How unfortunate it must be to grow up as the Balloon Headed Boy. Egg bald with a head that gets bloated after a little gas? Did we mention that he’s pink? Charlie Brown didn’t have it this rough.
But thanks to his… unique… physiology, the title character of the latest game from Gimme5games has some special powers to apply to this otherwise standard run and jump platformer.
The platform genre has been around since Mario first graced screens back in the early 1980s. It’s a simple formula — run and jump. But in the simplicity of the formula lays its fault. How do you make “run and jump” both fun and innovative?
By utilizing Balloon Headed Boy’s aforementioned physical traits, players can float upwards after collecting “farty flowers” (we’re not going to go into the biology of how this happens, but you get the idea), in addition to the standard run and jump. It’s all part of his quest to save the other balloon people as he tries to get to a birthday party. For some reason, it also rained giant frogs, which act as obstacles.
But the premise of the game doesn’t get much more ambitious than this. It’s simply a matter of running around different boards on the map performing fetch quests — collect all the balloon people, exit, repeat. None of the boards is particularly challenging, though, and it gets repetitive in a hurry, especially with the “after-school special” soundtrack on loop. Thankfully, that can be turned off, but there’s no option for iPod tunes.
Controls are handled through basic touch buttons on the left and right side of the screen. Jump/inflate is above each directional button, which can take some getting used to.
There’s no arguing that the game looks pretty. But even its cute and elegant cartoon-style graphics and bold colors are just window dressing on a plain vanilla game.
The platform genre has been overcrowded for decades, for sure. Unfortunately, Balloon Headed Boy doesn’t offer a whole lot more than what everyone’s seen before in a platform game. We suggest waiting for a sale, because four bucks for BHB is over-inflated.