Carnival Games for iPhone

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Carnival Games for iPhone App Poster Image
Common fairground mini-games, including shooting galleries.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The directions -- in written form with illustrations -- aren't always clear, even if you can read. Some of the games feel overly challenging, bordering on frustrating. The controls are not always intuitive.

Violence & Scariness

The app has a few shooting gallery games, including ones using rubber ducks and stars. There is also a game similar to Whack-a-Mole involving hitting clown heads. Most games don't show an actual weapon, but the shoot-the-star game has a rifle.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Carnival Games is a mediocre set of mini-games set in a virtual fairground. With familiar games like the milk-can toss, pop-the-balloon with a dart, and the strong man meter, it is similar to the Wii game by the same name. The app features 12 games and activities, customizable avatars, and three save slots so more than one family member can enjoy unlocking rewards. Playing games will earn you tickets that you can redeem in a special redemption shop. The prizes are primarily items for customizing your avatar, such as clothes, hats, and wearable gear like a guitar or sheriff badge.

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Is it any good?

CARNIVAL GAMES FOR IPHONE holds a lot of promise, but the execution just isn't there. With confusing instructions, hit-or-miss controls, and some minimum score requirements, it's just not as fun as it could be. With many of the games constrained by both time and ammo limits, Carnival Games just misses the relaxing day-at-the-fair feeling you'd expect. Still, there are some things it does well. It's fun to customize your avatar and there are some bonus activities as you walk around the fairgrounds. The games will appeal to some family members more than others, depending on the level of challenge they prefer, but you may want to try out the "Lite" version before plunking down full price for the whole thing.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release date: August 12, 2010
  • Category: Arcade Games
  • Publisher: 2K Games
  • Version: 1.0.3
  • Minimum software requirements: OS 3.0
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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