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Rise of Balloons is a puzzle game with a unique back story set in a dystopian Industrial Revolution/Depression setting. We play in third person as a little girl carrying a red balloon. Each level is filled with three sad children that you need to maneuver around with your various balloons to help reach them in order to brighten their day. There are three different balloons that have different purposes to aid your endeavor. Currently, the game has sixteen levels that mold a complete story.
Puzzle games are packed aplenty in the mobile market but each developer has their own ideas behind it. Mirum Studio’s Rise of Balloons is no different. At first glance, it is an innocent game and one with an encouraging message and story. Happiness is something we are all seeking and this game deducts it to something as simple as passing it on with a small action like giving a beautiful balloon to help them out. With that said, our main character is also moved around with a red balloon. The balloons that these gas pipes hiss out to fill up the other balloon varieties: yellow, blue and pink each have their own unique abilities to help us on our journey to rescue these children from their sadness. You can also stand in a spot and navigate the balloons to the children in whichever corner they are stuck in. All these features add a fluidity and flexibility to the gameplay.
Rise of Balloons also makes sure that the levels never become too repetitive. There are only sixteen levels but we never feel like it is the same. There are either different level design or the addition of the different balloons to solve the puzzle. All in all, there is a good progression in difficulty. As Mirum Studio co-founder Pierre-Olivier Corbin told us in our interview, the last level is a unique treat. We agree. It gives a good ending to a game that has put players through a number of demanding levels.
At times, Rise of Balloons suffers from little bugs, whether it is the balloons having weird reactions or the floating boxes or other instances causing the game to jam. Sometimes, these little bugs will force a restart of a level but it never is frequent enough to make it a hindrance. Most times, we can maneuver through it. In fact, as the game is only a few months old, these will probably be addressed and give the game an even better polish.
Overall, Rise of Balloons is a good debut for Mirum Studio. It has a charming art style and a positive storyline with fluid game mechanics. Despite some extremely minor bug issues, it is the rare puzzle game that has a unique ending. However, you do need to remember that this may be a more challenging gaming experience that typical, but definitely not a frustrating one.
Rise of Balloons is currently available on iOS and Android.
Developer: Mirum Studio
Genre: Mobile Puzzle
Platforms: iOS, Android