OWTK Gaming

Balloon Pop Remix 3DS eShop Review

Balloon Pop Remix 3DS eShop Game from UFO Interactive
by Cooper McHatton

Full disclosure: With an uber-generic name like “Balloon Pop Remix” and a color matching premiss, my expectations were not very high. I half expected a walk through a park straight into a rave.

Little did I know what a fun, interesting, and unique game this was going to be. And not a raver in sight!

The Balloon Pop Remix story follows a cute alien, a rather rotund little fella, on his journey to find missing pieces of his spaceship. Players help move him forward through a variety of levels by popping balloons with the stylus, allowing other balloons to float from below the bottom of the screen, upward. Interestingly, points are not earned from the balloons popped by the stylus, but by those that float up and are matched with balloons of the same color. Players try to match three or more of a touching color to earn points which frequently causes spectacular chain reactions. The more balloons popped, the faster the alien moves forward. However, this isn’t the only element of gameplay. Your alien moves forward only when players have “mana” in the mana meter on the side of the screen. Popping balloons depletes mana while matching colors and creating chain reactions gains mana. Running out of mana will mean a game over and a replay of that level. This formula proves to be incredibly addicting, and is kept fresh by the consistent addition of new play elements.

And, while this game takes place mainly on the bottom screen, WOW does it have awesome 3D graphics! All the visuals are very sweet and nice, but the 3D effect on the top screen is something special. From the opening story sequence to the confetti when you get chain reactions and combos, it is some crazy stuff.

There are a number of game modes, all of which are equally fun. However, while Balloon Pop Remix has the makings of a great game for all ages, it’s catered for puzzle game masters. An easy mode would have been great to stretch the potential audience to include novice puzzle players. As it is, younger gamers who don’t have experience with color matching puzzle games will likely require assistance to complete the one.

For me, personally, I have one MAJOR complaint that won’t effect the majority of players. I can’t get very far of the game because I am colorblind. Not to an extreme extent, but just enough where this game is unplayable for me after the fifth level or so (more colors are added as the game progresses.) I wanted to keep playing because I was having a lot of fun, but my vision prevented me from doing so. There are plenty of work arounds other games use, like having the objects that you match be different shapes. Other games, like Peggle for example,  have a colorblind mode available which tweaks the look of the game to allow for those who are colorblind. (Editor’s note: that is some brilliant forethought there!)

Balloon Pop Remix is a fantastic puzzle game that throws a unique spin on the color matching formula and is generally a great 3DS eShop title. Sure the $7.99 price tag is a bit steep, but those looking for a high-quality puzzle game (and who are not even the slightest bit colorblind) should think nothing of it.

Download Balloon Pop Remix 3DS from the Nintendo eShop.

*OWTK received a promo code to facilitate a review of Balloon Pop Remix.  The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always.

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