Ages 13 and up (I’m not sure why – a younger player could certainly play)
Approx 30 minutes
I challenge anyone to play this game without humming, whistling or ‘singing’ that “carnival song”. You know the one – don’t pretend you don’t.
Carnival is a set collection game in which each player is trying to be the first to assemble four out of five rides. Assembling a ride is simply collecting one of each of the four components of a ride : Seats, Lights, Banners and Materials – all represented by wonderfully themed artwork.
Typically your turn will involve a game of chance – rolling three dice and picking two. The numbers on the dice represent actions you can take; drawing new cards, stealing cards from another player, etc. You will then be able to start construction of new rides or add on to an existing ride.
Wild cards are also included – which can take the place of any needed components of a ride if necessary, or can be used to discard some of your hand to replace with new cards.
The final component included in the game are tickets – used to modify dice rolls, or prevent an opponent’s action. You are limited to three with an ability to acquire more, so saving them for the appropriate time is an important consideration of game play.
Carnival is a simple game from a newer company – funded through Kickstarter. Overall the game is a wonderful set collection card game which fits in well with families and gamers alike – if a light game is what you are after. The only downside is that the designers appear to worked hard to fit their rules onto one page – which makes some of the rule specifics hard to find.