Sunday, May 29, 2011

Game of the week: Carnival for Colecovision

Remember the old days when you and your favorite girl strolled down to the arcade, you plopped down a dime, picked up an air gun and blasted away at toy ducks, rabbits and bears?

No. Maybe you're not old enough. Heck, maybe none of us are old enough.

But a bunch of us are old enough to remember the arcade video game Carnival, by Sega, that came out in 1980 and featured simple arcade shooting. It was a video game in which you controlled a little gun at the bottom of the screen that shot at rows of toy animals at the top of the screen, and you had limited ammunition.

Sound boring? It wasn't. Even with simple graphics and simple gameplay, Carnival offered lots of enjoyment.

Which is one reason it was ported to the major home video game consoles of the time, the Atari 2600, Intellivision and the Colecovision.

Coleco VisionTo be fair, with a game like this, they all looked and played pretty decently on the home systems. And why not? There weren't any overly fancy graphics and the game itself isn't complicated.

But still, as was common back then, the Colecovision had the best quality graphics and sounds, making Carnival for the Colecovision most like the arcade experience. And this was important to a lot of gamers back in the day when many home ports looked, and sometimes played, nothing like the arcade versions of the games.

Also, the Colecovision had everything the arcade version of Carnival had, including the bonus stages between each main stage. In these bonus stages the shooter got to shoot a bear that kept going back and forth on the screen.

All these years later, Carnival is still fun to play, especially on the Colecovision. Don't let all those new-fangled, modern graphics fool you. Graphics aren't everything. Sometimes solid gameplay is more than enough for hours of entertainment.

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