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Balloon Blowout

Score: 70%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Ensenasoft
Developer: Ensenasoft
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

Balloon Blowout puts you in charge of popping balloons. These balloons happen to have little faces on them, which makes you feel a connection just before you blow them away, I suppose. Honestly I donít really dig the faces. They are randomly angry, happy, sad, inquisitive, etc. It doesnít mean much when the emotions donít tie into something meaningful like story or simple character development. I know, theyíre balloons with faces - I might be overthinking this. But honestly I donít see the point in slapping on something like that for no real reason, it just gets under my skin a bit. It might make sense if, say, the angry balloon got angrier when you moved it or the happy balloon was sad after you left it alone. It would add some personality and meaning to it. Instead, the balloons just flash a random face when you touch them.

The background noise consists of little grunting and mumbling noises from the little balloon people. Other than that, thereís the sound of wind at your ears and nothing but sky and clouds all around. Itís meant to be cute, I suppose. Again, my mind runs away with this one, and Iím left feeling a bit unnerved. What are they muttering about? Isnít it strange that Iím alone up here, thousands of feet in the upper atmosphere, with only balloons as my companions? Then Iím meant to pop them into oblivion anyway. What is the meaning of this? Just as an additional note on things that don't make sense, you also get a squealing pig noise when you lose a level. Uh, but yes, I suppose itís cute, in a sense. As for the rest of the gameís sound effects, thereís some pretty standard popping sound effects and some big "Yeah!" or a "Great!" announcement when you score a combo. If someone walks by, they might wonder if youíre just playing a cartoon kidís game.


Gameplay:

The basic concept of Balloon Blowout is popping balloons. You want to gain combo points by clicking and popping lots of balloons of the same color in rapid succession. To help out with this goal, you can pull balloons together (by their strings) in groups of like colors. All the while, the balloons keep rising, so thereís a time pressure on you as well.

Of course if that were all, it would be a pretty simple game, and likely to get boring fast. Thereís a few little extras in Balloon Blowout. There are several special balloons that do different things. Some of them explode, stealing points away that you would have gotten by popping those balloons on your own. There are a few other special actions like time slowing down and a balloon that eats other balloons on its way up that add a bit more excitement and variety to the mix.


Difficulty:

Balloon Blowout starts ramping up the difficulty by throwing more and more stuff at you at a much faster rate. Thatís the summary, but basically youíll get more balloons to manage, and more trap explosion balloons, and even more powerups to manage as the levels progress. Itís entirely up to you on how difficult youíd like to go, but youíll have to beat each level to make it to the harder ones. There are 45 total levels as well as an endless Survivor Mode to keep you busy.

A stylus would likely help out in this game, since most of the difficulty lies in manipulating the tiny balloons and strings.


Game Mechanics:

It can be difficult to grab the tiny strings on the balloons. This may be the point, but when you feel like your fingers are always covering the target and anything adjacent, it can be frustrating. Maybe I have fat fingers, but if thatís the case, Iíd say most people do.

Balloon Blowout does have the basics required to make a mobile game useable such as an easy pause feature and an automatic saving mechanism. You can also mute the audio pretty quickly.

My emotional unease and existential dread aside, Balloon Blowout is a nice little time waster. I just couldnít get into the gameís character and it didnít quite have that addictive hook for me. What you see is pretty much what you get with this game, so if you can take it for a try, that should be enough to tell if you'll like it.


-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

Related Links:



iPad Youda Survivor 2 HD Sony PlayStation 3 Time and Eternity

 
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