Harry's Balloons logo

Reviewed by Andy Maddock

I haven't played a decent arcade/puzzle game for as long as I can remember, and for one to come along now when the games market isn't quite at a height of activity seems ironic because I believe Amiga owners always seemed quite partial to a bit of problem solving.

Harry is a hedgehog and his job is to literally mess about with his balloons. Okay, so hedgehogs and balloons may not live next to each other in perfect harmony but, so what - it's only a computer game.

I'm supposed to point out that Harry's Balloons is a sporting challenge where the idea is to continually make decisions which have to be backed up by the skill of the joystick. Hmm, sounds like every other game in the entire world.

Firstly, you are faced with a screen that doesn't look too dissimilar of the old classic Pang, where the idea was to pop as many balloons in the shortest time. Harry's Balloons is very similar, only you have to stop the balloons popping, then collect them and then pop them. See - easy isn't it? All the balloons are colour co-ordinated so you'll know which particular balloon you need to collect, making it all fairly straightforward.

Throughout the game you will also be awarded bonuses which range from magic disks and colour worms to various other things which I haven't actually seen yet.

There are three modes of play, each one completely different to the next. You can have six players in the competition tournament which I suppose is a bit like a league. There's also the knockout tournament whereby every losing player is obviously eliminated, and finally there's the pick-a-round stage where you can choose your favourite stage.

Overall, the game is nothing special, especially graphically, but the whole idea of its existence is to provide gamers with some good old harmless fun like the old days, which it just about manages to do. There is a lot of competition around, especially from old classics, which is a bit of a shame, but as it stands, Harry's Balloons is just about as good as it sounds - fairly average.

Final word

Even though we've recently lacked quality games over the last few months, it's still nice to see the odd attempt by people who have a genuine love for the Amiga. The only way to keep supporting the Amiga games market is to pump money into small companies, giving them funds to make bigger and better games (or move over to the PC), so go on, do yourself a favour - you could do a lot worse.

Harry's Balloons logo

Designed as a sporting challenge, Hary's Balloons is certainly very different.

The player is put in charge of a manky brown hedgehog character called Hary, whose principal purpose in life lies in helping balloons defy gravity and change colour.

The action takes place on one static screen and extracts much tactile jiggery pokery from the player as well as demanding a modicum of brainpower at the same time.

Hinging on the ability to keep balloons in the air while changing their colour is the essence of the game. To be expected the game becomes increasingly difficult and demands ever more juggling to progress.

To help, the occasional power up falls from the heavens and makes the job easier for Harry to execute.

As with most games, it is much more fun when playing with or against someone else. It also distracts the players away from the impression that Harry's Balloons does not really belong on the Amiga platform. This is more suitable for the likes of the C64 or the Amstrad CPC. Some people will love it, but then there are still plenty of people buying Rise of the Robots.

Grab a hold of the demo. Who knows, you might think it warrants a quid less than a tenner.