Muppet Adventure: Chaos at the Carnival for NES was released in 1990 by Hi-Tech Expressions, a company known for their mediocre Sesame Street educational games. Muppet Adventure doesn't start off as much of an adventure. A boring text intro lets us know that "Miss Piggy has been pignapped" (yes, pignapped, oh, those nifty Muppet neologisms) and that the main suspect is "the notorious carnival owner Dr. Grump". Miss Piggy "may be held captive on carnival grounds", so it's up to some other Muppets to find and rescue her.
Then the game starts. That is to say, you get an option screen in which you pick between four 'carnival' mini-games. First off is 'River Ride' in which you have to steer Kermit the Frog along a river – avoiding objects like rocks and moving logs. It isn't too hard, but it looks dull and the gameplay gets a little boring quickly. The second mini-game involves Animal the Drummer (the rock star Muppet with the wild red hair) in a bumper car. You have to race from left to right, avoiding objects (that look like black bowls of poo) and pick up red birds. This an annoying stage with so-so controls and, again, a pretty dull design.
The tiresome design continues in the other two mini-games. There's a 'Space Ride' with Gonzo, a sort of left to right scrolling Asteroids clone, that's similar to the racing game, only with even looser controls. Finally, there's a kind of crappy one-screen 'maze' game that seems to go on forever in which Fozzy Bear has to collect pieces of candy before an enemy does. It looks pretty bad and is as boring as it sounds - this one is the worst of the bunch. Though the graphics of all games are a little dull, there are decent and I actually like the catchy music in all stages.
If you manage to complete all the mini-games you get keys to unlock yet another crappy mini-game you need to complete to save Miss Piggy. I like the charm of the Muppets, but that couldn't save this game. Overall, Muppet Adventure: Chaos at the Carnival feels too much of what it actually is: like a bunch of incoherent, not so great mini-games. Kermit and his friends deserved better.