Carnival Games VR Review - Screenshot 1 of 2

Ah, this is just what PlayStation VR needed: a minigame collection. And not just any superficial smorgasbord of banal activities either, but the granddaddy of the genre: Carnival Games VR. Those of you who hold on to haunting thoughts like a manic depressive in a mental health institute may remember this 2K Games published series proving popular on the Nintendo Wii – and now it's back to sell your senile uncle on a $400 headset.

Alright, we'll cut the snark – there's nothing offensive about this insipid compilation of cutesy fairground favourites, after all. It's just – to quote a quality emo band of old – as shallow as a shower; it's got about as much depth to it as a fringed frontman spitting Hemingway. The game essentially whisks you away to a Hellish fairground, where the attendees are 10-feet-tall and the activities mostly involve tossing balls. No snickering, please.

You'll be knocking down milk jugs to the Barker's bad dairy-based puns or trying to roll spherical shapes into holes in a shockingly bland twist on Skeeball. There are a couple of shooting galleries themed around the Wild West and a haunted house, as well as a vomit-inducing climbing frame and a weird pastime where you have to catch cakes being projectile vomited out of a canon. Yeah, we've never seen that at our local amusement park either.

Carnival Games VR Review - Screenshot 2 of 2

Using two PlayStation Move controllers to reflect your hands, the tracking is among the worst that we've seen on PlayStation VR thus far, jittering all over the place when you wind up a lob and occasionally making thrusting motions if you even partially obscure one of the lights on the headset. It's still playable and not so offensive that you're going to be chundering like after an evening glugging Cheeky Vimtos, but it's still not particularly pleasant.

The structure's built around the collection of tickets, which allow you to purchase prizes that unlock new alleys and subsequently minigames. You'll have uncovered all of the minigames in under an hour, though, which leaves you with very little to do other than grind for the remaining toys in the game. You can have a fiddle with these in a designated "playroom" area if you like, but you may have more fun seeing how many LEGO men you can fit in your mouth.

And that's about it really. There are score targets to tempt you to replay the minigames, encouraging you to reach certain thresholds in order to unlock stars. And leaderboards are intelligently integrated into the game world, giving you some targets to top if you happen to know a friend or two that actually own the title. But yeah, outside of the obligatory Trophies and trying to outstare the gormless characters who occupy the game world, there's not much else to do.


Carnival Games VR is about as entertaining as a funfair organised by gypsies in a community centre's car park. The tracking issues don't help, but the actual moment-to-moment gameplay is so morbidly boring that you may need medical attention to resuscitate you from this virtual reality yawn-fest. In a word: candydross.