Carnival Island Game Poster Image

Carnival Island



Move controller makes all the fun of a carnival feel real.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game is eternally upbeat, with friendly animals cheering you on and carnival workers encouraging you as you play. Visual reinforcements also showcase achievements. 

Positive role models

The player is the main character, with others more peripheral, but everyone (and every animal) you encounter is friendly. Carnival booth workers will "gossip" when prompted, but it's nothing malicious. 

Ease of play

The game's play mechanics are very easy for both young and old players, though the accuracy of the PlayStation Move controller is sometimes spotty. 

Violence & scariness

In the FrogBog mini-game, players use a mallet to stomp a lever that tosses a frog into the air. The frog flails wildly and lands with a thud, but it's all very cartoonish and the frog isn't injured in any way. There's a shooting gallery, but you never take aim at living things. In the opening sequence, a young girl pushes a boy playfully.

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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Carnival Island is PS3 game that requires the use of the Move Controller. It is a collection of over 35 mini-games revolving around a carnival theme, including skee ball, hoop toss, and knocking down milk bottles. Each game also has variations on the theme to keep gameplay lively. (For instance, the ring toss game has a mode where rockets fire when you toss a ring around them.) There's very mild violence in a couple of the games, but nothing parents need to be concerned about. And the game's characters are both supportive and eternally friendly. 

Parents say

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What's it about?

When two unnamed children find a pair of tickets to an island carnival, they discover it is in a state of disrepair, having lost its color and liveliness. As they play the mini-games, however, they restore the carnival to its previous magical state. Visually, this is shown by transforming it from a black and white (and grey) state to a colorful one that feels more alive. As players win stuffed animals, those companions come to life to cheer them on. Players can also play any game that supports multiple players from the Party mode (with up to four able to play at once).

Is it any good?


The Midway makes a smooth transition to the PlayStation 3 in CARNIVAL ISLAND, with some familiar favorite games as well as modern spins on them to make them a bit livelier. The game is incredibly upbeat, which is a nice change of pace, but it's also a lot of fun for both kids and adults, making it a great family gaming choice. Instructions are spoken aloud, so kids who can't read still know what to do if they play by themselves, also. While it's easy to play for long stretches, adults might find the games to be a bit repetitive, even with the variations, but kids won't be able to get enough. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about which style of the classic carnival games do they like more -- the original version or the variations? Also, are the games more fun in a video game or when you're playing in real life?

  • Families can also talk about how these games cost money at a real carnival and why parents can't pay for endless replays, as is possible in this game. 

  • This is an active game. Have you played others?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:November 15, 2011
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief

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Kid, 6 years old February 4, 2012

Great Game

This is a great game that our whole family enjoys. It's a nice change from others games offered for PS3.


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