Game Review: Balloon In A Box
Release: October 22, 2009
Developer: Mongoose DevWorks
Available Platforms: iPhone and iPod Touch
ESRB Rating: N/A
Balloon in a Box is a simple yet addicting puzzle game that tasks you with guiding a helium balloon through a maze. While this may sound simple, Mongoose DevWorks has crafted an app that will have you flipping and turning your iPhone or iPod Touch like crazy trying to get your balloon to the checkered finish. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this game like I did, which is a pleasant surprise. The app store is filled with games that are long on presentation and short on fun. Balloon in a Box is the opposite of that.
This game is all about the balloon. Depending on how you are holding your device, the balloon will float up, just like a real balloon. The object is to turn your device, which turns the maze, thus letting the balloon move through the labyrinth. This is simple at first, until they throw obstacles like fans and nails at you. Fans will blow the balloon in a certain direction and pop the balloon if you get too close. The nails will pop the balloon of course. This makes precision much more important and adds some depth to the mazes, not to mention an element of danger as you don’t want your balloon to pop and to be sent back to the start.
The balloon physics feel very authentic in this app. I never experienced an occasion where the balloon did something that was unpredictable. Any balloon bursting was completely due to my skill (or lack thereof). The mazes are also a good size and offer up a good challenge. There are dead ends and even buttons to hit that will move walls to give you different pathways. In Maze mode you can simply guide your balloon through a randomly created maze without obstacles if you don’t want to deal with the danger in Box mode. I mostly played Box mode because I like a little danger. I also loved that the game didn’t stop my music when I launched it. I really hate apps that do that.
The main area I can see that could be improved is the graphics. The wood grain look of the mazes is nice, but it makes the game look a bit dated. I would think a brighter, solid color would work better. I understand it’s Balloon in a Box and not Balloon In A Plastic Container, but it would make some of the obstacles stand out more I think. Also, the game is a little dark and could use a little more lighting. Also, allowing me to pinch the screen to zoom in and out on the maze would be an excellent addition.
I don’t have any problem recommending this game now that the price has dropped to $0.99. It can be a nice little time waster, which is exactly what you want in an iPhone/iPod Touch game. It does have a few areas where it could be improved, and these are things that could be fixed with an update.