Game Review: CarneyVale Showtime

CarneyVale: Showtime is a vertical platformer game, seen as an Xbox 360 Indie title and now a WP7 title! (Video Review)

Overall Score: 3/5CarneyVale1

While CarneyVale is definitely fun to play, its frame rate issues occasionally hinder the gameplay and the short lasting value also disappoints.

Gameplay: 4/5

The game’s premise is simple: Get your little acrobat character to the top of the level and throw him through the ring of fire. In order to reach that ring, you have to throw your character through a series of spinning hooks, flying rockets, deadly flames, and electrifying walls. The variety of gameplay elements is appreciated and keeps the game exciting. The controls work really well. My only wish is that there was a way to zoom out, so you could see more of the level and figure out what obstacles you have to avoid, but I could see how that could make the game too easy, so I understand that omission. However, as seen in the Presentation category below, the frame rate becomes an issue that sometimes negatively affects gameplay.

Presentation: 3/5

The visuals in the game are quite engaging when they are working well. The ragdoll physics on your acrobat and the subtle visual effects of confetti floating down after you collect a balloon are neat. Unfortunately, the game will suffer from some lag, which is seen as frame rate drops. These frame rate issues increase as you work your way through tougher levels. Due to the fast paced action and timing required by the game, this lag affects the gameplay. On the positive side, the sounds are really great. The background music is, of course, carnival styled, and the sound effects definitely make the game more enjoyable.

Lasting Value: 3/5

CarneyVale will last you about 1 hour if you play through the game once. There is some replay value, since you can score up to 5 stars on each level. The first star is awarded for beating the level (throwing your acrobat through the ring of fire). The second star is won by collecting all of the balloons in the level. The third star is received by beating the level in the time limit. The fourth star is awarded for finding the hidden star in the level. Finally, the fifth star is won by not dying once in the level. But it would be great to have more levels so that the game would last longer.


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Title: CarneyVale: Showtime
Price: $2.99
Developer: Microsoft Game Studios

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