Most helpful positive review
94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
A Pocket-Size Carnival With Big Fun!
on July 28, 2008
If you have a little patience to learn and appreciate the differences between this and the Wii's Carnival Games, then you are sure to enjoy this game! It's neither harder nor easier as a whole, and it's biggest benefit is you can take it with you anywhere and play it in small spaces!
I loved the Wii version (see my review for it), but the DS one is quite a departure from that one in a number of ways. It's still a fantastic game though and here are my thoughts about it in great detail...
As you start your game, you will create your character with the newly added option to change his/her skin tone (how they left this out of the Wii version, one may never know!). Then once you have your person ready to go, you are free to explore the Carnival.
To start with, you can freely roam this carnival (looks a lot like Animal Crossing in some ways, I think)...but you can walk up to each individual game, or browse the grounds and check out the little things like getting your picture taken or helping a cat find his lost yarn, or riding a seesaw with a little girl to get bonus items. But as you walk up to the games, you will hear a person yelling something specific to a game (like in the Wii version), and yes this one is fully voiced through and through. You can then click on a game and start playing it, and here is what I have to say about the individual games:
First of all, each of the 23 games have instructions that appear when you start them, like in the Wii version, so you will know how to play...
Frog Leap: This has frogs (lilypads), cannonballs (pirate ships), and baby chicks (nests) that you launch into the places they belong using a stylus pulled launching mechanism. It is slightly frustrating for me because I am so disturbingly inaccurate. haha :p I like the game, I am just not real good at it. The control is great, but my personal aim is not!
Alley Ball: (aka Skee-Ball). I happen to love this. I liked it immensely on the Wii version, but I also love this DS one as well. This is much more accurate than it seems, and I have learned after many plays that you can easily ace this game. My highest score so far is 530. I have no trouble at all flinging this ball into the 100 point holes or the 50 point one. It gives you 8 balls to roll up the alley. I like how you can control the direction and strength of your ball entirely with the stylus. It's one of the best games on this compilation.
Test Of Strength: This is such a weird game. You have to use your stylus to rub back and forth on a weight-lifting arm as a meter fills up to your left, then quickly tap a bullseye when it is green, and BAM you get the bell to ring. This is hardly a true test of strength and is incredibly easy to master. On my second play of the game, I had won the largest prize.
Star Shootout: This one was definitely better on the Wii. I just do not have a steady hand and that is an absolute requirement for this particular mini-game. On the DS version, it is a bit awkward and takes some getting used to. You have to use your stylus to point/aim at the specific part of the star you want to shoot out while you hold down the L or R button to shoot. Believe me, that is odd. I like the game concept but the controls on this leave much to be desired.
Nerves Of Steel: Well this game is definitely less frustrating on this version compared to the impossibly difficult one on the Wii. Here, you use your stylus to hold steady the wand as the wire passes through it. This wire is kind of long, but I can actually make it to the end! The game isnt too bad, and I like that it isnt overly difficult to do.
Clown Splash: This game was horrible. I tried a few times to play it and it's just ridiculous. Next!
Buckets Of Fun: To play this one, you turn the DS on it's side, where the touch screen is on your left. You take your stylus and fling your ball into the bucket on the right. For each ball that makes it in and stays, you will find that the bucket shrinks a bit. This game is pretty difficult but I keep trying! I have gotten 2 in so far out of 5.
Spilled Milk: This is the same game with radically different gameplay than the one on the Wii. In this version, your stack of milk bottles goes jumping all over the screen and when it stops, you have a tiny amount of time to tap the stack and knock them over. I know this sounds retarded but it actually isnt too bad. How else could they have made this on the DS? I have hit all 3 stacks, by the way, so it isnt too hard to do.
Honey Falls: This game is hidden in a tree (tap the honey/bees), it is to the left of the Spilled Milk game. Anyway, in this game you have a little pink bear (yes, pink) and he is carrying a pot of honey. He has to move back & forth (control pad) to catch honey falling down from bees above. Sometimes a bomb drops and makes a hole in the ground so you have to use a button to jump lest you fall in the hole. If you do fall in, it's game over. This one is kinda cute but an odd fit for a carnival.
Meter-O-Love: Another strange one. This has a machine that sends out little hearts and broken hearts that you tap on. The more hearts you tap, the higher your score. The more broken hearts you tap, the lower your score.
