Anyone who read or saw It by Stephen King as a kid will have gotten the creeps when they read the title of today's review, so on a lighter note:
"99 Luftballons, auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont..." ... stop me if you’ve heard this one! Anyone who’s ever been to an 80s themed event will have heard this German pop tune by Nena—there’s no escaping it!
When I read the name of today’s app – "Balloon Blaster - Infinite!" – I immediately though of “Bubble Blaster” and assumed that it might also involve colorful balls that have to be stacked together according to color in order to get them to explode… But that’s not how "Balloon Blaster - Infinite!" works. Read on to find out what this game is all about.
Features & Use
Test device: HTC Desire
"Balloon Blaster - Infinite!"‘s gameplay:
It’s pretty simple easy, and you get the hang of it very quickly as you play. There are lots of balloons floating around:
• Balloons: Regular balloons rise a lot faster than hot air balloons; they always float in front hot air balloons (as far as I can tell), and they’re smaller than hot air balloons.
• Hot air balloons: They’re always in the background. There are not as many hot air balloons as regular ones, and you could say that they “designate” a level. With each new “wave” several hot air balloons appear. After the last one has floated out of sight at the top of the screen it will only take a brief moment until new ones appear—and they will move faster than the previous ones.
All balloons explode when you touch them, regardless of what type of balloon they might be.
The goal of the game
All of the hot air balloons have to make it to the sky safely and all normal balloons have to be popped. If you let a normal balloon get away and it makes its way up through the top of the screen you will be deducted a life.
You also lose a life if you accidentally pop a hot air balloon.
At the beginning of the game you have three lives and your objective is to hold out for as long as possible, scoring as many points as you can.
Special items that will help you throughout the game
Every now and then special items will appear; at the moment “Balloon Blaster” has two to its name:
• Yellow star: If you manage to pop this goodie you will be awarded and extra life
• Brown star with yellow dots: This will make all visible (normal) balloons pop
A few details could make this game more enjoyable:
"Balloon Blaster" is a fun game to play for a while, but it gets repetitive after a certain time. I had two main issues with the gameplay: firstly, as the game progresses it becomes increasingly unrealistic to pop every single balloon. Remember that you’re punished just as severally for letting a balloon get away as you are if you accidentally pop a hot air balloon.
Secondly, the game is not very diversified. Aside from an increase in speed and in the amount of balloons your task always remains the same, which makes the whole thing a bit monotonous.
A few suggestions on how to make “Balloon Blaster” more fun (and stay fun for a longer period of time):
• Install real levels: You quickly tire of games that don’t take any time to figure out and that don’t offer any real challenge. When a person plays a game there’s usually always one factor that prevents you from getting ahead, and in order to get ahead the only thing you can do is practice, practice, practice! The thing is that you can’t save which level you’ve managed to reach when playing “Balloon Blaster”, which means you always have to start over from the beginning. This in turn means that you aren’t given a real opportunity to practice and hence lack drive to start playing again.
• More Special Items: You can never go wrong with a few more cool items! For instance, an item that catapults you to the next level, or an item that slows the balloons down for a short period of time, another that speeds them up…
• Online score: Is there anything greater than comparing oneself to others? :-) An online option for posting your score would be great and might motivate players to beat not only their own top scores but everyone else’s, too.
"Balloon Blaster" is a great game when you’re in between two things, but it isn’t a game that’s going to get you hooked—or should I say: it isn’t the type of game I get hooked on. That being said, it’s good fun and can keep you occupied for a while at least. This game has potential and I can imagine it being a lot of fun if a few changes were to be made…
Screen & Controls
"Balloon Blaster - Infinite!"‘s design is really nice and suits the game genre perfectly.
Controls are equally well made. You simply have to touch the balloons in order to pop them. A lot could’ve gone wrong with this type of controls, but luckily there aren’t any occurrences that you accidentally pop a hot air balloon when you were really aiming for a normal balloon. Hats off to the developers.
Aside from switching the music on or off the app doesn’t provide any other settings.
Speed & Stability
"Balloon Blaster - Infinite!"‘s performance in regards to speed and stability was very good throughout the testing phase, BUT the app requires a whopping 15,71 MB! Heavy! And App2SD isn’t possible, either. Oops!
"Balloon Blaster - Infinite!" can be downloaded for free from both the App Center and the Google Market.