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Balloon Kid is the fourth game of the Balloon Fight series, developed by a team of Pax Softnica employees known as Team Shikamaru and published by Nintendo. It was released for the Game Boy. Balloon Kid was an exclusive title North America, Australia and Europe and was in fact never released in Japan, however the Japan-only exclusive Hello Kitty World was released for the Famicom in March 27, 1992 as a port and remake of the game. Hello Kitty World replaced the main protagonist Alice with Kitty White and her younger brother Jim with Tippy Bear, amongst other more minor changes. A remake of the game was released in 2000 exclusively for Japan titled Balloon Fight GB for the Game Boy Color and distributed via the Nintendo Power download service. Balloon Fight GB added no actual new content to the game, with the exception of a save feature, world map, improved graphics, a reworked title screen and two Super Game Boy borders, one of these borders is unused and can only be seen via hacking.

GameplayEdit

Balloon Kid is a flying platform game, with its own adventure mode, called Single Play mode. In Single Play mode, the protagonist Alice adventures past her hometown Pencilvania; a location with pencil shaped skyscrapers in search of Jim. Alice has to use balloons to travel through a total of eight side-scrolling stages, whilst avoiding enemies in her way and Floppy Fish. In Stage 7, Flicky Frog replaces Floppy Fish. To progress throughout each Stage the player is expected to use balloons to float throughout the Stage, though sometimes it is not essential to do this. Unlike Balloon Fight, Alice can run and jump without any balloons and occasionally Alice will have to remove all of her balloons to access a bonus room. In Stage 6 and Stage 8, it is even essential to release every balloon to progress through narrow gaps throughout the stages. The end of every stage is marked by a signpost. For every two stages, there is a boss battle where Jim is swept away and Alice has to release her balloons to jump on to it a certain number of times and defeat the boss.

VS PlayEdit

Another gameplay mode is VS Play, which can only be played by using a link cable to connect with another player with a Game Boy and a copy of Balloon Kid. In VS Play mode, Alice competes against her rival Samm to obtain the most balloons.

Balloon TripEdit

The last gameplay mode Balloon Trip is a reworked version of Balloon Fight's Balloon Trip mode. It involves Alice traveling through an endless ocean, whilst avoiding sparks. The goal of the mode this mode is for Alice to avoid the sparks, and to avoid getting eaten by Floppy Fish for the longest amount of time possible. Points are accumulated by traveling farther, grabbing stray balloons and bubbles throughout the stage. Like Balloon Fight there is a ranking which initially starts at Rank 50, which will decrease when the score increases, depending on the current top score. Rank 1 is achieved at a certain amount of points off the top score.

By default, the top score is 25,000 though new top scores will not save after the game is powered off in Balloon Kid, because it does not feature a save feature, unlike Balloon Fight GB which will save new top scores.

PlotEdit

Alice and her younger brother Jim loved to play with balloons and they would both spend endless days filling the skies with their balloons in Pencilvania, until Jim suddenly got swept up by a gust of wind, so Jim released many balloons one at a time for Alice to follow. Prior to this incident, she liked Jim's idea of tying balloons together to make the rainbow but advised him to be careful. After Jim was swept away from home she was determined to save Jim as soon as possible.


CharactersEdit

AliceEdit

Main article: Alice

Alice is Jim's older sister and a rival of Samm. She is the main protagonist of this game. She lives in a rural area of Pencilvania with Jim. She seems very brave, as she set out on an adventure to rescue Jim, though perhaps quite clumsy as seen in the end credits, where she accidentally drops Jim when carrying him back to Pencilvania.

JimEdit

Main article: Jim

Jim is Alice's younger brother. He is intelligent and released many balloons for Alice to find him and has good trust in his older sister Alice. However, he is mischievous and left Alice behind to defeat the four bosses in the game.

SammEdit

Main article: Samm

Samm is Alice's rival. Alice competes against Samm in VS Play mode.

ReceptionEdit

Balloon Kid received mixed reception. Mean Machines rated the game 51%, describing the game as "full of promise", but added that repetitive gameplay and low difficulty caused the game to become boring. They added that while the premise was interesting, they couldn't "help thinking that this is a mediocre game". [1]

Jeff Rovin, authour of the book "How to Win at Game Boy Games" noted the gameplay as "novel" if repetitive after the second stage of the game, adding that regardless the game was entertaining for all ages, and "a worthy addition to the Game Boy library", grading the game B.

Nintendojo gave a more positive response, rating the game 8.0/10 [2]. They praised the game for its platforming mechanics and the Balloon Trip mode for its classic arcade style gameplay. They argued that the main adventure mode, although short is 'worth coming back for'.

See alsoEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Contrary to popular belief, the Balloon Trip stage in Balloon Kid is not of unlimited width. Eventually Alice would float to a point where the stage loops and there is a whole row of undefined white space, where not even water exists.
    • However, the stage loops as expected after the player passes this point.
  • This is the first game which actually names the Fish. It is called "Floppy Fish" in this game, at least according to the game manual.
  • Unlike 'typical' side-scrolling platformers, Balloon Kid and Balloon Fight GB along with the Game & Watch version of Balloon Fight have stages scrolling to the left side of the screen, instead of to the right.