, according to his color, that give personality to each company. On this board each player will manage his circus, with spaces for each of the three rings, the pedestal marker (which will be necessary to perform in small cities) and the final score cards.  


Another central component in 3 Ring Circus is the cards. On the one hand, there are the money cards and on the other hand, the ticket cards. Both show various performers that can be hired. The money cards are easy to acquire when performing in a town and contain simple performers and acts to add to your show (there will be clowns, magicians and other cards). They can even provide one-off skills. Ticket cards, however, can be purchased in small towns and feature performers and performances that award fame points during the final score (they contain acrobats and other special performers). They are also essential to allow the player to perform in the larger cities. 


Finally, the various wooden components that enhance the playing experience deserve a special mention in this section: from the small popcorn containers, which serve to mark the scoring progress, to the players' caravan, pedestal and the delightful circus tent tokens.  

The game 

The players compete to earn as many fame points as possible for their shows. In their turn, players can hire a performer or offer a performance. At the beginning of the game, each player's circus is empty, so it will be necessary to hire to build up the company. Shows and artists will give more or less benefits depending on the order in which they will perform, so one of the keys of the game is to plan very well the shows that will be offered. But the better an artist is, the more expensive he will be to hire and it will be necessary to discard other artists or shows to sign him. 

If they decide to act, the players must move to a free square on the map. If it is a town, they will receive money cards as a reward.  If they act in a small town, depending on the number of pedestals they have in their company, they can claim ticket cards (the most valuable ones) or fame points. Finally, in big cities, you get a lot of fame points, but the public is more demanding and always asks for a particular type of performer.  

While the players' small circus tries to survive, the big and splendid Barnum circus travels around the country and, when it arrives in a big city, a scoring phase takes place in that region: the circuses that have offered the most performances there will gain even more fame. When the Barnum wagon train has traveled the entire route and after scoring the region corresponding to the big city where it started its journey, the game comes to an end.  

Those who wish to take on the solitaire mode created by David Turczi will be up against the spectacular automata show, a modern and innovative show that combines traditional performances with fortune-telling machines, mechanical animals and all sorts of wonderful ornaments. 


A reflection on the treatment of animals

A reflection on the treatment of animals  

The circus is an institution that has often been idealized. In the past, a circus was all wonder and admiration; fun and laughter for everyone who attended this great spectacle. But there was also the other side of the coin, which was often ignored or hidden. This set depicts a historical period in which the circus industry did several things that today, from our 21st century perspective, we disapprove of. Animals were taken from their habitats and mistreated in performances that now seem totally out of place to us. Even Barnum himself is considered an obscure character, to say the least.  

Therefore, apart from the game, we have prepared an alternative deck that replaces the cards showing animals. Also illustrated by Edu Valls, these cards do not change the mechanics of the game and send the message that animals should not be part of the circus and that they deserve to be rescued from this environment of abuse to live a dignified life. Players who wish may purchase these cards separately and the profits from their sale will go entirely to the MONA Foundation, a non-profit organization specializing in rescuing and rehabilitating abused animals, in many cases from the circus world. 

At the Fundación Mona Rehabilitation Center, chimpanzees and monkeys that have been circus and television artists, advertising models or even mascots are recovered from mistreatment, which has been invisible until recently in our society.  Many have lived for many years in absolute solitude and terrible conditions, but the rehabilitation center provides an excellent home for these rescued primates, where they recover by living in a family with their peers, in a natural environment. MONA offers them the second chance they deserve to have a more dignified life free of suffering.

In addition to rescuing and rehabilitating primates, Fundación Mona also develops environmental education programs as well as training and ethological research programs with the aim of contributing to the conservation of primates and their natural habitats.

Where to buy 

Are you ready to hire the best performers, showcase the wonders of your company to the world, create the most impressive show ever seen? Run to your trusted retailer to get your copy of 3 Ring Circus!