Ever played Joust? Well Nintendo made their simplistic version, Balloon Fight, developed and published by Nintendo and released in 1984 for the Nintendo Vs. System but was released in 1986 for the NES.
You play as a balloon fighter with two balloons attached to him, press and tap A to flap and hold B to automatically do it, it’s faster to do B, the objective is to pop the opponents balloons then pop their parachutes afterwards, and that’s all you need to do, if you get yours popped, one will cause the flotation to decrease, if both balloons pop then you fall to your doom, you can also die if you get eaten by orange Jaws and get electrocuted by floating sparks. You mostly just defeat other fighters to get to the next stage and AGAIN that’s all you do!
There’s also a two-player mode in which a friend can join the balloon popping. Every 3 stages there is a bonus stage in which you can pop some balloons from a chimney and each time it gets harder. There’s actually another game within the game itself called Balloon Trip, a one-player game in which you collect balloons and avoid lightning sparks, and all to get a high score and you only get one life. This is actually a fun part of the game and very hard, in fact harder than the main game.
The main game is so much fun, I know it’s like Joust, but it’s simple and slow-paced which actually works to the game’s advantage, as simplicity is Nintendo’s bread and butter, you can just relax and enjoy the fun game play.
Did you know? At the 30th anniversary of the Famicom, this game was sold for 30p at the e-shop virtual console.
Overall, it’s fun, simple and flowingly satisfying, the graphics have aged well, the jingles are memorable and it’s something you can play continuously. POP…round to a retro game shop or the internet and collect Balloon Fight.
You can get it for the Nintendo Entertainment System, NEC PC-8801, Sharp X1, Game Boy Advance (as e-reader and part of the Famicom Mini Series in Japan), Nintendo GameCube (in Animal Crossing), Game & Watch and Virtual Console.