There have been about 1,000 gun games since the early days of Hogan's Alley and Duck Hunt. Each game had a different graphics style and all-around feel for audiences to enjoy. One of the most memorable titles recently released was Atari's Area 51. The hardware for this featured a hard drive which allowed for more detail in the scrolling backgrounds and digitized aliens than a usual arcade system. The unique style of this game and its "sequel" Maximum Force have never really been reproduced...until now.
Carnevil's style is similar to Atari's other two gun games. The story has not been fully revealed, but the whole game takes place in an insane carnival filled with creatures who are trying to keep you from riding the rides. There are three parts to the carnival, and each has its own Boss. Then there is a fourth area where you will have to fight more enemies as well as all of the previous Bosses all over again. The Bosses are well-designed. For example, a large baby named Junior will throw a tantrum (and several large objects at you) as he chases you and your vehicle around a big top like a T-Rex from Jurassic Park. Each enemy in the game has its own personality. The kids manning the carnival games moon you and flip you off, as Barney-style characters and strange-looking Siamese twins giggle and throw sharp objects at you. The gun itself is a very comfortable pump action shotgun. This gun can either be shot off screen or pumped off screen to reload, and is much more usable than the Area 51 arthritis specials. That's good, because Carnevil's development team decided to give the player plenty of "meat" to shoot at.
Carnevil doesn't have, however, all of the hidden background secrets that A51 or Maximum Force had. Whether you enjoyed shooting every background object or not, it gave those games plenty of longevity, as evidenced by Asi's year-long stint on the arcade top-io lists. As of yet there is also no sign of a Streak meter, or the ever-popular competition meter that showed which player had the most kills. What it does have over the Atari gun games is the gorgeous animation of the backgrounds and characters. Good examples include a woman boss being hit with electric blue energy and transforming into a demonic witch (very Parasite Eve), or when you are riding on a roller coaster being hit by flying creatures on all sides. It has a Don Bluth/Disney feel to it, but much darker, and a lot of fun. Carnevil makes use of a hard drive as well so there's plenty of room for all of the awesome graphics.
We will have to wait and see if Carnevil has what it takes to go toe to toe with Area 51's upcoming sequel, Site 4, and Namco's Time Crisis II.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP