Hot Air Bloon Review

hot air bloon game

Hot Air Bloon is yet another game which while bearing the now legendary "Bloons game" tag has a completely different format from the original dart-based Bloons games. The developers NinjaKiwi released this game in November 2008 and promised a whole new variety of fun and enjoyment with this new addition to the Bloons universe. Here are some of the key features of this new game:

Playability

Like it or hate it, but NinjaKiwi are certainly diversifying with their Bloons brand, trying to incorporate its key features into more and more different styles of games to produce a winner akin to the original Bloons. The latest type to undergo the Bloons treatment is the copter style game, wherein you float along trying to avoid obstacles while collecting as many point-bearing objects as possible.

For this game, the trees below and the clouds above are the obstacles, while the Bloons (well, they had to make an entrance, didn't they?) play the role of the point-bearing objects that you have to collect, or in this particular case, pop. The monkey is flying on a hot air balloon not unlike the MOAB from the Bloons Tower Defense series with a ticker on it that tells you how many balloons you have popped. You can navigate the monkey's height by clicking and leaving the mouse button. As long as you're holding on to the mouse button, the monkey will rise and as soon as you leave it the monkey will fall. If you go too close to either the clouds above or the trees below, the hot air balloon bursts into flames and the monkey falls down into the trees below. The "Game Over" screen then tries to placate your horror by telling you that the monkey is safe. This also presumably ensures that the developers don't have to face any lawsuits from organizations like PETA.

Navigating the monkey gets progressively harder, especially once the ticker starts to go above 250. After this, a bird flies through the screen as a portent of things to come and then the hot air balloon that your monkey had hitched a ride on starts to go faster and faster. As if to compound the challenge posed by this, the grooves start to deepen and the changes in height required for navigating between the zigs and zags made by the clouds and the trees start to rise. The game eventually gets frustratingly hard towards the end, but it is a nice experience up to that point. Of course, knowing that this is what will happen once the bird flies through makes you want to shoot the bird down too, but since PETA lawsuits would be much harder to defend if you shoot a live bird, you are not allowed to shoot it.

This super monkey game does make for a nice change of pace compared to the regular Bloons games. You do wish you could see some more of the trademark Bloons items like lightsabers (how cool would a monkey swinging a lightsaber while swinging from a hot air balloon look?), pins, spiky balls etc. but as a starting point this game does a decent job of entertaining the player.Visuals

Graphics mostly consist of jagged green trees, the typical blue Bloons sky and dark grey clouds above, which suit the game right down to the T and are therefore pretty good. They could do with slightly more streamlining, but that's definitely not a deal-breaker.

The audio consists of the "whirring machinery" sound that is supposed to be indicative of the hot air balloon and the now traditional popping sound of balloons. The whirring sound might eventually get annoying, but it still works for the game and isn't even close to being an issue.

Conclusion

NinjaKiwi might have unearthed yet another potential gem with this game. While it doesn't have the playability of the dart-based or play tower defense games, it can be fun, although it will need a lot more improvement to be able to be as successful as those games. All in all, in its current avatar the game is good for only about a couple of hours of gameplay, but they will be two enjoyable hours.