A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
Moving customers to the attractions they want to see requires only a simple point and drag. Tapping to buy new attractions or upgrade old ones is just as simple. The rules and controls all seem simplified to appeal to a younger audience.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Carnival Tycoon for iPad is a fast-paced, but not overly complicated, business simulation. Each day, you'll have to meet certain goals, such as a certain number of customers, a certain daily profit, a certain number of rides or food stands built, etc. Once you bring your carnival to its full potential, you can move on to one of several other locations (including Beijing, New York, Greece, etc.) There are only a few factors to keep under control -- getting customers to the rides they want, spending your money wisely to build and upgrade attractions, and repairing any mechanical malfunctions -- so it's a simpler kind of sim game. A version of the game called Carnival Tycoon HD is available for iPhone and iPod touch.
Is It Any Good?
Many business sims are incredibly detailed, making them too complicated for younger kids to handle, but CARNIVAL TYCOON FOR IPAD boils the concept down to its main objectives and is thereby a great intro to the genre for younger children. Not that older players couldn't enjoy the game as well. It's sort of a mash-up of standard "tycoon" games (in which you manage your money to buy and maintain buildings and lure customers), and time-management games (in which you speedily tend to the specific requests of customers who enter your establishment). The combination works well. You watch wandering visitors, looking for one who, say, wants to go on the water slide; then you drag him to the water slide; and watch him ride it. Cha-ching! You've just made some more cash to build more rides and hopefully meet your daily goals before closing time.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.