Battlloon – Simple in design simple in execution?
The best ideas are usually the simplest, a design principle that led to so many of the greatest games of the retro era as seen Pong‘s high-speed adaptation of table tennis, the cat and mouse hunt of Pac-Man to the risk-reward of the cover based strategy in Space Invaders. Even modern examples such as the ingenious ink-based transport and attack in Splatoon or Dropkick’s interpretation of a fighting game with only one attack show the power of easy to understand concepts.
Battlloon takes the kind of the ring rules of sumo wrestling and applies the physics of inflating and letting go of a party balloon in order to knock your rival balloon into perilous spikes. (Plus both Battlloon and Splatoon prove the power of punnery in their respective titles!) Battlloon’s central premise provides a truly unique multiplayer game. A collection of different inflatable fighters gives an extra edge of strategy with their respective tactical advantages and disadvantages, including everything from a heavyweight (paradoxical?) balloon to a nimble Nyan-Cat styled feline fighter (does anyone remember Nyan Cat?).
Despite Battlloon’s terrific central premise the barebones modes offered prove disappointing. Aside from the main multiplayer battles, there is only a sparse training mode to experiment in. A clever single player campaign would have been welcome but as a multiplayer package to play in short bursts with friends Battlloon succeeds.
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