Verdict: not bad
In a Nutshell: This plays like a puzzling variation on pinball but with a rag doll and was one of the 2009 PAX 10.
“CarneyVale: Showtime is a vertical ragdoll platform game for Xbox LIVE Community Games. In the game, you play as Slinky, a circus acrobat trying to rise up the ranks by performing acrobatic tricks and death-defying stunts through increasingly complex arenas.”
- Fun Rating: Fun
- ESRB: n/a
- Players/Mode: single-player / campaign
- Game Duration: each level takes less than 10 minutes
- System: web
- Developer: Singapore MIT GAMBIT Game Lab
- Website: http://gambit.mit.edu/loadgame/showtime.php
- Cost: 400 MS Points from XBLA
|Would I play this again?||possibly|
|Would I recommend this game?||yes|
|Was the story good?||Not bad|
|Was the music good?||yes|
|Were the graphics good?||Yes, nice and colorful|
|Was this game difficult?||Was a nice progressive slope|
|Was this game frustrating?||no|
|Was this game offensive?||no|
|Was this game worth your time/money?||yes|
Playing the game
You are Slinky the clown, trying to impress the crowd with your death-defying, acrobatic skills. To accomplish these feats, you control Slinky and the various contraptions that fling Slinky through the air in the attempt to get the crowd to keep cheering. For the best rating, you are trying to pop all of the balloons, finish in a given time, find the hidden star, and not lose any lives all while trying to pull off various tricks.
The basic controls for this game involve extending, spinning, grabby hands. Press and hold A to reach out and grab Slinky. Let go of A when you want to release Slinky. Press down on the left analog stick to change spin directions.
While Slinky is in the air, you have a small amount of control of guiding his direction using left and right on the left analog stick. Once you advance through enough levels you’ll also be able to “dash” left, right or up using the B button and pressing in the desired direction. Dashing will get you further across the screen than mere flinging will.
What the game gets right
This game is easy to pick up and start playing. The levels are fairly easy if you’re just trying to plow your way through (but where’s the fun in that, really?). The challenge shows up when you try to find and retrieve the special items, perform tricks, and pop all of the balloons all while trying to not lose a life.
The graphics, especially the color choices, and the music provide a very pleasant circus atmosphere. And, as a bonus, the game comes with a very intuitive map editor for making up to 9 custom maps.
What the game gets wrong
There are scrolling hints at the beginning of each level that, for the most part, are helpful. Where it turns annoying is when the hint is for an action you haven’t unlocked yet.
The intro is a little bland in the audio department, but that’s where you learn the back-story. If you’re not into things like plot, or you’ve seen it before, pressing the start button will get you to the main menu.
Sum it up
Even though this game doesn’t occupy my brain much after I leave it, I have a good time every time I pick it up. Go give it a try!