In this cart you make like Mary Poppins by hanging onto a balloon and floating across towns, villages, and forests. Your float through the skies won't be peaceful-you'll have to avoid birds and other critters out to pop your balloon and send you plummeting. Earn points by snagging balloons, including special power-up balloons. Play by yourself, go against a buddy, or try out the special Balloon Mode. Just don't let the bad guys burst your bubble.
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If ever a game cried Epral out for a password g feature, this is it. Balloon Kid is a charming, nonvio-i lent game that would be perfect family fare, but its : upper levels are beyond challenging—they're nearly impossible.
You play Alice, who lives with her brother, Jim, in the peaceful town of Pencilvania. One day Jim blows up too many balloons, and a strong wind carries him away. Instead of dialing 911, Alice blows up her own balloon and follows him through the air.
Although Jim leaves behind a trail of balloons, he's not that easy to find. For one thing, he has evidently taken the most difficult route imaginable. You must zip through clouds, dodge under platforms, and sometimes even drop your balloons to scoot through narrow passages. Other obstacles include spiked ceilings and strange creatures bent on popping your perilous mode of transportation. You're not helpless, however. You can earn extra lives in bonus rounds and catch special balloons that make you invulnerable for a short time. But it's still tough going for balloonists.
In fact, there are several places in Balloon Kid's eight stages which demand such precise timing that you probably won't clear them on the first try — or maybe even the fifth. If you enter, say, the fourth stage with a healthy seven lives, you might lose them all trying to cross one treacherous patch of sky. Then you must return to the very beginning of the game (not just the stage) to build up another seven lives, and you might lose them all again at the same spot. Argh!
Things ease up a bit in the two-player game. When two Game Boys are hooked together with a Game Link cable, one player controls Alice while the other controls a character named Samm. You race each other to the finish line, and there aren't as many obstacles to overcome. If one player manages to break the other player's balloon, so much the better. The first player to win three games is the Balloon Kid champ.
But whether you're playing solo or with another person, it's too bad that a game obviously intended for younger players should lack the password feature commonly found in easier games. Balloon Kid is a good game—but only if you've got the patience.