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The Good Parts
Go Play Circus Star has a nice array of different circus events that you'll take part in and many were extremely engaging and entertaining to attempt. You'll do a little mile-high stunt diving, stick your head in the head of a lion or tiger as an animal trainer, and aim the cannon to shoot the human cannonball correctly through the air to land on his spot. You'll struggle to balance your unicycle across a tightrope, ride an elephant into the main ring, dodge pies, juggle interesting items, and even try a little trapeze.
The satisfying and useful design of the game progression is similar to Guitar Hero. You compete to be the best by completing the events in an entertaining fashion to fill up your trick meter, which keeps the crowds happy and earns you money you can use to unlock other content.
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The Bad Parts
Go Play Circus Star had a number of fun and engaging mini-games to play that the family will enjoy, but they were all very similar in the types of actions they required. You have to maintain your balance, move right while trying to avoid obstacles or thrown objects or aim at targets in a variety of situations. One has you throwing knives at balloons on a rotating wheel, while trying not to hit the dummy in the center of the wheel. Another challenges you to align a cannon in order to shoot a man through rings so that he lands safely on a landing area.
The balance board is by far the better control option for playing Go Play Circus Star and a solid virtual experience. Unfortunately, the video game implements the balance board in a frustrating manner that makes using the balance board a time consuming and irritating affair. You need to turn the balance board on each time you want to use it, wait until the game recognizes the board and then step on the board. You'll need to do this every time, even when just replaying a game, which will make many hardcore gamers cringe.
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The Graphical Story
Go Play Circus Star's graphical presentation is below average, with muddy textures, bland colors, jagged edges on some of the screens, and an unappealing look that doesn't entertain the eyes very much. The moves of the characters are shown in cut scenes that don't always synchronize with the action occurring on the screen and there are only a few scenes for each event. This means that your character often does the same thing visually, even though you're standing in a different place.
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The Sounds in the Game
The sound track included with Go Play Circus Star isn't very much fun to listen too and it didn't add any energy or entertainment to the events and actions you take part in. The sound track is a generic collection of poor sounding electronic tunes and kid's songs that lacks pace and needs to be coordinated better with the action happening in the game. The sound effects are better, with lots of funny sounds that kids love, but the ringmaster's voice is really annoying to listen too, so turn it off.
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Go Play Circus Star isn't one of the best Wii video games but it will entertain casual Wii gamers and make the kids laugh as they try each of the different events and are successful. Go Play Circus Star is a very easy game that provides entertainment by allowing you to earn money with good performances and then take that money to unlock new venues and gain new fans. This setup works well for providing a reason for the kids to play again if they want to try all the events, since they need to make more money to unlock the next venue. There are only 4 venues when you start the game, so there are a few to unlock, which adds hours of game play to this title.
There are six avatars for you to select from to play the game with, but there's no ability to customize any aspect of your character, which reduces the playability a bit. There's no simultaneous game play, you'll have to take turns, which is hard to understand considering the co-op ability of the Wii console. You can play this video game as a single performer, but the real fun is playing with friends and family using the multiplayer option.
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The Last Word
Go Play Circus Star has about the same production values as the first game in the Go Play franchise, Go Play Lumberjacks, but deals with content that will appeal to kids a lot more. This title is certainly recommended for casual gamers and even adventurous hardcore gamers, but after a few days even the kids will be glad to see the circus leave town.