If a fun game that's full of other fun games sounds like Inception-level nonsense to you, it's not. We haven't seen a Facebook game so meta since Game Studio Story, which put players in the role of a casual games developer. Arkadium's Twilight Carnival, however, turns you into a carnival/amusement park manager, and while that theme is unique, it also doesn't sound terribly exciting. But here's a twist -- the game booths on your carnival are playable, fully functioning games in their own right. Some are already standalone favorites from Arkadium's own games stable.
The game's story starts off with a message that you won a bid to a "Historic World Fair Site" that's seen better days. From that point, a fortune teller named Ms. Luna does a bit of hand-holding to guide you through quests and basic tutorial stuff, acting flustered whenever she accidentally mentions that the place might be cursed. Management of the site involves keeping the Electricity running, the Happiness high, the grounds clean, and setting up game booths to play that earn you more booths. Fans of games like CityVille will be in familiar territory here, as there's plenty of overlap between carnival management and city-building.
Adding attractions and decorations, plus clearing garbage and picking up trash will increase Happiness. Picking up trash is instantaneous, but clearing garbage is a frustrating deal when you're only allowed to clear them one at a time. Plus, it takes 5 minutes to remove a broken wheel and 4 hours for a ramshackle hut. (Granted, the hut would probably take four hours to clear in real life. But in Facebook games, even a minute can feel like eternity.) You can speed these along with Crystals, the game's premium currency, which you get 10 free to start with.
More coins and XP can be earned by playing games and picking up trash at your friends' carnivals. The cool thing about this is that games you can't play because you're not high leveled enough on your own carnival, can be played at your friends' if they've got them.
Currently, six game booths are in the market: Aquapop, Blast Off!, Ricochet, Quickdraw, Carniball, and Speedshot. Aquapop is your typical bubble-bursting shooter, while Blast Off! is basically Arkadium's Sparks, an addictive puzzler in the vein of Tetris that you can find outside of Twilight Carnival, such as on CNN Games or Arkadium Stadium.
Overall, Twilight Carnival is a bundle of small, quick games wrapped in a larger, slower-paced one, which magically manages to jell together. Now the bigger question is how Arkadium is going to lure in players. They've already run a sweepstakes drawing where they've given away $1,000 USD to a fan of the game's Facebook page who bothered to sign up. But with game still in beta, they're clearly not expecting the Facebook masses to come trampling out just yet.
Click here to play Twilight Carnival on Facebook now>
What other games do you think Arkadium should put into Twilight Carnival? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment