Published on June 30th, 2016 | by Patrick Garde0
Rise of Balloons Review
Rise of Balloons from Mirum Studio isn’t a group of guerrilla balloons arising from their oppressors to take down the world’s greatest threat. Basically, it is a puzzle game for iOS and Android that is not the typical title you would find on the App Store and Play Store.
The story starts off with you playing as a red balloon that has been inflated due to one reason or another. It’s your job to find a way to escape the factory you and your friend are trapped in. You see, while you may play as a balloon, you have a young child following you as you fly around the landscape. With the kid’s help, you’re meant to solve puzzles and make the inhabitants of this desolate and steampunk city happy once again.
When it comes to controls, you need nothing more than your mind and a finger in Rise of Balloons. You can play the entire game with just one finger. What you need to do is tap and hold onto the balloon to drag it around the screen, of which your little friend will proceed to follow you around. Along the way, there will be a number of puzzles that might prevent you from progressing – which is where your mind comes in. You need to use your brainpower to figure out what it is you need to do, and at times that is easier said than done, considering that the game isn’t the simplest puzzle game.
After exploring the city and solving puzzles, you’re almost bound to face some dangerous objects or sharp machinery that will pop your balloon. If by any chance that things do not go according to plan, and your balloon does pop, then it’s back to square one for you, where you will need to replay through the whole level again from the beginning.
One feature I quickly noticed was during level restarts where there was a cut-scene, it would proceed to play that cut-scene, regardless of whether you’ve seen it before or not. I would suggest allowing the players to skip the scene especially when they have seen it before.
Also, there is a time when you wish there was sound. For instance, in the first level of the game, there are a number of explosions going off before you start to play and instead of giving these explosions any form of audio; the developer instead opted to make your phone vibrate in semi-quick succession.
During the start of the first level I lifted and moved the balloon through the open air-duct in the ceiling, but proceeded to let go of the balloon, as I didn’t know at that time to hold and drag it around. Unfortunately, the balloon got stuck on the ceiling. I tried to get it but the camera doesn’t pan up. Once the balloon is off-screen you can’t grab it. The only way I could fix the problem was to restart.
Nevertheless, Rise of Balloons does not disappoint when it comes to graphics and presentation. While the outside setting for the game is meant to be a drab and depressing steampunk world, the objects you can interact with, such as the balloon and everything else, convey that even in the darkest of times, there’s always a small glimmer of light and hope to go along with it.
All in all, Rise of Balloons ($1.99) may have a couple of flaws but it doesn’t take away from the overall experience. After all, the setting the game has gone for is a sad, steampunk type of world, but you’re there to fix that problem together with your companion. Personally, as an overall package this game is hard not to recommend.
Summary: Rise of Balloons features good presentation for a mobile game. The visuals you see are great as you start your adventure through a gloomy city. Not to mention, you’re listening to beautifully composed tunes. Although the game may have a couple of issues and it may not have much replay value, if you look at the title as a whole, however, then it’s one game that you should try for yourself.