Thankfully I never got pulled into the gimmicky mini game titles that started to leak onto the Wii in the early days, as now they're everywhere. Sure, there are a few legitimately awesome Wii games, but now for every one of those there are about 20 dire mini game collections that involve you doing the same things over and over again. This is kind of the reason I gave up on the Wii and moved onto XBox 360, only returning to have a go at Mario Galaxy and Donkey Kong.
I was swayed once more to join in the motion control style when the Kinect came out, apparently like many others if the sales figures are anything to go by. So far I'm pretty impressed with what's come out. The thing is, they're mostly mini game based affairs, aside from the awesome Dance Central and the many fitness games that have started to flood in. What I never realised from skipping over these on the Wii is that actually, they can be quite fun. Most gamers, by definition, are prone to sitting down for long periods of time twiddling their thumbs on controllers, getting up and having to use your body is only something that is fun in small bursts, which means mini game collections are a fun use of the Kinect.
Carnival Games is a series that has seen several iterations on the Wii, and now Kinect is out there is of course a version coming out for it. In all honesty, there's not much to do in this game that uses the technology in any different way that i've seen before, but we're still very much in the showcasing stage of what Kinect can actually do, before the "real" games start coming out.
But same ol' same ol' isn't a bad thing if the novelty hasn't worn off yet. You'll find yourself throwing balls into hoops, matching the poses of a dancing monkey, sticking your arms out to collect coins on a roller coaster, it's all good fun to play. As with most Kinect games, I found the control to be pretty much flawless, aside from the odd mis-throw in target games that I could probably chalk up to my own inadequacy, the Kinect has done a bang up job of consistently knowing where I am and what I'm doing.
I've played the game for just over an hour, and have already seen everything it has to offer. This is the main problem with these kinds of games. Once you've played through the small amount of what's there, there only challenge is trying to master everything. And while the graphics are pretty good and nice and colourful, the carny barking at your every move will soon start to get on your nerves.
Carnival Games is a fun game, but it doesn't have too much to offer. If you're looking for a party game to play of an evening, by all means give it a rent, but if you are looking for a party game because you constantly invite friends over and have them strike stupid poses for the Kinect to take pictures of and then reminisce later about how funny it all was, by all means buy it.
My rating: 3/5