Another mini-game collection for Kinect? My word! Goodness gracious! Well Iâ€™ll be!
And now that my sarcasm has found an outlet, onto the review!
Carnival Games in Action is the latest game in the â€” yep â€” Carnival Games series of mini-game collections. Previously on the Wii, the latest title has found a new home under the unblinking gaze of Microsoftâ€™s eerily smart camera. And just like so many similar games that have come before, itâ€™s an aggressively average affair that will provide moderate fun for a moderate amount of time.
As you can probably guess, all the mini-games here are carnival-themed, so youâ€™ll be throwing rings onto wooden spikes, wielding a hammer as hard as you can, throwing darts at balloons, and so on. There are also more fanciful events, like a roller coaster with collectable coins, a robot punching bag, and imitating a dancing monkey.
Some games, as always, are more fun than others. That roller coaster one? Surprisingly cool, and oddly reminiscent of the special stage of Sonic 2 (is that why I liked it?). Contorting your body to match a pre-made shape in a brick wall as you slam into it? Hilarious with a few drinks! But on the flipside, of course, there are boring, banal and downright frustrating activities â€” I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll return to the one where you need to slowly and painfully guide a rocket ship through an obstacle course, which really isnâ€™t as fun as it sounds.
One big criticism I have is the lack of activities sporting simultaneous multiplayer. Câ€™mon guys, the Kinect is more than capable â€” why canâ€™t two of us ride a roller coaster together? As it stands, youâ€™ll have to generally wait in line to have a go. Oh, except for the activities that only support one player, which you wonâ€™t find out about until youâ€™re already there.
Graphics are pretty basic, and sometimes look like they were lifted from the Wii versions. It doesnâ€™t really matter in a game like this, but games like Kinect Adventures certainly look a ton more polished. The audio is best left muted, in my opinion â€” I donâ€™t suffer â€˜wackyâ€™ hosts at the best of times (die, Buzz!), and the one in Carnival Games is just a tad too annoying.
So there you have it: another casual, family-friendly mini-game collection. If youâ€™re looking for a single such title to pop in your Xbox 360, Iâ€™d still recommend sticking with Microsoftâ€™s efforts: Kinect Sports and Kinect Adventures. They remain the best on the system. But if you do grab Carnival Games in Action, itâ€™s not the end of the world â€” thereâ€™s certainly enough in here to entertain and tire out the kids on a rainy day.