Gallaway's review begins:
A perfect example of the old adage that good things come in small packages, the unassuming, overlooked, practically invisible CarneyVale Showtime from the Gambit Game Lab is one of last year's best titles that nobody played. Located in the user-created Community Games section of the new Xbox 360 dashboard, there's not really anything to distinguish CarneyVale from the dozens of uninspired games tucked away there--but only after a minute or two of play, it's clear to see that it stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Although initial impressions might be deceiving, CarneyVale Showtime is in fact, an extremely elegant and clever design that requires a good degree of hand-eye coordination. Its challenge is nicely complemented by the absolutely spot-on controls and impeccable level of polish present everywhere throughout the game.
Be sure to jump over and read the whole thing, but the review's ending is incredibly flattering. "Relatively simple, tactile games like CarneyVale Showtime are few and far between these days, and ones as well-done as this number even fewer," Gallaway writes. "It may be found in the amateur section, but CarneyVale Showtime is a consummate professional."
As revealed at Metacritic, Gallaway gives Showtime a 9 out of 10 (!), which is the same as Jim Sterling recently gave the game in a review at Destructoid (!!!). As Sterling begins his glowing review:
When I first started challenging Community Games developers to submit their work for review on Destructoid, I had hoped that some real gems would come out of the woodwork and prove their worth. I had not, however, expected CarneyVale Showtime.
At the risk of spoiling the whole review before you even read it, let me say that if you're at all interested in the potential of XNA games, then you really, really, really need to check this one out. A breath of fresh air? This is more like a gale of the stuff.
Sterling goes on to describe Showtime as "inventive, addictive, charming and very clever, with deceptively simple gameplay that soon gives way to something far more complex and fiendish". (Mwa ha ha.) "If there were any justice, this game would be expanded and end up on the Xbox Live Arcade," he writes. "As it stands, however, CarneyVale is an absolute steal for 400 Microsoft Points."
To say that we're proud of Showtime is an understatement, but it's Gallaway's description of it as "overlooked" and "practically invisible" that we're out to fix. If you haven't tried Showtime yet, what are you waiting for? If you have, tell your friends! Tell your friends' friends! Or jump onto Metacritic.com and tell the world what you think! (Unless, of course, you didn't like it - in which case we humbly suggest that you try playing something else.)