Review by Sketch Tucker

Reviewed: 07/04/03 | Updated: 07/04/03

A fun classic that stands the test of time.

People may remember the famous arcade classic ''Joust,'' where you fought atop an ostrich-like bird and knocked people off their mounts by flying above them. The stages got harder the more players progressed, and the challenge was great.

Balloon Fight is actually pretty much the same thing. You are strapped to two balloons and you must pop the balloons of the opponents to make them fall into the water below. You get two chances before losing a life, shown by your two balloons. Of course, maneuvering around on one balloon is more difficult than two, so you have to be even more careful. Unlike your enemies, you can't re-inflate your balloons.

The controls can be very tricky. Flying with just two balloons isn't exactly very easy in real life, either, so you need to try and control your momentum when you can by flapping towards the opposite direction of where you're flung. One button requires repetitive tapping to flap, much like Joust, while the other can be held to flap constantly. A nice convenience.

There are three different modes to choose from. One is the standard mode, where you have to take out all enemies on each level, with the occasional bonus stage, where you must pop as many balloons as you can as they float up. Big scores may occur if you get all those.

The second mode is the same, except that two players can play at once, and that can be fun indeed. You can choose to work together, or start into your own fray if you care to; of course, that won't help you get far in the levels.

The third is called Balloon Trip, and it poses a different challenge. The screen continually scrolls, filled with balloons and stars (some that are moving), and you must try to pop as many balloons as you can without hitting the stars or getting too close to the sea. A rank is displayed to show how well you are doing. Bubbles occasionally float up and, when popped, stop the scrolling for a moment, allowing you to pop a few balloons you may have passed by. Something supposedly happens when you pop 20 balloons in a row, but that's to be found out by the player. Only one player can play Balloon Trip.

Overall, this old NES game is very fun to play. If ever you get the chance to play it, either for real or in Animal Crossing, you should.


e-Reader Version: This version is not that much different from the original NES. However, the Two-Player mode is unavailable, which takes away from the game. Still, it is playable, and you can challenge friends to beat your highest levels or scores.

e-Reader score: 8

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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