The Balloons - Endless Floater (Free) by Noodlecake Studios Inc is an infinite runner game of the vertical variety. If you love simple pick-up-and-play arcade games to kill a few minutes with throughout the day, then The Balloons is something you will get a kick out of. It’s similar to other games like Flappy Bird and Piloteer.
Whenever I’m having a hard time, I like to plop down on the couch and just whip out my phone and play something to pull my mind away from reality, even if it is just for a little bit. For these moments in my life, sometimes the best type of game for the job is a challenging arcade game to keep my mind busy. I never got on the Flappy Bird hype train, but I have enjoyed some other super twitchy endless games that followed the rise of Flappy Bird, so naturally, I was intrigued by The Balloons, especially when I saw that it was published by Noodlecake Studios.
The Balloons sports an over-the-top retro look that takes you back to the golden days of 16-bit gaming. Despite the super pixelated appearance, the environments and characters are all detailed and textured, so you can easily distinguish everything from each other. The game’s colors are bright and vibrant, giving it a ton of charm and personality. Animations in The Balloons is smooth and fluid, with no lag on my iPhone 6s Plus. The game also has a fantastic chiptune soundtrack that should appeal to any fans of the genre.
In The Balloons, there is only one game mode, and that is to float as high as you can as a balloon while collecting gold coins to gamble with for prizes. The scenery will change after you reach certain heights though, so there is a nice variety in the types of environments you’ll be floating through. While the game starts out easy enough, you’ll start to face dangerous obstacles and enemies that want to make sure you pop and stay popped. There will be spikes that you’ll want to avoid, as well as annoying dart shooters, flying ninja stars, and more. In order to survive as a happy little balloon, you’ll need to be aware of your surroundings as well as have fast reflexes.
The controls in The Balloons are simple, requiring just taps on the screen to propel yourself in either direction horizontally. Since these taps are used for propelling yourself to the left or right sides of the screen as well as keeping you afloat, it is important to make sure that you time your taps correctly. You don’t want to overshoot when you’re trying to grab a coin, and you certainly don’t want to just put yourself in the way of an incoming array of darts either. If you hit an obstacle or even just fall behind too much (the screen scrolls vertically), then the run ends and you have to try again.
Every now and then, you’ll get lucky with the “Gift Time” runs, where you take on the gift box-shaped balloon and go on a bonus round that is filled with gold coins as far as the eye can see. Use these opportunities to rack up as many gold coins as you can, which are spent in the slots mini-game. This can earn you more coins or other balloon characters, which can change the appearance of the game as you play them, similar to how Crossy Road does it.
Like other little arcade games of this fashion, The Balloons has a high amount of replay value, as you’ll want to keep trying to beat your high score. There is also Game Center support, so you can compete with friends and other players from all over the world.
I’ve only started The Balloons last night when it arrived on the App Store, but I’m having a lot of fun with it so far. It is pretty challenging, as you have to be careful with your taps, but the visual and audio design of the game is amazing. It’s also a bit more fun with the slot-style lottery system for prizes, since you’ll never know what you may end up with.
I recommend giving The Balloons a try if you want a fun pick-up-and-play title to get you through a few minutes (or hours) of your day. The Balloons – Endless Floater is on the App Store as a universal download for free with in-app purchases for coins.