Thursday, 15 May 2014

Sanrio Carnival (Game Boy)

So, it's a puzzle game featuring Sanrio characters on the menu screens, and their faces on the blocks. Match three of the same and they'll disappear, the ones above will fall down, leading to the possibility of a chain. That's it, as far as the core mechanics of the game go. It's a slow rip-off of Columns, with music so awful it can only be that way on purpose.

But! That's not all there is to the game! There are three modes of play available, High Score, Endless and what the fan-translated version of the game refers to as just "Complete Stages". The first two are, as far as I
can tell, identical to each other, and they're the typical puzzle game single player mode in which the player just has to last as long as they can, scoring as many points as they can until they fill the screen up and the game ends.

The third mode is much more interesting, and probably the only interesting thing about this game. In it, there are five stages, each charging the player with a different task, the first and third are trivially easy: clear thirty sets of three or more, and clear five sets of four or more. Stages four and five are a little more challenging: clear ten "doubles" (a double being more than one set of three or more at the same time) and make ten chains. The second stage is the hardest, however, requiring 50,000 points to be scored. It would sound like a lot in most games, but the points in this game go up very slowly, and it's made even harder by
the fact that the well into which your blocks are falling is really small, possibly the smallest I've ever seen in a puzzle game at only six blocks wide by eight blocks high.

Of course, you could, with a bit of practice, complete all the tasks easily. But why would you bother? The game just isn't any fun. The stages gimmick is interesting, but the game itself is so slow and plain, there's just no excitement in it. Considering that it's for the Game Boy, facing stiff competition from many, many better puzzle games, therre's just no reason to ever play Sanrio Carnival. Apparently, the Sanrio name and characters were enough to get it to sell on release, though, as it did receive a sequel two years later.

1 comment:

  1. Eeesh, that looks dreadful and uneventful. I will not be bothering with this when I do the Hello Kitty games.
    I'm glad this one is short, nothing more needs to be said, ugh, avoiding.