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Carnival Review

Developer: Sega Publisher: Coleco
Release Date: N/A Also On: None

Space Invaders made a big impression in the realm of videogames. A lot of games subsequently released for the Atari 2600 were directly or indirectly based on it. One of the games released in its aftermath was Carnival, a Sega game ported to the Atari 2600 by Coleco. While it is somewhat different from Space Invaders, is it different enough to carve out its own niche on the system? Read on to find out.

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Carnival is not too difficult to explain. You control a gun at the bottom of the screen that can move horizontally but not vertically. Objects, most of which are made to look like carnival toys, fly across the screen either from right to left or left to right and then appear again at the other side of the screen. Your objective is to destroy them by firing at them. Some of them, the ducks, will occasionally decide to fly down toward the bottom of the screen.

However, unlike most games of this type where you lose when you run out of lives, in this game you have a limited amount of bullets. Should a duck get to the bottom of the screen, he will respond by stealing some of your bullets. You can regain bullets by shooting boxes of bullets that will fly across the screen with some other items. This concept of limited bullets makes you think about your shots more and gives the game a slightly more strategic feel to it than a game like Space Invaders would.

Apart from the plain black background, the graphics in this game are quite good and use very small pixels for the time. The stuffed toys that you are shooting at are surprisingly detailed, although there are not that many different designs of toys to be fired at. The sound effects, what few there are, are okay, but they are nothing to get overly excited about. Overall, then, the aesthetic quality of this game is pretty average, but at least it does not detract from the game at all.

Is Carnival going to replace Space Invaders in the minds of many people? No, it is not. Is it going to provide many different ways of play? No, it will not, as the only thing affected by the game select switch is whether the game is played by one or two players. Still, it is a game that can be good as a nice diversion from Space Invaders every now and then. It is not overly rare either, so it should not be too hard to find. If you enjoy vertical shooters, you could do far worse than to try this game.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 7
Written by Martin Review Guide