Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Carnival Island

Review: Carnival Island

2:00 PM on 11.18.2011 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

A year removed from the PlayStation Move's launch, one should expect that tech demos and minigame compilations would be out of the door to make way for the kind of genuinely rich experiences that were promised. 

Carnival Island is a compilation of minigames that demonstrate the technology of the PlayStation Move. 

Oh well. Same time next year?

Carnival Island (PlayStation Move)
Developer: Magic Pixel Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Released: November 15, 2011
MSRP: $39.99

Carnival Island has a name that really does say it all. One look at the cover, with its illustrations of vapid funfair chicanery, lets you know exactly what you're getting. Following on from titles like Carnival Games, which have permeated the Wii's library since 2007, Carnival Island aims to do nothing different while providing its range of familiar festival-based motion exercises. 

The contrived "story mode" will see players exploring the tiniest carnival in the world as they play games and bring life back to an empty fair. Broken into four distinct realms, the titular island provides various stalls that contain a series of themed games. Each game has a set of nine challenges. If you successfully complete one challenge, you'll bring an animal to life, which will act as a mascot and cheer for you during games. If you complete two challenges, you'll unlock the next stage of the minigame you're currently playing. 

For example, coin toss is a simple game in which you flip coins onto markers and score points. Completing a challenge, such as scoring a certain amount of points, will unlock a cartoon zoo creature which will sit on the screen and make gibberish noises while you play. If you complete a secondary challenge, such as getting one coin each on every score marker, you'll unlock the next coin-themed game, Nom Nom, which puts an extra spin on the coin toss format by introducing a mechanical yeti that will spit out extra coins when you hit flashing markers.

This is the structure the entire game follows. Each stall contains multiple variants of its specific game, with varying degrees of difficulty, and every map location has up to two stalls each. There's some decent variety in the games, with some variations that border on clever (piloting frogs onto lily pads is a particularly interesting idea), but nevertheless many of the games feel incredibly similar to each other in terms of input. There are only so many ways you can throw balls, hoops and coins, so the entire game starts to feel rather mundane and old pretty quickly, save for the occasionally interesting game variant.  

Extras include spending tickets earned in games to unlock costume pieces for one's avatar, but since the island is actually little more than a series of animated menus, there's barely any point. The player's character is barely seen and is never directly controlled, so outfitting him or her seems rather pointless. There are also balloons to buy and a "hall of mirrors" in which players distort images of themselves as seen by the PlayStation Eye, but again the entertainment value here is shallow at best, and hardly unique to this experience.  

Despite boasting over 35 games, Carnival Island can be beaten in about two hours, with players more than able to see everything the game has to offer within that time. As well as the main story mode, up to four players can compete in the various attractions using multiple or single Move controllers. Still, the games are not engaging or unique enough to really encourage spending too much time on the island.

As a launch title, Carnival Island might have been an interesting demonstration of how precise the PlayStation Move is. It's certainly an excellent showcase for the technology and how accurate its mimickry of player movement is. The catch is that we know what the PlayStation Move can do, and we know how accurate it is by now. With its bunch of mindless minigames and saccharine carnival aesthetic, Carnival Island is nothing we haven't seen before. It's quick to show everything it has, and it shows very little of value; there's simply not much point in a game like this anymore. 

Those players who don't have any minigame compilations but need something to shut their kids up might find worth in Carnival Island, as it's at least good at being a shallow selection of hackneyed diversions. Anybody who has played any other motion-based carnival adventure, however, will find nothing remarkable at play with this one -- not unless they really want to see animated raccoons screaming incomprehensible drivel at them.



THE VERDICT

5

Carnival Island - Reviewed by Jim Sterling
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Carnival Island


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Roses are black, PS4 lights are blue; This is a game, and it has valkyries too?

Cblogs of 02/10/16 and WONDER-isms

Modern face of survival horror

Discussion Discussion on Games

PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

Narrative Mistakes: Mass Effect's Reapers As Primary Villains

Journey to Become a Jedi Knight - Jedi Outcast

Waifu Wars - The End

Hindsight Part II: Unreleased Games of the Past

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Occams avatarOccams
Naruto 4 installs on my PS4 and it updates. Game says it can't run story mode during installation. Nothing's installing though. Restarted PS4. Reinstalled. Nothing. Fucking dumb.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
This plays in my head every time I tell myself to stay determined.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Tonight, I learned what Flanx and MrNovember sound like in discord, listened to the best idea for a movie ever, and learned a little more about the depths of human depravity. A night well spent. Fuck us all.
Ckarasu avatarCkarasu
So, the artist that they used for Street Fighter 5's story mode(the arcade one) is kinda...not good. Go look up Laura's CGs. Colors are pale, and proportions sometimes end up kinda bonkers. Like, "extreme hourglass figure" level of bonkers.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Justin Timberlake blasts Kuma in the ass and dies.
ooktar avatarooktar
I'm loving these fighting game elitists trying to give me shit because I criticized Street Fighters Fight Money business model.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Thanks to Dtoid I now have this gif in my life, and I can't stop laughing. I seriously can't get over it.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Finished SOMA today , was able to do a second run without enemies with the "Wuss" mod, found it actually more frightening has you get more time to think about what is really going instead of doing hide-and-seek with the AI (Alien Isolation I miss you)
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
I stayed up late last Saturday writing a Dead Space 4 proposal outline. Solved every plot hole, had plenty of badass moments. This is the state I live in, people.
Torchman avatarTorchman
WHY DO THEY GET SOUNDS BUT PIKACHU AND CHARIZARD CAN'T. WTF
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Finished my Storge set and 4/5ths of that was on the clock today o_O I also got a dragonlord eyepatch, which is totally practical covering the right eye when Cyndel's hair covers up the left eye.
Lawman avatarLawman
So Zack Furniss told me I should play Dying Light on Hard. Guess who's never listening to Zack Furniss again? :-/
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Deadpool spoilers: He gets cancer.
beargreasey avatarbeargreasey
So Kanye just announced his new game, Only Once. It looks beautiful and personal. It's just a shame that I still have no idea what it is.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I dunno why people are getting so huffy about Windows Store / XbOne Quantum Break crossbuy. It means double the gamerscore for me, and AW and AW:AN are rereleasing on the One so I'll have owned them 3 times over. Great games.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
I once considered pitching an idea for a Dtoid Australia podcast, but then I realised it'd probably just be Zyk and I getting drunk on Foster's and complaining about Atlus for half an hour each week while incessantly calling each other cunts.
Parismio avatarParismio
New Splatfest is Pokemon Red vs Pokemon Blue. Im Blue Team bitches!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Been sick but these pills are fixing me right up. [img]http://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-don-t-call-it-a-comeback-i-ve-been-here-for-years-ll-cool-j-63-60-01.jpg[/img]
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Why is it impossible to find a raid group in Destiny? Am I just cursed or something? All I want is to get a clan and do a raid.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I don't even care how the rest of this day is.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -