Blimp-The Flying Adventures…hot air and all blows you away

Posted: June 9, 2009 in Platformer

Growing up I was always in awe when I looked up at the sky to see a blimp, and even more amazed when I first realized it was up there mostly because some heated air. Well, you get your chance to be a blimp pilot in a matter of speaking with Blimp—The Flying Adventures, a slick and beautifully designed game that will amaze you as much as a real blimp.

Beautiful is really the only word that can aptly describe the all-around package from the responsiveness of the controls to the stunning background views that encapsulate this game. The soundtrack is well done and even includes what sounds like radio calls from dispatchers mixed in. Believe me, it will draw your attention.

As Captain Zed Pelin, your mission of which there are 20 in the current release involves a combination of transporting people, locating and delivering packages, and destroying enemies all within a time limit. Depending on how well you score, a rank is given—Admiral (highest), Captain, and Commander—which definitely adds to the replayability. A piece of the storyline is incorporated at the beginning of each mission in the form of cut scenes similar to a comic book followed by objectives. Everything seen in the game is painstakingly hand drawn, and frankly, the details are the cornerstone of this game. I would suggest you drive around initially without regard to the timer just to get a view of everything that is there.

In a game such as Blimp where good controls are essential, the controls are spot on. They are so responsive that you can literally stop and go at a moment’s notice, which you’ll be doing plenty of as you progress through the levels. Accelerometer based, simply tilt in the direction you want to move the blimp. Located in the bottom right corner is the hot air button activated by touch which is used to control the lift and propulsion.

An important part of the game besides the mission objectives is acquiring power ups which will be needed in many cases to succeed. These power ups include time bonuses, health bonuses, diamond point bonuses and bombs. These appear randomly throughout and force you to think about whether you have the skill and time to pick them up. In many cases, picking them all up will be difficult and being strategic will be vital.

One of the neat things is the numbered arrow indicators, and these guide you along the mission. You’ll need to follow these arrows to pick-up points for people as well as drop-off points for packages. The interesting thing is that the arrows will appear when locating people, but they won’t appear when you need to located packages such as uranium or supplies. So, planning to have enough time after transporting workers is an aspect of Blimp. Also keep in mind that landing the blimp needs to be exactly on the right spot before the workers are transported or picked up. If the blimp isn’t within the yellow/black striped area, it won’t count.

Beyond maneuvering obstacles which include fires, fans, explosions and radiation blasts, enemies abound in the form of artillery guns, missile launchers, tanks and bunkers. This is where those missiles come in. Each enemy will have its own health bar, and once missiles are acquired, a missile button appears in the bottom left corner. Obviously, you’ll need to drop enough to wipe out enemies.

Along the top of the game screen, there are counters to keep track of packages, people, weapons time and health and those are pretty intuitive. And upon completing a level, a save option appears which allows the scores to be saved at the point, or if deleted if a retry is in order. Once saved, go to the Score option for statistics breakdown of damage, bonuses, enemies destroyed, and times killed.

Overall, Blimp is a no brainer at its current or even at its post-introductory price once additional levels are added. The game is highly polished and delivers an entertaining and addictive experience that will have you wanting more. It is easily one of the best games that both casual and more serious gamers will enjoy.

Albie Meter: 5 Stars (no brainer that delivers entertaining gameplay in a well-designed presentation)

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