|Mode(s)||Single-player, 2-player alternating turns|
Crazy Balloon is an arcade game released by Taito in 1980. Crazy Balloon requires the player to maneuver a balloon through a maze full of thorns in order to reach the goal. The game has appeared on various platforms including an updated remake for the PlayStation Portable as part of the Taito Legends Power-Up collection.
The player controls a box tied to a floating balloon, which swings left and right continually, within a maze filled with spikes. Any contact with the spikes, either with the balloon or the box, destroys the balloon. Using a four-way joystick, the player moves the box through the maze and toward the goal, ensuring that the swinging balloon avoids the spikes.
The player collects points as the box moves closer to the goal (backtracking earns no points). Certain areas of the maze are colored green and purple, and the player will earn more points if the balloon and box pass through the area safely. While there is no time limit, the player cannot wait for a long time; otherwise, a face will appear and blow the balloon into the spikes.
As the player completes mazes, individual spikes, or even the entire maze, may begin moving or scrolling.
Crazy Balloon sports relatively basic sound effects. The speaker beeps whenever the balloon gets closer to the goal. When the player starts a new maze, a portion of the melody from "Oh! Susanna" is played. Similarly, when the player loses a balloon, a portion of the chorus from the "Toreador Song" from the opera Carmen is played.
Crazy Balloon on other platforms
There were no official home ports of the game at the time of release but there were clones including Crazy Balloon for the Commodore 64 (Software Projects, 1983) and Crazy Balloons for the ZX Spectrum (A&F Software, 1983). A version for the BBC Micro was also developed by Acornsoft but was never released. A homebrew clone for the Atari 2600 was released in 2004. A version titled Crazy Balloon Lite that has roughly the same overall level layout as the original was released by Backroom Software in 2011 for Windows Phone 7 and Xbox Live Indie Games.
The original arcade version has been included in emulated compilations such as Taito Legends 2 (PlayStation 2, Xbox and Microsoft Windows) and Taito Legends Power-Up (PlayStation Portable) in 2006. An updated version of the game, named Crazy Balloon 2005, was included alongside the original arcade release on Taito Legends Power-Up.