Overview

Everyone likes balloons! As a kid, we all wanted these colorful playthings to bat around or just watch as they jingled and floated. Of course, the baloons would invariably pop and then we’d be mad. Float, from Crawlspace Games, has you trying to save your colorful balloons from a spiky fate.

Features

Float features 6 game modes, bright and colorful graphics, easy controls, and simply addictive gameplay. It is a universal app, and it even allows you to post your high scores to Facebook. It lacks Game Center support, but includes Openfeint.

The Good

Float is a simple game of reflexes. Balloons float down from the top of the screen, and at the bottom are the spikes that will pop them. You touch below the balloons to bump them up away from the spikes, or touch above them if you want to push them down. Waiting until they are close to the spikes before bumping them will earn you more points.

This is harder than it sounds, as there are many balloons on the screen and they run into each other. So you have to keep tapping balloons to keep them all away from the spikes. You must also quickly pick which ones to tap so you can push away others. You start off with normal, round-shaped balloons, but soon you’ll have long, thin balloons to deal with that can block your other balloons when you bump them up. Once you let three balloons hit the spikes, the game is over. Scoring increases with every stage, and later on you’ll be racking up tens of thousands of points with one bop.

Besides the main mode, Float features a number of other modes. Limbo features a moving line…as you let balloons float below this line and bop them back up, the line gets lower and lower, which results in a larger score.

One and Done mode starts you off with one balloon, but when more and more are added you have to survive as long as possible. As soon as you pop one balloon, the game is over.

Zen mode lets you hit balloons as much as you wish.The bottom of the screen is open and balloons reappear at the top. There are no objectives, as this mode is just for bumping balloons around however you like.

Hot Potato mode has a star shaped balloon which you can’t directly interact with. Instead, use your other balloons to bump the potato away from the spikes and keep it up until time runs out.All these modes give the game a nice amount of variety,

From a graphical standpoint, Float looks quite nice. There are plenty of bright colors, and the simple backgrounds and cartoony balloons give the game a warm look that will appeal to kids and adults alike.

The Bad

Unfortunately, the sound effects are poor. There are only sounds for tapping balloons, scoring, and balloons popping. The music is very poor and consists of a repetitive 10 second loop that gets irritating fast.

Float also restarts every time you close it via the home button, which is extremely irritating if you just want to stop for a second to do something else, such as checking a new email. So if you break away from the game, you’ll lose any game you were playing and will have to start all over again. Very few games totally restart if you switch away from them, so this just shouldn’t happen.

Float is also just not very fun. The game is way too simple, and the lack of challenge and general sameness of the game makes it pale considerably to other games on the platform. After a few minutes, you’ve pretty much seen the majority of the gameplay in Float. Its mindless tapping is unlikely to interest anyone for long. The iOS game market is extremely competitive, and gamers expect more gameplay for their $1.

The Verdict

Float is a below average game. It’s unlikely to addict you like other games, such as Fruit Ninja, Doodle Jump or even Minotaur Rescue. It is just not as intense or as active as those games, and the lack of Game Center achievements will hurt its longevity in many players’ eyes. Openfeint support is unlikely to change that, either because it is not as popular. Still, Float is a competent, enjoyable game with a  good selection of game types. If you want a simple game for kids, you could do worse than Float.