My first experience of Carnival Games was the Nintendo DS version, which I played on my 3DS – long after it first came out. I think the original version was made for the Nintendo Wii – to further utilise it’s fancy pointy controller…..thing. I didn’t enjoy using those at all.
Fast forward to 2022 and I finally nabbed it tonight on PS4 for £12.99 in Smyths Toys. And thank god I paid that much. In fact that was STILL too much.
The experience I had was not joyful. And when you have a tiny version that fits on a fucking SD card for a tiny little Nintendo DS that IS joyful, well that doesn’t exactly say a lot does it.
I didn’t recognise a single game from the DS version that I have. Not 1 single one!! And the controller mechanics they use amount to literally 2 different ways of controlling the game, and this only serves to make the games even less distinguishable from one another. You can’t really say there’s much skill involved in the games with the arrow because in over half of them you can’t even aim that arrow – even when you really do need to aim the arrow. So most wins are gained through mindless, aimless button bashing, with next to no level of accuracy, and basically chance. That isn’t how fairground games are meant to play out.
This wasn’t anything to do with me playing by myself. The experience would be no better at all if I was playing with 3 other friends. It’s the mechanics of the games themselves that is so weak, and the games themselves are all too similar. There are only a couple of them that I felt like playing some more and getting good at. That’s out of 20. Not a great hit rate.
What a big let down, for what was once a really great fun, and happy game. Maybe some games really should remain as exclusives to one console. I can’t say with all honesty that “the developers haven’t even tried”. They have tried – because these games are seemingly all new to the brand. It’s just they’re all so sloppily executed and the PS4 controller just is not suited to this game.