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Nintendo Wii Review: Carnival Games

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The last thing the Wii needs is another mini-game collection. It’s become cheap fodder to line software shelves, clogging up space for far more worthy titles. There’s a gem in every bunch, though, and while it’s far from being above average, Carnival Games is the best of the recent crop.

Sticking to its name, this collection consists of impossibly hard games you’ll play at any theme park, fair, or carnival. Included, amongst many others, are Skee-ball, hoops, love machines, ring toss, and redemption games. There are 25 in all, and unlockable versions that increase the difficulty come down the line.

Earned prizes can be turned into larger prizes the more you play. However, the fun of winning an oversized stuffed virtual animal doesn’t carry the same weight as it does in real life. There’s no incentive here to perform better. Ticket wasters like the fortuneteller should have been deleted entirely as they only serve to increase atmosphere and fail at that.

Controls are simple, and work either for or against the individual game. Skee-ball wins out here with its perfect motion sensing that determines power by how fast the throw is. Same goes for any “tossing” game. Others such as darts and football toss don’t fare as well due to the pointing and throwing mechanic which is too inaccurate to be any fun.

Presentation is barren, and the create-a-character might as well use Miis. They lack arms and have the same features like the oversized head and oval body. Choices are slim at best, leaving customization somewhat useless. Annoying announcers are stationed at each game to taunt the user, but their aggravating voices need to be silenced.

Carnival Games' hurdle is staying power. You don’t sit at an arcade and play “toss the frog” for hours on end. You play it for a few minutes, waste your money, and move on. Ironically, that’s probably what you’ll do here.

The lack of unlockable games (only one can be earned later) offers no incentive to keep playing. The toys as bonuses are a waste of time. Earning them isn’t anywhere near as much fun as the games themselves.

With a party of four, you can break out Carnival Games and have a brief fun time assuming everyone can decide which game to play. Past that, you won’t find this disc in your Wii very often as it fails to have the longevity of something like Wii Sports. Finally, at $40 with nearly zero production values, there are better ways to spend your money on this console.

Carnival Games is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.


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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
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    on hints and cheats for this game are good and the green cup in lucky cups is impossible to hit