Community Game Brief
In a sea of half-baked concepts and my-first-games, Carnivale Showtime sets the gold standard for what a community game should be. In Carnivale you assume the role of a circus performer, swinging from trapeze-like claw arms through obstacle courses reminiscent of Sonic 2‘s Casino Night Zone. The objectives include performing tricks, popping balloons, finding secret stars, and reaching the goal ring within the time limit. Impress the audience enough and you’ll rise in rank, with the ultimate goal of becoming the best acrobat in the world.
It’s not exactly high concept, but few community games offer this level of polish. It’s focused, controls well, and offers slick presentation in all the right places. The level-to-level progression is a gradual, satisfying ramp in difficulty with layers of depth introduced before gameplay grows stale. There’s even a level editor and achievements to unlock.
Price: 400 points
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Community Game Briefs are short but informative impressions on the ever-expanding Community Games catalogue on Xbox Live. These are not full reviews. The verdict comes in three flavors: AVOID, TRY, or BUY. Anything can be awarded an AVOID or TRY rating, whether I actually buy it or only sample the demo. You can be assured that any game awarded the BUY rating has been purchased and played extensively.