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Carnival Island Review | Xmas Party Game: Sorted

Brendan Griffiths
Carnival Island, Games reviews, Party games, Playstation Move

Carnival Island Review | Xmas Party Game: Sorted

Platform: PS3
Developer: Magic Pixel Games
Publisher: Sony

I thought the PlayStation Move would have had dozens of minigame compilations by now but this is the first one in ages. It’s ideally timed for a Christmas purchase too as there are loads of family friendly games to play.

Simplicity is key here as none of the games are complicated. They're not strenuous either, so you don't need to worry about letting all the Christmas dinner and beer settle before you haul yourself from the couch for your turn.

Carnival Island Review | Xmas Party Game: Sorted

Games include 35 varieties on various fairground favourites of bowling, throwing balls, catching, shooting, giant hammer strikes and coin tossing and more. Finally, coin tossing in video game form. I jest, but the games are fiendishly moreish. They control very well too. For throwing, bowling or hitting, you're usually only required to hold the trigger then do the motion as you would in real life.

Shooting games involve blasting moving targets, Wild West cutouts, flying coloured balls and other fun variants. Ball games make up the majority of the action. Old-school bowling involves rolling up a ramp trying to land in certain holes with multiple stalls to try. Throwing a ball at cans or moving cutouts works a treat too. Basketball games start simple before moving onto various moving target games, it’s underarm throwing only but it still feels fun.

Flipping coins is way more fun than it should be. The simplest has you flicking them into cups, while the addictive ones like searching for gold by landing on bricks to reveal arrows, are just brilliant.

Carnival Island Review | Xmas Party Game: Sorted

The responsiveness of the controls is fantastic throughout. The net for ball-catching swishes around the screen in one-to-one style, basketball challenges respond well, shooting guns is perfect and the quality is consistent throughout. Actually two games where you have to steer a gliding frog in mid-air has wonky handling, but that’s two duds out of 35 games. Plus the rag-doll animations when the frog lands are adorable.

Party Play supports a group of friends and many games can be played by two players at once. Games don’t usually last longer than 60 seconds and it won’t take most players more than one attempt to grasp how to play them.

The single player side is very child-friendly and will seem too sugary-sweet for most adults. Although it throws a few silver Trophies your way and when you win a game the PlayStation Move’s light flashes every colour in celebration, which is a neat touch. Playing through the story mode by taking turns with a friend works well, as you try to tick off some of the challenges for each game. The challenges start with simple goals like score three baskets in a row and end up as requiring perfect runs. The one-more-go factor keeps you playing right through to the end and then some more.

Carnival Island Review | Xmas Party Game: Sorted


  • Simple and fun party games
  • Challenges extend the life of the game
  • Only £15


  • Talking animals everywhere
  • Frog gliding games are a bit pump
  • My bowling skills are just as bad in the digital world

The Short Version: It’s £15 and easy-going family fun. The cutesy visuals can be a bit much, but the gameplay is extremely solid. The story mode with talking animals and anime cutscenes will keep the kids entertained and the multiplayer lets everyone else have some fun too. Don’t forget to charge those Move controllers on Christmas Eve.

Carnival Island Review | Xmas Party Game: Sorted

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