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Eclipse Software
W. Moore
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

On looking at the cassette inlay, it's a bit difficult to decide who really is responsible for marketing this game. The copyright says Eclipse, but as the game is part competition this is run by British Micro of Watford, below which is says created and produced by EMS (Holdings) Ltd. EMS (Holdings) Ltd is, among other things, an advertising agency which handles a number of computer and software-related accounts.

Carnival is a fairground sideshow shoot 'em up. You start off with three lines of objects moving in opposing directions, bears, rabbits, ducks and a alphabet letters. At the base of the screen is your rifle, which may be moved left and right. Below that is an allocation of bullets. The yellow ducks have a tendency of breaking line, flying down and robbing you of some bullets.

The letters should be shot in the correct order to spell the word B-O-N-U-S oddly enough, this awards some bonus points to your score. Hitting targets on the upper row awards more points than hitting any on the lower row. Above the moving rows is a carousel of clay pipes which must also be shot for bonus scores. The game ends if you run out of bullets before clearing the screen. Bullets may be replenished by shooting two litre blocks with a 5 and a 10 in them, bullets awarded according to the number.


'Carnival is an excellent shoot 'em up game. Its graphics and sound are very good. Quite a bit of thinking out is required to dear a sheet with the limited bullet supply. There are quite a few features including shooting at a well-animated bear between games, the idea being to keep him on screen by hitting him centrally, which makes him change direction, so hit him again, etc. I found this a very playable game which seemed to have an appeal that kept me playing.'

'I wasn't very sure at first that you would be able to take something like a carnival rifle range from reality and reproduce it on a computer game, but in fact ft's worked quite well here. Graphics move smoothly and quickly and are well drawn. Care must be taken with your aim because of the short supply of bullets; this does add a considerable difficulty to the game. Ducks that tend to dive down and eat your bullets, generally come at once, so one of them is likely to get through your barrage of fire. This game is fairly original, playable and addictive at first, but l think its lasting appeal is likely to wane after three or four hours of play.'

Control keys: CAPS/Z left/right and SPACE to fire
Joystick: ZX 2, Kempston, Fuller
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: good
Graphics: above average to good
Sound: good with on off option to kill the carnival sound
Skill levels: 6 speeds
Lives: 1
Originality: novel idea for a shoot up, well implemented
General Rating: Considering the competition prizes and game value, pretty good.


Screenshot Text

'Roll up! Roll up! Shoot the flying ducks and harmless bunnies and win yourself a Graphpad.'