Friday, 16 November 2018 11:07

REVIEW: Carnival Games (Xbox One)

Written by Melekharn
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If you read my review of Megaman 11, you’d know I used to work in a video games arcade. It wasn’t the most glamourous of jobs, but it was a fun one. The majority of games at this particular arcade however were systems such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Initial D; games that were just pay to play. Tucked away and forgotten in the corner were the Carnival Games; the games that were really only played by small children or the teenage girls hoping to flirt their way to better prizes.


Carnival Games by Mass Media brings the fair to your own home, offering 20 different mini-games for you and your family to unlock and enjoy.

Aimed almost completely at younger gamers, Carnival Games offers a very simplistic play style, with games focusing exclusively on a directional input (left thumb stick for Xbox One) and whatever the confirmation button on your preferred platform is (“A” on Xbox). Some games will have you directing your character, others will have you timing you button presses and then finally some will give you a combination of both.

This doesn’t lead for particularly exciting game play for someone over the age of ten and the game itself offers very little challenge when you’re playing alone. (Dinner party anyone?) However, younger players will thoroughly enjoy earning prize tickets which they can use to unlock new games to play. Games such as Skeeball and Ring Toss will feature heavily in varying iterations, leaving older players feel like they’re doing the same thing over and over. Fortunately, these games generally only last for one minute before you’re back selecting a new game to play. The tickets you earn will allow you to unlock new games but will cost you so many tickets you’ll be forced to repeatedly play the same games over and over.


Given the basic play style and the age group the game is aimed at, you can’t expect too much from the games sound track or any flashy graphics. It was a little disappointing that the music didn’t really remind me of being at a carnival and instead just had me feeling as though it was just tacked on at the end of development. Given the franchise was originally released for Nintendo Wii and DS systems, player characters very much resemble Nintendo’s “Mii’s” while the graphics used to build levels are mostly made up of basic shapes – a tribute to an overhyped console that focused wholly on games that were unbearable if you attempted to play alone.


To be honest, I’m actually finding it quite difficult to write any more about the game. The lack of online multiplayer means you either play alone against bots that offer no actual competition, or that you are organised enough to have people bring their own controllers to maybe play something for half an hour or so. Sure, it might be incredible fun if you’re under the age of ten, and if you’re lucky enough to have children of your own it could be a great way to introduce them to your passion, but I would sooner spend my hard earned money on something like Jack Box if I was looking for a party game to keep myself and some friends occupied.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 2.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Nov 6, 2018
  • Platform: PS4, XBOX ONE, Nintendo Switch
  • Age Rating: E10+
  • Developer: Mass Media
  • Publisher: 2K Games
  • Genre: Misc