Game of the Week 44/2006: Balloon Fight

In Games

By request of Teh_1337_muffinman.

A very entertaining game I think. It's just that I can't play it for long for reasons I don't know.
I'll leave it to Teh_1337_muffinman to explain why he chose this title and why it's so good for him.

In Balloon Fight, the player controls a Balloon Fighter who flies around with two balloons on his back. The object of the game is to defeat all of the enemies in each level by popping the balloon on their backs. When the balloon is popped, the enemy will float down on a parachute, and either land on the ground and survive, or fall in the water and drown, although sometimes a big fish will come out and eat the enemy before it can touch the water, but it can also eat the player if he is too close to the water. If the enemy lands, the player must harm it before it can blow up another balloon or it will change to a different color. It can also be harmed by hitting its parachute. All of these ways of harming the enemy will cause it to fall into the water which will cause a bubble to float up that can be popped for 500 bonus points. If an enemy pops one of the player's balloons, the player rises more slowly; if both are popped, the player loses a life. It is also possible to lose a life by falling in the water, getting hit by lightning, or getting eaten by a fish. After every three phases there is a bonus stage where balloons rise up out of pipes. Each one popped will give the player a certain amount of points, and if all are popped, a bonus for a perfect game is awarded.

The levels get progressively harder, with each one featuring new and faster enemies. After completing enough levels the game starts reusing older levels with more enemies and an item, the flipper, that knocks characters away.

As always: Cart and boxart pics!




Which boxart do you like best?

Man, I love this game, it totally rocks. I started playing this game a long time ago.

I find the controls to be a little difficult, but I guess that's a part of the challenge of the game.

The bonus levels rock.

I don't know what else you can say about this game, if you haven't played it, DO IT! You're really missing something.

A cute enough game, I always thought it was pretty much a rip-off of Joust, the play is _almost_ the same. Of course, then, it's Nintendo, so it wins in the end.
And again, the European box art is better, IMO. Another example of the US just pulling game sprites for their "art."

It's a love/hate relationship for me... on one hand, I'm a huge fan of Joust, so I'll automatically prefer Joust. On the other hand, it's just so much easier to pop balloons than a tiny guy on a buzzard.

That game is all about Balloon Trip. The regular mode does not float my boat.

Balloon Fight is a bit of fun for a while but I suck at it pretty bad as I found out when it was the NES Files high score challenge a while back.

I don't have this cart yet... wish I did though. It's got the classic label and all. Pretty cool game, but like others I'm way into Joust before this game. I realize that there are different aspects of play to an extent though. If I remember right, I'm not to good at this game either, Daynum.

Well, I got around to playing this again, and tried out Balloon Trip. I'm hopelessly addicted. MUCH more fun than the regular game.

Also figured to include the Super Smash Brothers trophy, if only because this week's game of the week is pretty empty.

Going back to the regular mode, I'm not as pleased with it as I remember. You just can't have Joust gameplay without the arcade's fluid controls. Half of the fun of Joust was learning how to control your careening crane while constantly clocking those damned buzzards.

It's still easier to hit the balloon dudes, though.

I have heard a lot about how the game is too similar to Joust, and for the sake of argument, consider this: The comparison between Joust and Balloon Fight is only in the aspect that if you are above your opponent when you hit them, they fall. The characters, control, and gameplay are other than that different. I guess you have to knock the fighter down, too, like you have to collect the little egg things in Joust, but there's lighting, and fish where the magma hand is and... oh wait. Damn, they are similar.

So anyway, seeing as how this is the NES files, Balloon Fight comes out on the top of the two. I have played it since I was wee, and I have increased my skill a lot, even though I am still not that good. The key is in judging the angle at which you will be propelled when you press A to gain altitude. Depending on your current speed, the angle is different, and if you don't judge correctly, you may end up underneath your opponent and get popped.

Balloon trip was an addictive game where the lightning was suspended int he air and eventually becomes a soild mass that is so hilariously impossible to surpass that you just want to play over again to laugh at yourself.

I always loved the game because I found that as challenging as it may get, it was never really frustrating. Probably due to the fact that there aren't many people who boast their Ballon Fight records on the internet, or play B.F. championships. Either way, it's a classic and I'm glad I helped it find its way into our game of the week collection.

Peace out.