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Balloon Kid review

The Kid is better than her NES daddy

Until recently, Balloon Fight shared something in common with Kid Icarus. Both series had only appeared on NES and Game Boy before being referenced more recently in Smash Bros games. You may be familiar with the NES version of Balloon Fight thanks to the 3DS Ambassador Program but the Game Boy sequel - Balloon Kid - is a very different prospect.

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This time you play as Alice who has rescue her little brother after he foolishly floated away while holding onto his balloons. So you have to give chase, collecting the balloons that he drops and avoiding enemies along the way. Yet, if they do pop your balloons it's not game over as you can land on a platform and quickly blow up some more by tapping down on the D-pad.

Occasionally you'll need to pop your balloons to make it through small gaps towards extra lives and bonus levels (delightfully signposted by Game Boys) in which you have to grab all the balloons that float out of Mario-esque pipes.

Balloon Kid far less fiddly than its NES predecessor and it looks charming too. You'll be floating past skyscrapers that look like pencils (It's set in Pencilvania, see), trees with smily faces and into a whale's mouth. It's easy to be critical of old black and white games but Balloon Kid shows what developers could do if they kept it simple and didn't try too hard.

Admittedly there are only eight stages in the Story mode and it only begins to get challenging after five but once you've completed it you can still have fun high score chasing on the Balloon Trip mode.

This is one of the better Game Boy games in the eShop and it's almost enough to make us wish that the Balloon Kid would be revived like Pit in Kid Icarus Uprising.


4 comments so far...
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  1. mr.AR Wednesday 1st Feb 2012 at 17:48

    Yeah, I went onto eShop and saw this, It looked cool! And I had a extra three quid, So I thought I might as well get it!
    But yeah, It's a one if those nice little "cute" games. With a nice Retro feel to it. :D

  2. TaleOfTheToaster Wednesday 1st Feb 2012 at 19:06

    I wanna get this on cartridge, I loved the NES game.

  3. LBDNytetrayn Wednesday 1st Feb 2012 at 23:06

    Balloon Fight is one of my all-time favorites, so I should really get this. I think the only thing that has been holding me back is that they didn't release the Game Boy Color version instead...

    I mean, seriously: how do you release a game about balloons and choose the version with no color?

  4. nintymaniac Friday 3rd Feb 2012 at 13:43

    I will have to get this as the NES game is really good and I think quite underrated. I thought it was more fun than nearly all the other NES Ambassador games.

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