Balloon Pop Remix Review

Balloon Pop Remix – use your stylus and pop away!

Balloon Pop Remix is a cute, stylus-based game great for all ages to play.  Released on September 5th by UFO Interactive Games, the Nintendo 3DS games features an adorable story line, over 100 games and puzzles to play, and a twist on the class bubble popper games

Balloon Pop Remix - story screen - all that gaming stuffBalloon Pop Remix has four modes: Story Mode, Puzzle Mode, Endless Play and Mini-Games.  Solving a stage or puzzle in each one will unlock the next.  The learning curve is pretty easy, and you can go back and replay games or levels at any time.  While there’s not difficulty setting, it’s easy enough to keep kids on the lower levels while more advanced puzzlers continue on to the higher ones.  The top five scores are held for story and endless mode.  Up to three people can save their scores and unlocked puzzles in the game, under characters “A,” “B,” and “C.”

In story mode, you follow a red tele-tubby like jelly bean alien as he finds pieces of his crashed spaceship.  The hand drawn 3D animation along the top screen is adorable.  The sixteen levels of Balloon Pop Remix seem to follow chronological holiday theme early in the story mode – Valentines, Easter Eggs, the Easter Bunny, etc.  In order to get the character to move, you use your stylus to make combos of three or more like-colored balloons.  Larger combos cause the character to walk faster.  Great combos will add happy sound effects and visual additions like fireworks to the 3D screen.  Unlike other “traditional” bubble popper games, you can pop mismatched balloons.  It’s all about the combos that come afterwards.  While strategists will find sets of balloons to pop for the best combo chains, more casual players can quickly pick it up, pop a few balloons, and go.  Each level includes a “mission” mode, wherein you have to pop a certain number of balloons of a given color.  Later levels add more colors of balloons, special balloons, and additional items to help you pop away.  Endless mode has the same balloon popping methods as story mode but is, as you guessed it, one endless level.

In puzzle mode of Balloon Pop Remix, you have to figure out how to correctly pop the balloons in order to have them all disappear.  There are 100 puzzles available, each unlocking as you solve the previous one.  It’s a bit hard to play puzzle mode until you’ve tried story mode for awhile.  There are no instructions or information on what the “special” balloons and items are that you can use to solve the puzzles.

The Mini-Games section has a handful of cute, shorter, balloon-based games.  Each unlocks after you solve the first, “Balloon Panic.”  This first mini-game features a distraught bunny sorting balloons into three colored bins.  Balloon Panic has easy to understand directions and a simple, grab-and-drop game play.  The game difficulty gradually increases, adding faster balloons, more (useless) colors, and other road blocks.  I’ll admit, after twenty minutes, I still couldn’t get through the first mini-game to unlock the other ones.

Overall, this is an adorably animated game that allows for hours of fun, easy play.  The animated layers are reminiscent of old hand drawn cartoons, but redone for the 3D environment.  The music is bright and cheerful, without being too repetitive.  While Balloon Pop Remix might be hard for beginning gamers beyond the first few levels, most will find this a fun, playful, casual game.

Balloon Pop Remix is currently available at the Nintendo eShop for $7.99.

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