Party Carnival

Although this mini-game collection is a purse-pleasing £9.99, has attractive box-art (in respect of use of colour, not style of imagery) and boasts 38 mini-games including ‘Hit the Penguin’ and ‘Noodle Eating Contest’, it’s so beyond poor that not even the super cheap price tag can save it. We’re talking Charlie’s Angels, Universal Studios and Superman 64 poor here – at one point we turned it on and it didn’t even work.

Party CarnivalYou can choose from four characters – cat, dog, hamster and something else – but there’s no plot or such, you just pick a game from a list and off you go. While we were never expecting anything complex, the simplicity had us lost for words. Take the basketball game as an example: you just have to tap the screen to launch a ball into the air. That’s it. Whether it goes in the net or not is entirely random. It’s the same for treasure hunting: tap the screen to see if there’s treasure in the ground. If there is, you get a point; if there isn’t, try again. Come to think of it, most of the 38 games involve repeatedly tapping the screen or jabbing the A button. Apart from the sliding block puzzles – they’re the best thing on offer by a country mile. Which says it all, really.

Unbelievably, it gets worse. There is absolutely no incentive to play, in that the games have no goals or criteria to meet. The clock starts, you ‘play’, the clock run out, a score appears and you’re back to the game selection screen. You can always try to beat your best scores, but why? The only depth comes from playing against friends, although they probably won’t be thinking much of your taste in games if you put them through something as appalling as this.

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