BALLOON FIGHT / Nintendo / NES
When you hear old geezers like me and Bill rambling on about "simple, classic arcade fun from the 80s" this is exactly the kind of game we are talking about.
Balloon Fight basically was Nintendo ripping off the play mechanics of Joust, but they added more to this game and made it much better than Joust could ever hope to be.
You're a guy with two balloons strapped to his back, you fly by tapping A to flap your arms and basically try to stomp on all these other devil guys with balloons on their backs without getting your own balloons popped.
That's pretty much it, you just duel it out with the devil balloonists for the first few levels, but the game gradually adds complexities as you go, like clouds that shoot lightning and bumpers that send you flying in a random direction when you hit them.
When you pop a guy's balloon he slowly parachutes down to earth. If you knock the parachute out before he gets there you get maximum points. Otherwise, when he lands he'll just sit there bummed out for a few seconds then pump a new balloon for himself. If you don't go and kick him before then he gets back into the fight. When he comes back he'll be faster, but that means he's also worth more points.
If you happen to knock them out over water, they fall in and some giant fish gruesomely eats them.
But that can happen to you too, if you fly too low or fall in. The game is also punctuated by a couple of bonus levels, where you pop balloons coming out of pipes and there's a side-scrolling level as well.
It all sounds pretty simple and it is, but it's just so much fun.
Yeah, and there's a two player mode for extra excellence.
It's a simple old game but I'd actually put this one pretty high up on my list of games to get, it really is a lot of fun, especially if you've got someone else around to regularly play with.