Famicom Balloon Fight
Famicom Balloon Fight. Nintendo, 1984.
- Cart Condition: Poor. It shows wear and has some areas that I couldn't clean up. Back side sticker is yellowed. Front sticker is in good shape and the color is good.
- Tested: works great.
- As with all the games we sell, this cart has been cleaned and tested and is ready to go.
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Expert review by Traci B.
In 1985, Nintendo released Balloon Fight for the Famicom, proving that simple ideas can still be just as exciting as the rest. This game has two very simple objectives: Pop the enemies’ balloons and don’t let them pop yours. As the name of the game suggests, this is indeed a balloon fight.
Your unnamed protagonist has two balloons on his back which allow him to fly. Pressing either the A or B button lets you flap your arms, which lets you rise in the air, similar to Joust. A second player can join in on the fight; just make sure your friend doesn’t accidentally pop your balloons.
The objective of the main mode, which is simply called “1 Player mode” or “2 Player mode,” is to defeat all of the enemies in the level. They begin on the ground for a few seconds before lifting off using their own balloon. Your character must flap high enough to step on the enemies balloons while avoiding obstacles, such as lightning that will pop one of your two balloons. In addition, you must also avoid the water at the bottom of the level; flap too close to it and a giant fish appears to eat you, instantly causing you to lose a life. When you stomp on an enemies’ balloons, he will begin to parachute down to the ground, where he comes up with a faster balloon unless you kick him one more time.
It is possible to kick some enemies right off the bat before they launch in their first balloon, quickly dispatching them and leaving you with fewer obstacles to the end of the level. The game’s difficulty scales well; enemies start with slow pink balloons in the beginning levels, but soon can blow fast green and yellow balloons at the very beginning of the round.
These two modes are rounded out by a third mode called Balloon Trip, which changes the gameplay. This mode plays more like an obstacle course rather than a level system. Instead of having enemies you must defeat to advance, you must flap your arms to avoid all the obstacles in the path as the screen scrolls left to right. There are no enemies in this mode, only deadly obstacles such as floating lightning and the ever-present fish. Unlike in the single player mode, where each hit pops only one balloon, you can only get hit once in Balloon Trip before the game is over.
In the upper right corner of Balloon Trip is a rank counter, which starts at 50 and ends at 1, which is the end of Balloon Trip. Balloon Trip is extremely difficult due to the constantly scrolling screen so it will take most gamers a few trips before they can master it.
The controls can take some getting used to, especially because your character slides left and right a little too liberally. This is especially frustrating if you are too close to the edge of the screen because you will float to the opposite side of the stage, which can mean accidentally sliding under an enemy’s boot or become an appetizer for the fish. However, with a bit of practice the controls become second nature.
The graphics are colorful and well detailed, and the music is on par with anything else Nintendo has done on the system with tunes you will be humming for weeks. In general, the music is cheery and upbeat and matches the colorful palette nicely.
The game still remains fun to this day whether alone or with friends. However, its arcade style makes it best played in short intervals. One thing is for certain: Balloon Fight is definitely a title you will return to again and again.