Coleco games for the VCS get a lot of flack. Most of this is due to the dreadful Donkey Kong adaptation (which isn't that bad, honestly), but the reality is there are some decent games in the Coleco library. Carnival is one of them.
Perhaps one of the purest shootin' games there is, Carnival is based on those classic pistol shooting games that populated county fairs from the Old West to modern (well, maybe not quite modern) day. The premise is that simple: targets slide by and you shoot them down. Ok, there is a twist. In old school carnivals the targets rarely came to life and swooped down on you to steal your bullets. In Carnival, they do. You have to admit, that can make things a little more intense.
But only a little. Carnival is a lot of fun to play, and the simplicity of the game play makes that work, but Carnival fails in its pure lack of difficulty. The game is fun, but easy. It takes a minute to figure out, and once you do and you get rolling, you can roll the score over pretty easily. The difficulty tops out way too soon and the challenge is practically non-existent.
Graphically, Carnival looks pretty good. The colors are bright and the target sprites are nicely rendered. As I said above, the game is simple. It doesn't have to do much, because much isn't asked of it, even in terms of spectacle.
Carnival would be MUCH higher on this list if it provided even the slightest bit of a challenge or if the difficulty ramped at a better pace. It's a great game and lots of fun to play, for a minute.
My Top Carnival Score: Score rolled.