As expected, I turned on my Xbox 360 this morning and checked out the Community Games section only to find yet another New Arrival, CarneyVale Showtime. For an acceptable 400 Microsoft Points you get a charming “vertical platform game” that mixes ragdoll physics with the addictive puzzling of Peggle.
Aiming a cannon, you launch the animated puppet, Slinky, into the air and navigate 18 vibrant puzzle stages by grabbing his flailing body and tossing him further along. The goal is to pop all the balloons, grab a gold star, and reach the flaming hoop at the top of the stage before time runs out. The control is simple but advanced levels reveal subtle strategic nuances like air control and the ability to change the direction of the grabby arms that fling Slinky ahead. Later stages also introduce new obstacles and carnival themed tools like a rocket. And if 18 stages seems a little slim, create your own! CarneyVale Showtime also includes a full-featured level editor and nine save slots to create and share your own devious challenges.
It’s not apparent in the screenshot above but the game’s presentation is seamless. From the colorful and stylized art to Slinky’s flailing ragdoll limbs to the plucky circus music, everything in CarneyVale really comes together. This is the second Community Game that I’d nominate for a Live Arcade release and one that’s definitely worth checking out. It’s even got its own Achievements, though sadly, only within the game. Check out a video after the cut.
<a href=”http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-US&playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:9c5941d9-8996-41e6-aaa1-e2c127bf19b2&showPlaylist=true&from=msnvideo” mce_href=”http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-US&playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:9c5941d9-8996-41e6-aaa1-e2c127bf19b2&showPlaylist=true&from=msnvideo” target=”_new” title=”CarneyVale: Showtime trailer”>Video: CarneyVale: Showtime trailer</a>