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Carnival Games: In Action Review

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Roll up, roll up!

★★★★★

Though children’s games should be given a little leeway when it comes to loud, bright, annoying characters, Carnival Games: In Action deserves a special award for giving the Kinect a lead character – a Carnival barker, no less – so absurdly annoying that you’ll be hitting mute within minutes.

But leaving him aside for a moment, the game itself. Bringing the popular-but-critically-panned Wii mini-game series to Kinect, Carnival Games: In Action sees you gesticulating wildly at your TV screen as you attempt to play a number of funfair-style fairground attractions, such as gunging a goon, riding a rollercoaster or going bowling.

Certain games, such as ‘Ring Fling’ are worryingly difficult, and others, like the ‘Wheel of Luck’ – as you might expect – are purely down to chance. But by and large, the games themselves are decent, if pretty unoriginal, based for the most part on actual funfair attractions.

The aforementioned pig-riding minigame is possibly the most ludicrous/inventive of the lot, seeing your avatar spanking a wild hog as it hurtles around a muddy track, avoiding bombs and bales of hay. As you do.

It’s all gentle, kiddie-friendly stuff, beautifully brought to life with a genuinely impressive level of detail, from scuffmarks on the Ring Fling desk to the costumes you win from collecting carnival tickets.

But because of the ear-bleedingly annoying barker, all this tends to fall by the wayside as you’re too busy covering your ears to actually have any fun. Slow swapping out of players also doesn’t help matters, as most games will require you to take turns to play them with friends. So all in all, it’s a fair effort, but as Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports players will know, there are plenty of other mini-game collections out there more worth your time.

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