There are a lot of great iPad games, but many have an intricate control setup, or require you to get a lot done. Not "Sir Benfro’s Brilliant Balloon." This adventure game uses only simple one-finger touch controls.
Sir Benfro, gigantic helmet and all, begins his journey outside his bedroom window. And he doesn’t look back as he explores the worlds of Yellow Leaves, Forest, Islands and Underground, discovering unique creatures along the way. His goal is to get to the end of each stage without running out of fireflies, which keep him and his balloon from falling to the ground. Colliding with objects or creatures in each stage will cause you to lose fireflies, so be careful.
You control Sir Benfro by touching the screen to hoist him up, and lifting your finger from the screen to lower him again. You can also tap multiple times to slow him down. Along the way, you’ll need to pick up fireflies — little white glowing dots — to keep your balloon from running out. They’re scattered throughout each stage. So simple, yet engaging enough to keep the journey going.
Some parts of each stage do get tough, but you can control that by choosing from adjustable difficulty settings — from Beginner to Bonkers.
"Brilliant Balloon" has a charming presentation, with hand-drawn levels and creatures that are quite appealing to the eyes. Likewise, the soundtrack is filled with tunes that seem inspired by The Beatles, circa "Yellow Submarine." Each level brings something new to the picture, including provocative creatures, which you can read more about in the included Spotter’s Guide.
Best of all, "Brilliant Balloon" does not carry an inflated price tag. This adventure will set you back only a buck on the iTunes Store — a bargain for the artistic value and entertaining gameplay.
Rating: 4 / 4