Review by Blackjack4x
"Interesting idea but hampered by spotty control"
Balloon Fight could have been a very fun game. The basic idea is
that you're a boy, with two balloons strapped to you that allow you
to float through the air. There are enemies, also equipped with a
balloon, and they're trying to pop yours and make you fall to your
death. You would be wise to do likewise to them. You do this by
flying above an enemy, and coming down on his head. If he lands on
the ground, you have to land on him again, or left alone he will pump
up another balloon and be back in the fray. The game contains many
levels, and each one gets progressively harder with more enemies,
faster enemies, more lightning bolts (which mean instant death when
they hit you) and unpredictable rotators that could throw you into
the pool of water (where you'll be eaten by a big fish) or into
an enemy. Every few stages you are rewarded with a bonus stage, in
which several pipes line the bottom of the screen with balloons
floating up from them, and you have to try to pop as many as you can.
Another option is the Balloon Trip, during which you float through
a maze of electric dots while trying to pop as many balloons as you
can. This game is for one or two players.
The game was made in 1984, and it shows. Simple sprites, simple characters. On par with the time period.
Again, 1984-ish sound. It's the type of music you would call very "video gamey".
Here's where the game could have been better. You see, momentum plays a HUGE part in this game - too huge. If you fly at an enemy and miss him, you keep going and going, and it's usually too late by the time you get turned around, because he's moved. If you try to land on an enemy and he moves, it takes too long to stop, and forever to reverse directions, leaving you in a very vulnerable position. This lack of control causes massive frustration in the Balloon Trip, where control means everything - sometimes you have to maneuver between very thin gaps. I would only recommend playing the Balloon Trip if you have lots of patience. The difficulty progresses accordingly. The AI of the enemies is decent for a game of this time.
A little fun, but you'll nearly always die in a way that frustrates you. Over time, this tends to turn you from the game. The Balloon Trip is not a reason to play this game - it seems pointless, unless the idea of it was as practice for the real game.
A fun little game in the early levels, when mistakes don't cost you as much, but in the higher levels when any error usually means a life, then you'll begin to see the glaring control mistakes in this game. You could try it out - but you won't be tempted to buy it.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 11/01/99
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