The loveable LocoRoco find themselves in a mass of trouble again. Those bouncing, colourful jelly-like creatures have been captured while sleeping by the naughty BuiBui and forced to find their way back home through 16 tricky stages designed to test your platforming skills.
If you're not familiar with the cheerful LocoRoco clan, -Midnight Carnival- does a good job of presenting them to you. A built-in instruction manual and lively intro movie introduces their playful plight while giving you a blast of the colourful visuals that await. You're given a choice of seven characters to guide through the levels, from the energetic yellow Kulche to the wild black Budzi. Each one has a unique musical theme and look which you can customise with accessories which can be collected during the game.
With its clean and bright rainbow looks and a large variety of weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit the game, -Midnight Carnival- is visually entertaining and instantly memorable, even if you're just watching someone else play. Its cartoony style is attractive and fun, matched by an irresistible uptempo jazz soundtrack. Music plays an important part of -Midnight Carnival- and instantly gets your toes tapping with a funky range of melodies that subtly change as you get better at the game, enhancing your experience as you get lured into its addictive gameplay.
Are you a brilliant bouncer?
From its early tutorial levels, -Midnight Carnival- charms you with its well designed gameplay. The concept is simple - you guide your chosen LocoRoco from the start of a stage to a sanctuary located at its end, avoiding the dangers in-between. There are plenty of hazards for you to overcome, such as deadly spikes, crumbling platforms, gaping ravines and the ravenous Moja who will look for any excuse to eat the poor LocoRoco.
Rather than control the LocoRoco directly, you can tilt their world and roll them to your destination. They also have the power to jump massive distances, which requires you to master the ability to string one jump after another, called Boinging. The more you Boing, the higher and faster you can bounce and travel, which is also essential for avoiding certain enemies and getting over obstacles. It also multiplies your points score and encourages a soothing harmony of BuiBui to sing along with the game's soundtrack.
With its high tempo stages full of tricky traps to negotiate, -Midnight Carnival- is an addictive challenge which will drag you back for repeated plays. If you find yourself stuck on a particular stage, there are also a batch of bonus and mini-games to enjoy, such as the compelling BuiBui Crane, which is a crane game which lets you grab LocoRoco for bonus items, and the pinball inspired LocoBall.
Party around the world
If you're looking for even more reasons to jump into the funky world of -Midnight Carnival-, there is also the Wireless multiplayer Ad Hoc Mode to enjoy, which lets you and three other friends play competitively for points across all the stages. It's a fun feature which has your LocoRoco bouncing and speeding around each level in an effort to complete it faster than your rivals. If you're more into the spirit of cooperation, you can also save replays of your single player efforts and share them with friends to show them how you got through a stage... or maybe just show off.
If you can't get around to playing the multiplayer mode, there are global leaderboards to compare your performance online as you compete for the highest score and fastest completion time on each level. With a variation of level themes, from a green-tinted jungle background to a fluffy white snowy setting, there's always a fresh feel and look awaiting with each challenge.
There's plenty of incentive to keep bouncing back to LocoRoco -Midnight Carnival-, whether you want to enjoy its colourful style and compelling gameplay, show the world how good your skills are, or just take in the musical treasures of its soundtrack. In short, it's everything a good carnival should be - and it's sure to last you way past the stroke of midnight...