|Release date(s)||JPJanuary 22, 1985|
NAJune 3, 1986
EUMarch 12, 1987
Balloon Fight (バルーンファイト, Barūn Faito) is a Nintendo Entertainment System game ported from an arcade system. Originally released in 1984, the game was released for the Nintendo Entertainment system in Japan, North America, and Europe in 1985, 1986, and 1987, respectively.
When playing Balloon Fight, the player controls a small Balloon Fighter that has two balloons attached to his back. To make the Balloon Fighter flap his "wings" and fly, the player can press A or B repeatedly. The objective of the game is to defeat bird-shaped Balloon Fighters. The player advances to the next stage if they manage to defeat all of the Balloon Fighters. If an enemy pops one of the player's balloons, their ability to fly is decreased. The player only has three lives, and they lose one if both of their balloons are popped, if they fall into the water, if they are eaten by the Giant Piranha at the water's surface, or if they are struck by lightning.
Balloon Trip is another gameplay mode that is a side-scroller platformer. The player has to avoid obstacles and get balloons, aiming for the high score. The player starts this mode with only one life.
Reception and Impact on the Animal Crossing series
Balloon Fight, from a fan perspective, is one of the most iconic NES games ever released, and has been referenced numerous times in various Nintendo media. Despite this, the game has received mixed reviews from critcs. For instance, IGN gave the game a 6 out of 10, criticizing its lack of originality and comparable gameplay to Joust, an arcade game with similar gameplay, and its "ear-grating sounds" during stages, but praises it for offering enough fun "as it is" despite lacking in originality. GameSpot gave the game a 6.5 out of 10, praising its fun gameplay and satisfying premise, but criticizing its lack of extensive content.
Due to being featured in Animal Crossing, the Villager in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U uses a similar premise as Balloon Fight for his recovery action, summoning a pair of balloons and wearing a helmet similar to that worn by the protagonist of Balloon Fight. Their falling animation afterward also resembles the animation used when loosing a life in the original game.