Balloon Darts: This game is fun once you get over one major annoyance. The dart always reverts back to a place that is right of center if you let go of it before you launch it. Once you make peace with that flaw, the fun can begin. It's a bit challenging to get all of the balloons because this lacks the accuracy of something like Clubhouse Games' Darts. That's not to say it is truly inaccurate but it just doesnt have that kind of polish and sharpness that it needs. It is fun enough though, when considered with the rest of the games in the carnival. My score averages between 200-300 points, but that's come with plenty of practice!
Loud Mouth: I always play in a room where I need to be quiet so this is not one I like. What you have to do is yell "stop" when it lands on a high number. Children might enjoy this one! :) It's not hard to do, either.
Hoops: Oh my, this is an abomination to Carnival Games. What were they thinking?! This is so NOT about shooting hoops. If you watch the balls going in the hoops, you will lose. In this game you have to tap pictures of balls as they light up on your right and then quickly tap a bullseye on your left. The secret to success in this game is in having a rhythm as you tap. 1-2-3 - bang. I really am disappointed with how this was done. Had they not seen the successful version of another hoops game on Touchmaster DS?
Bubble Gum Battle: This is definitely one for the younger audience. In this game, you "pay" to play with tickets, and then blow in your microphone to make a big bubble. If you blow while the meter is red, it will pop. If you blow while it's green, the bubble gets bigger. Not my kind of game.
Clown Bonk: This is like Whac-A-Mole. You bonk clowns that pop their heads up out of holes. If you hit a pie that pops up, then "splat", your game is over. All of this is done with the stylus.
RC Raceway: This is a racing game where you have an overhead view of a track. A little car has to make it's way around, 3 laps, in a short time. You control it by steering with the control pad and using buttons for gas & brakes. I am awful at controlling this car because I always go too fast! I definitely need more practice.
Going Nuts: In this one, you have a little squirrel with a basket, trying to catch nuts falling down a tree, Plinko style. It's easier than the Wii version because I think the stylus gives you better control.
Great Swami: This wastes tickets. I dont mess with it.
Bumper Boats: The controls on this are awful. There are these little boats you have to zoom around in and try to bounce into numbers that give you points. But the boats seldom go where and how you want them to. It's like trying to zoom around on ice. I really do not care for this game.
Wild West Showdown: Okay this one is great!! This game was on the Wii version as an unlockable but on the DS it has a booth. Anyway, the purpose of this game is to tap targets in a shooting gallery, to get the highest score. It's a blast (no pun intended). I would say this is one of the best on this compilation. It has a cute wild west scene with bullseyes, bottles, moneybags, etc. to shoot at, and it is completely stylus driven. Super accurate too.
Shooting Gallery: This is another stylus based shooting game where you have yellow ducks with bullseyes on them that zoom by. This has some challenge to it because they become increasingly fast and there are red ducks that if you shoot them they take away points. This is another favorite game in this set, as it is quite fun and sharply accurate.
Dunk Tank: This is the same game as the Wii version but again with radically different gameplay. Since it is on the DS, they had to find another way to get you to dunk the guy in the tank, so they came up with the idea of having a ball trail that you need to follow with your stylus as it loops and stretches from your "hand" to the "target" in a short amount of time. It's a bit challenging but I have won all three rounds after some practice.
Radio Replay: this is an unlockable game, and I have not yet unlocked it, but according to the game manual, it has you play notes in order after they are highlighted on the touch screen. Apparently you have to memorize them. I am not sure how to unlock this, either.
Most of the games in the carnival will either unlock prizes as you win the games, or give you tickets that you can use to buy items. The prizes in this game are all used on your character (no more teddy bears or fire engines). Instead they are all items that you can wear or carry. Some are even functional. Right now, my character is carrying a "Gizmo" in her left hand, and a "Guitar" on her back. The gizmo is something that you tap on and it teleports you via UFO to an opposite corner of the park, which is very useful because it's a long walk otherwise!! And the guitar allows her to play a rock & roll riff when I tap on it. There are many other things like these though, including banjos, horns, etc.
Even though the DS version of Carnival Games has a few quirks and shortcomings, I still think it is an excellent game overall. It fills in the gaps that the Wii version left, especially with allowing you to really walk around the carnival (using stylus or control pad), and interacting with things. You can even buy cotton candy which makes your person walk faster. It's a really cute game and I definitely recommend it to fans of mini-games, carnivals, or shooting galleries. The colors in it are vibrant and the graphics are smooth and well-done too.
Another great family-friendly game, to pass the long days of summer! :)