noname studio and UNTIES have teamed up to create the PVP balloon brawler BATTLLOON. With a healthy dose of polish and a unique premise, does it do enough to earn a spot in your multiplayer rotation?
BATTLLOON is one of those games that almost anybody can figure out right away. Players take control of a round, balloon-like object. Only one button is available, which makes the player inflate to a massive size. Once you release that button, the air all comes out, propelling the player around every which way.
Sounds simple, right? While this premise is easy enough to understand, the game gets tricky when anywhere from one to three other players are thrown into the mix. Each stage the game provides throws players into an arena, and balloon aficionados must use this mechanic to bump into their friends and enemies so they hit the spikes surrounding the screen. The last person left alive wins the round, and the person who wins the most coins from these rounds emerges victorious.
It’s a straightforward premise, and it is something that would be right at home in the Mario Party series. There are some wrinkles in play to keep players on their toes – walls break down to reveal spikes, fans blow players every which way, and hazards make their appearance every now and again. It’s hard enough to contend with an enemy player hell-bent on your destruction, but when a giant meteor takes up a good chunk of the screen, things get a lot more hairy.
Unfortunately, the game does not offer much variety. Players will be able to choose between one of six different balloon-like creatures (that vary in stats and stature), but those looking for a suite of options a la Super Smash Bros. will be sorely disappointed in its spartan “what you see is what you get” approach. All stages are random, and there is no online play to speak of – only couch co-op can be chosen. Each stage certainly brings some variety to the table – starry skies, abandoned labs, undersea paradises, and other locales round out the stage list. However, there just isn’t a lot of stages to experience – many players will end up seeing all the game has to offer within an hour. It certainly has legs with its party-like nature, but more variety would have helped it stand out a bit more and would keep people coming back.
There aren’t a lot of options to choose from either. Players will be able to jump into a brief tutorial from the get-go, but other than the Battle and Training modes, there’s not much else here.
BATTLLOON has got a great premise and even greater aesthetics, but its paltry list of options prevent it from really standing out.