LocoRoco: Midnight Carnival

Common Sense Media says

Chipper puzzler is family friendly but can be challenging.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main message is that perseverance pays off. Some of the challenges in this game are more difficult than those in earlier LocoRoco games, but the feeling of satisfaction when you succeed makes it all worthwhile. There are no moral or ethical quandaries here.

Positive role models

LocoRoco -- the blob-like creatures we controls -- are good little guys whose only ambitions are to be together, sing, and make it to the end of crazy environmental mazes.

Ease of play

More challenging than previous LocoRoco games, but that’s simply because the game places a premium on precision and good timing. The controls -- which have the player using the PSP’s shoulder buttons to tilt the screen left and right and releasing them to jump -- are as brilliantly simple and accessible as ever.

Violence & scariness

Players can bump into enemies to make them disappear, resulting in a puff of smoke.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LocoRoco: Midnight Carnival, a downloadable game for the PSP, is a cute puzzle/platform game that’s safe for all ages. Note, though, that its difficulty level, which is greater than that of its predecessors, may be above the threshold of younger players. Apart from certain enemies vanishing in a puff of smoke when bumped, there is no violence at all in the game.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

LOCOROCO: MIDNIGHT CARNIVAL, the latest entry in Sony’s cute and quirky puzzler/platformer series for the PSP, is available only via download through the PlayStation Store. The main goal, as usual, is to control a growing blob of LocoRoco creatures as it rolls through colorful 2-D environments using the shoulder buttons to tilt the screen left and right. Along the way players meld with more LocoRoco, find hidden areas, and collect various items. Aside from the night-time setting hinted at in its title, the shtick this time out is that players can now bounce LocoRoco off the walls with a new “boing” move. Previous entries in the series let us jump, but now if we time repeated jumps just right we can leap much higher and off almost any surface. Some levels even have as an objective to jump from start to finish, stringing together scores of bounces.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

LocoRoco: Midnight Carnival is more difficult than any previous entry in the franchise. In addition to those tricky new high jumps, returning players will notice more bottomless pits. Plus, if you don’t manage to finish the stage in a set amount of time your score will be reduced at the end of the level. Also, many of the hidden LocoRoco and items can be devilishly difficult to track down. They’re not always needed to complete stages, but completionists who feel the urge to find everything a developer has hidden could end up puzzling over certain levels for a long time.

Luckily, the series’ trademark joyful music ought to keep players cheerful throughout, even during the most challenging levels. It’s also worth noting that, at just $14.99, LocoRoco: Midnight Carnival is a steal of a deal. It takes several hours to work through all of the levels, and with plenty of scoring and time objectives -- not to mention the sheer joy of playing -- there’s plenty of reason to come back and aim for better results.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how LocoRoco: Midnight Carnival is different from other games in the series. It has the franchise’s typically chipper music and plenty of brightly colored creatures and objects, but now most of the backgrounds are dark instead of light. Does this make the game seem less cheerful? Did it affect your experience or how you viewed it?

Game details

Platforms:PSP
Price:$14.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:October 29, 2009
Genre:Puzzle
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief (PSP)

This review of LocoRoco: Midnight Carnival was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bybooklover1 March 24, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

love it

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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