The Motherloot Blog: Product Reviews

Review: New Carnival Games

One thing I remember as I kid is going to the 4H fair with my parents and being tempted by those enormous stuffed animals by the carnival games. You always saw them hanging, but you never saw anyone win one. That should have been my first clue that there was something fishy about the games.

Flash forward to when we got the first Carnival Games for Wii. The controls were difficult and some of the games nearly impossible. An accurate interpretation of those childhood memories, but for some reason, we just kept on playing. This sort of masochistic behavior is best left for therapy sessions.

So when the sequel, New Carnival Games: Return to the Midway arrived, we thought we were in for more tears and controller throwing. Fortunately for all involved, there have been improvements. Yes, some of the games are quite difficult, but these are balanced by others that are enjoyable to all ages

The overall concept to the game is the same as the first. You create a custom character, play games to earn tickets and virtual prizes, and then redeem tickets for crazy clothes for your character to wear. That’s all there is to it, but for a game aimed at younger kids the silly hats are enough motivation to keep on trying for those tickets.

You’ll play games of the same style you would expect to see at a fair: skeeball, make baskets in a moving hoop, bag tossing, and shooting targets. These are similar to what the first game offered, but the controls seemed a little easier and less frustrating this time around. What really sets this second game apart are the more unusual activities. The family favorite is the haunted house, when gives you a first-person perspective as you aim for and shoot targets on ghosts that pop up. The other would be the tractor pull which, being from Indiana, is something I’ve witnessed in person. This version has all the fun and none of the ear-bleeding.

Overall, the game is aimed at younger kids starting around first grade. Though older kids would enjoy most of the games the first few times, I don’t think it would hold their interest over the long term. If your kids enjoyed the first version of this game, the new one is certainly worth a try.

Suggested Retail Price: $37.99

Website For More Details: New Carnival Games

This product was received as a review sample. The thoughts and opinions expressed will always be honest and heartfelt and no reflection on receiving a sample copy.  We promise to always do our best to also give away each of these products to our readers because it is always better to give than to receive!  Want to know more about how things are handled here at MomAdvice? Be sure to read our Disclaimer which clearly states how things work and know that we will always offer only the best reviews to our readers.

Mario Power Tennis

mario-power-tennisAs fans of tennis on Wii Sports, we were pretty excited about trying out Mario Power Tennis. In this game, you get to play as one of several classic Nintendo characters, each with their own specialty and moves. Some are good at smashing power shots, some are good and defense, some are good at trick shots. Depending on your style of play, there’s an alter-ego just for you.

The play is straightforward. You swing your Wii remote just like a racket  to hit the ball. How you swing affects what the ball does, just like in real tennis. You can hit short shots, soaring volleys, or put spin to try and trip up your opponent.

These normal hits aren’t why it’s called Mario Power Tennis. Every few hits you’ll have a chance to unless a Power hit unique to your character. You’ll be able to reach balls otherwise out of reach by employing a number of ridiculous tricks (think throwing your racket like a boomerang or using a vacuum). If the ball is close, you’ll unleash a more difficult return. The different moves certainly don’t make for a realistic experience, but do make it easier to win matches that would probably last a half hour otherwise.

There’s also a variety of courts to play on, from the standard grass and clay to those in haunted mansions or surrounded by lava. In normal matches or tournaments, they don’t make a whole lot of difference other than distracting you from your total domination of those that stand in your way. When you win tournaments, you unlock harder tournaments as well as new characters and power moves. There are disappointingly few new characters to win however, so there won’t be a lot of variety after a while. Like most games like this, there are various side challenges to complete that test your skills. These have various levels of difficulty, but the kids won’t have much trouble beating most of them in a day.

Overall, the concept is a fun one, but I think it would get repetitive after a while. As your character gets to perform a power move every 5 hits or so, you’ll be seeing the same cut scene over and over again. The controls don’t always register like they should and you’ll find a flick of the wrist is easier (and safer) than trying to replicate Agassi’s movements. On the harder levels you’ll find it very difficult to score and it would better if you had easier ways of hitting the ball away from your opponent instead of right to them.

Suggested Retail Price: $27.99

Website For More Details: Mario Power Tennis