Carnival Island–A Review

carnival-islandCarnival Island is a family game for PlayStation 3 with Move. As the name suggests, the game is a collection of carnival mini-games such as Mini Bowl (aka Skee Ball), Coin Toss and Shooting Gallery. Set in a magical, but long-abandoned carnival this is a fun game for the whole family.


The game has two modes. The first is story mode, which allows you to choose a character and work your way through the island. As you progress, you unlock new areas of the island, new games, and other treats. You’ll also unlock creatures who come to life and cheer you on as you play your games. I should add that they are all quite good at displaying a look of disappointment when things don’t go as planned! This mode also includes challenges. These may be reaching a certain score, doing a certain behavior (hitting a particular target), or a combination of things. Each type of game has a number of challenges to complete. As you do so, you’ll unlock variations to the game. This definitely keeps things interesting and also gives you something to work toward if you’re someone who likes to focus on a goal.

The second mode allows you to play the mini-games against friends. You can select a handful of games, or have them randomly assigned. As you and your friends play, you’ll earn tickets for ranking highest with your score. The one with the most tickets at the end wins.


  • It’s fun having challenges to work through
  • Surprises occur as you progress through the game
  • The multi-player mode can accommodate up to 4 players (taking turns)
  • Story mode contains additional things to unlock and prizes to purchase


  • Many of the games require wrist action rather than full-arm action (make sure to take breaks)
  • Some of the games are significantly more difficult than others
  • You can’t play multi-player in the story mode which is more fun than the other mode
  • The game doesn’t always react to your controller as you’d expect.

Bottom Line

Carnival Island is a great family game, but really young kids will probably struggle with it. The Move controller is very sensitive, so if you aren’t holding the controller at the right angle, you won’t score points. That said, this is the sort of game that you can play for 10 or 15 minutes, or for an hour (or more… ahem). This makes it ideal even for large groups as players can rotate through without a lot of waiting.

Stuff You Need to Know:

Carnival Island is for the PlayStation 3 and requires PlayStation Move. It is rated E for everyone. It retails for $39.99. Shop for Carnival Island.

Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of Carnival Island for review purposes. There was no promise of a positive review and the opinions contained in this post are my own. This post contains affiliate links which in no way impact the content of the review. Image courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment.

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