Review by Braben

"A boring clone of a boring game, boring."

Balloon Fight is a Joust clone, or maybe Joust was a clone of this one, I don’t know, and I don’t care because this game is not something to be interested in, yet I would say that this one is better than Joust, it has more play modes and it is more entertaining, for a while.

Gameplay:
So, the game is basically Joust with balloons instead of storks, yes, but the way the game works is slightly different, too slightly different but different anyway, our objective is to explode our enemies’ balloons before they explode ours. We begin with two balloons, like our contraries, and to exterminate them we not only have to explode their balloons, when they fall to the ground we have to hit them one last time (or we can hit them before they reach the ground after exploding their balloons), that way they will be gone forever. Aside from the other enemies that want us kissing the floor, there are other dangers like lightnings,

The two players option however, is great, of course nowadays it is not fun almost at all, but in the good old days of the Nes it was fun, or if you are just arguing because of something, tell him to play, and whoever wins is right. Together with the two player option there is one last play mode, in which we have to fly avoiding some shiny star-like things that will immediately make us fall into the ocean, this play mode is unbelievably difficult due to the incredibly hard controls.

As I said before, the controls are hard to master, like in Joust (because they both have the same tough controls), and like in Joust again that is what hurts Balloon Fight the most, because yes the game play incredibly repetitive, but we are talking about one of the first video games ever, so it is stupid to complain about that, what it is not that stupid is to complain about these controls, they are realistic now that I think, it really feels like trying to fly with two balloons, but they could have been a little bit easier to handle.

Graphics and Sound:
About the graphics I am not going to complain because they were as good as necessary for the time, the enemies, even though there is only variety of them (they change their colours but they all have the same appearance) look funny, and well...hmmm I guess there is nothing else to say here.

The music is pretty nice I have to admit, well, not exactly the music, the thing is that every time you hit an enemy there is a funny little tune that, as I said before, is pretty nice. The “C” play mode (that one you have to fly avoiding those shiny things) has different music from the standard play mode, this was a surprise considering how old this games is, and the music played is not bad, wow!

Final thoughts:
I have to repeat that I have never liked these extremely simple and monotonous early Atari-like games for the Nintendo very much, games like the above mentioned Joust, or Rampage, or Ice Climber, but I owned them and I have played them a lot, so I guess I am giving my honest opinion, I haven’t downloaded these games and played for three minuets just to say blah!, “this thing sucks”, keep that in mind. Balloon Fight is better than Joust and quite entertaining for a while if you have someone to play with, but that is all.

”My lack of vocabulary and grammatical errors (if there’s any) are because I’m not from an English speaking country, sorry about that.”


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 02/11/04


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