Balloon Fight Review – The Original Endless Runner (TBT)

Balloon Fight originally released in June 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Satoru Iwata, former president of Nintendo, programmed the game himself and made it a big part of my childhood.

Balloon Fight isn’t known to be a beefy game, but what it lacks in content it delivers with hours of fun. The game consists of three modes. Game A is the single-player portion of the game that consists of  battling it out against birds in the skies. The objective is to fly over said birds and pop their balloons while tapping a single button and the use of the directional pad. The simplicity of the game makes this an easy game for anyone to play. By bringing down these birds you will progress to the next stage. The game just keeps going and going with a bonus round separating every few stages. Like most arcade games, you play for high scores and it’s funner if you compete against someone else. Many hours have been spent passing the controller every time we “game over” to see who has the highest score. If this isn’t your type of competitive game, then you might as well try out Game B as it’s the same as Game A, but with a second player. 

The catch of Game B is that each player can pop each others balloons in addition to the enemy birds. This really heats up the competitive factor between two players. 

If neither of these modes tickle your fancy, you should try out Balloon Trip, one of the best modes in any NES game. Balloon Trip is your run-of-the-mill endless runner where you must dodge incoming stars(?), birds, lighting storms, and even a man-eating fish. You get one life and you must traverse this endless maze as far as you can without ever getting hit. Despite it being single-player focused, it’s also a good mode to compete against a friend for high-scores. Balloon Trip alone has given me a plethora of hours for about three decades and I still play it to this day. 

The game’s looks and sounds make it as memorable as it was back in my early years. The song that plays within Balloon Trip is easily one of the best tunes in video game history. Don’t believe me? Listen to the song in the video within this review, you wont be disappointed (4:16).

Balloon Fight is one of my earliest memories playing a video game,but I can’t give it a review score higher than a 3 due to lack of content. However, this game is the highest 3 I can ever give out because of how fun it is. This is especially true if you add in the competitive nature against a buddy. If you have never played Balloon Fight in the past, you’re missing out. You can find it in Nintendo’s eShop for a measly $4.99, so make sure to pick it up. 


P.S. this game would be such a good idea for a mobile game. Imagine Flappy Bird (2013), but with a good endless mode.

Braulio Ortiz

Founder and creator of Cynosure Gaming. Has roughly 24 years of gaming experience and began gaming on the NES. After playing countless hours of Ninja Gaiden and The Legend of Zelda a new hobby was born. Since then I've owned every major console and handheld and have beaten nearly every game that is relevant to the industry. Now I continue my passion through this website and see no end to this awesome world of entertainment. PSN & NID: happydude633

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