Reviewed: November 22, 2011
Reviewed by: Mark Smith

Publisher
Sony Computer Entertainment

Developer
Magic Pixel Games

Released: November 15, 2011
Genre: Simulation
Players: 1-4

8
8
7
8
8.3

Supported Features:

  • PlayStation Move Required
  • 7 MB Required HD Space
  • HDTV 480p/720p
  • Dolby Digital / DTS
  • PlayStation Eye
  • PS Move (1 Per Player)

  • Carnival Island is the PS3ís answer to the Carnival Games franchise on the Nintendo Wii, only this version uses the PS Move to bring its 35+ boardwalk-inspired games to realistic and immersive life, whether you are playing the charming story mode or competing with your friends in the exciting and addictive multiplayer modes.

    In the story mode you enter an abandoned carnival and must restore life to the four themed sections of the park by playing games and winning tickets to purchase fun prizes at Grannyís prize booth or purchase a mystery balloon at the Balloon Cart . Each of the games has several challenges, each with new unlocks and prizes. Youíll also meet up with Carnies who share gossip about the island as well as provide hints on how to play and unlock new game modes. Youíll also encounter a group of slumbering pets on the island that, when awoken, will become your new cheering squad while playing future games.

    Whether you are knocking down milk bottles, tossing a ring, flipping a coin, or shooting a basketball, the PS Move offers precise tracking technology so every toss, roll, throw, spin and slam is translated directly into the game for accurate and responsive gameplay. There are even some fun sideshow diversions that make use of the PlayStation Eye so you can snap pictures while playing with the photo cut-outs, and with the custom funhouse mirror feature. You can then save those pics to your PS3 photo gallery, save to a USB memory stick, or share with your PSN friends.

    Carnival Islandís intuitive and real-world game mechanics will apeal to gamers of all ages and is the perfect offering for family and social gatherings. My only minor quibble would be with the lack of randomization in the events. It seemed the game was repeating certain games quite often, and with more than 35 to choose from we were surprised we didnít see a skeeball game until our fifth game session.

    The game looks great with charming graphics and a anime-style opening movie that kids will love and adults will skip. The various games look fantastic with fun and colorful graphics and cool special effects, plus insufferably cute animals cheering you on from the sidelines. The soundtrack is equally as cheery with fun music and a plethora of sound effects that bring these games to life, just like a real carnival boardwalk.

    Carnival Island is great family fun and an awesome way to experience the PS Move. With so many games and game variations, and so many rewards, prizes, and balloons to unlock, kids and their parents will find countless hours of wholesome entertainment waiting inside this magical playground.