Reviewed on PC

Veggie Carnival, A VeggieTales Game

Reviewed By: Tim Emmerich

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: Big Idea Interactive
Price Range: $10-$12
Learning curve time: 15 minutes
Age level: 3 and up
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Patches / Upgrades: none
System Requirements: PC: Windows 98/2000/ME/XP Pentium II, 350 MHz CPU, 64 MB RAM, 4 MB video RAM, 8X CD-ROM, 100 MB of free hard disk space, Compatible sound card, Compatible video card
Macintosh: Mac OS 9, G3 400 MHz CPU, 64 MB RAM, 8x CD ROM, 100 MB of free hard disk space

Genre: Arcade
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (nothing offensive)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 5 of 5
Adult Content: 5 of 5

Relive the fun times of the carnival, even on a rainy day!

Hopefully you have wonderful memories of going to the carnival, eating too much cotton candy, riding fun rides or losing at those games of chance! Now, experience some of that on your PC or Mac but this time in a land of VeggieTales characters! You'll have to provide your own popcorn and cotton candy though. So, sit down and go to Veggie Carnival for as long as you want (unless you have a time limit set by the parents on the parental egg timer).

Rated 'Exceptional' by Shepherd Staff Shepherd's Staff rates “Veggie Carnival” as exceptional.

You can freely play three games and earn tickets at doing so. Those tickets can be exchanged with Mr. Lunt into tokens at his gazebo. A show and a roller coaster ride can be enjoyed with the right amount of gold tokens. Sorry, no places to buy virtual cotton candy.

Veggie Carnival.  Illustration copyrighted.

Clown Around
The game keeps track of your progress after you sign in at the start. Head on over to the Clown Around tent. There, Mr. Nezzer, invites you in. You can play as one of three VeggieTales characters (hereafter referred to as veggies). Inside, you can try one of eight different outfits. Dress up as a pirate, or the “king” (The Elvis variety), or a princess, or many more. All the while you earn a few tickets. This game is neat as they have incorporated phrases that match the outfits from VeggieTales videos (put on a hat that looks like Madam Blueberry and you'll hear your veggie say “a happy heart is a thankful heart” or a hat from the chocolate factory in Rack, Shack & Benny will illicit a "Stand up for what you believe in".). Also, some nice music pieces that match some of the costumes (like a short music clip associated with the “king” when the Elvis outfit is donned).

Bumper Clickers
For some bumping fun times, go to Bumper Clickers. You can choose one of eight veggies and cars to go bump into each other and earn points. The points are cashed out for tickets when the electricity is turned off. The controls take a little getting used to. Or they are trying to simulate the real-world bumper cars that are sometimes hard to control! Pick up speed and whack the other cars to earn points, get whacked and you lose points. Lots of ties occur where you neither gain or lose points. You don't want to get sandwiched in the middle of the pack! Stay on the perimeter and pick up some speed for more points.

Dodge Dart Gun
Remember those rubber dart guns? The ones you had to lick to get them to stick? Well, hold your horses, partner, you get 30 of those darts and a fancy gun that has an adjustable spring. Choose one of three veggies and go a shooting! You can have great fun shooting at anything and see how it reacts, just like at the shooting arcade at a real carnival. Hit the water well and a surprise veggie may jump out. Or click on the church to hear a song start to play. Or shoot the buzzard and see what he does. However, there will be round signs that pop-up now and then with point values on them (10, 20, 30, 40 or 50). By hitting them with your dart, you get the points. Take your time and aim well. At the end of your 30 darts, those points are converted to tickets.

Veggie Carnival.  Illustration copyrighted.

Silly Songs with Robots
You can choose from four silly songs to listen to. But the band is not human, or Veggie! They are robots! Big Idea Interactive must be taking a page out of Bushnell's Playbook (ala Chuck E. Cheese). Or robots work cheaper? Enjoy a portion of the original silly song all for the cost of a single token. Go ahead and sing along! The robots faithfully “perform” the song on the stage.

The Bobbereeno
The Bobbereeno is a four-lane roller coaster that is having some issues. The cars get separated from each other. Can you re-hook them up during the ride? It costs 10 tokens to ride! Enjoy this ride as you try to save the day. You can switch from one lane to another and hitting the speed boosts get you going fast. This is the major attraction of Veggie Carnival!

A great feature for kids are the help screens. They are fully narrated so kids that can't read still understand what is going on. And it is specific to which game or screen you are in.

The parental egg timer is a great feature that ALL kid's games should have. Parents can adjust how long per day they want each kid to play. Be sure to remember you password (although it is not the end of the world if you don't, just delete the password file as directed by the game's “read me” file).

Dual media allowing Macintosh people to play too is a great feature.

Big Idea Interactive went with more cartoonish, 2-D graphics on this game. While it doesn't look as nice as the original 3D look from the videos, it is plenty acceptable to the players, especially kids, as it doesn't diminish the “FUN” factor.

There is plenty of sound effects and music to keep you pleased. And nice carnival background music as well to set the mood.

Anything Objectionable
Unless you have an objectionable view of carnivals or fairs to begin with, you should find Veggie Carnival an acceptable addition to your gaming library.

This game has less content of all the three new games out. But they charge less too. Kids enjoy it, so that is all that matters. While it would have been nice to have more features of a carnival or more games included, Veggie Carnival offers a lot of fun with decent replay value. Some kids will just enjoy the opportunity to play with their VeggieTales favorites.

Year of Release—2002

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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