When I read the description of this game, I was over the moon because I needed a game that was quite relaxing and easy going. I’m sure for someone, Balloon Flight is an enjoyable and easy-going game. For me it was not, but as always your mileage may vary.
Balloon Fight really isn’t a game that has a plot because the goal is for you to a) create an airship out of a piece of bridge and b) steer it through as many rings as you can against the clock. You do this primarily by alternating between creating balloons and popping them in order to change the direction of your “raft” heads, and please let me be the first to tell you that this can go wrong very quickly. .
You open the game in a green area, luckily on the ground, where you can play with your balloon gun and get familiar with what it does. One trigger creates balloons and the other pops them. Once you think you’ve mastered that, you move on to the bridge, where you create enough balloons on your “raft” to take off, and then literally go racing. After that, you use your weapon as previously described to try and push your raft through the white rings that float above the mysteriously hanging islands.
I should mention that you have propellers which theoretically give you more control over your raft, but I found them to be more trouble than they were worth. Other than the one that powers your raft, I don’t think I’ve used them. If you succeed, please let me know how you did it.
So this game starts innocently enough. There is a green area with a sign telling you how to play. The graphics are delightfully retro, and well, using the various triggers to manipulate the physics of the world is pretty straightforward. Just as no blueprint ever survives contact with the enemy, no understanding of physics mechanics ever works throughout a game. This nugget of wisdom is especially true for Balloon Flight.
Covering your raft with balloons is easy, but in addition to remembering how many and which balloons need to be popped to steer the raft in the right direction, you need to keep in mind that not only is your raft usually a finite space, but there is also a hole in the center. I can only assume the hole exists because the devs are sadists. In any case, if you cover your raft with too many balloons, not only will you not cross the target rings, but you will lose sense of where you are very quickly, due to the FPS-style design of the game. Remember the hole in the raft? Yes, you can fall and fall through this, plunging to your death as the cheerful music plays, mocking you for your failure.
While you start each run at the same location on the same island, the rest of the islands are procedurally generated, so you’ll see something new every time. Also, you can see these islands, depending on your landing skill, at least I guess. I never managed to land. I cared about the designs, which definitely seemed to channel a definition of fantasy, but beyond that, I don’t quite understand the appeal of Balloon Flight. Assuming you invest some time, you can go far enough to unlock different balloon shapes, but I spent too much time sinking into my doom to do so.
Sometimes the fall was not my fault. The physics engine has a few flaws that need to be ironed out when I cut things I couldn’t see or hit walls I didn’t anticipate. Also, good luck if you get stuck against an island. Just say.
Balloon Flight is great if you’re interested in a physics game where the game focuses entirely on manipulating those physics, but for most of us I’m going to guess it’s a one-off game. As far as skill loss goes, there’s not much to worry about there, as you might overlook engine idiosyncrasies. There’s no violence, so it’s definitely a game to play with your kids, unless you’re as prone to screaming at the screen as I am.
Balloon Flight retails for $5.99 on Steam and the Nintendo Store.
Parasitic thoughts behind the keyboard
- The music laughed at my pain.
- I hope you like this sign because you will see it every time you start.
- I think the game needs a tutorial.
- I admit that the game offers vast possibilities of stunts.