Review: 'Balloonia' Puzzle Game for iOS

Here’s a game people don’t talk too much about, yet it’s just as addictive as Rovio’s Angry Birds - Balloonia. Coded by JVL Corporation, Balloonia is a superb blend of Bejeweled and Pipe Mania that will keep you stuck to your iPhone’s screen for hours.

As you launch the game, an Einstein-looking mad scientist welcomes you to the world of Balloonia, where you have three paths to choose from:

Classic mode - get 60,000 points per level before the time runs out

Deluxe - use pipes with multipliers, uni-flow pieces, or un-movable pipes

Survival - race against the clock by connecting as many pipes and releasing as many balloons as possible

What makes Balloonia so addictive is, first of all, the gorgeous graphics. Albeit a 2D game, Balloonia manages to impress with crisp visuals and vivid colors.

A lot of stuff happens on screen all the time, which may affect one’s focus on their pipes. However, two or three getting-used-to sessions is all you need to master Balloonia.

So, how do you play? All you need to do is weld the tubes into long pipes in order to connect the gas source to the balloon outlet.

The longer the pipe, the higher the score.

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In some game modes, the mad scientist throws special (power-up) pipes which, if used, can double or triple your score.

Watch out though, as some tubes cannot be moved, while others only allow the gas to flow in a certain direction.

Like Tetris blocks, tubes can be rotated to connect to the closest neighboring tube, and so on, until the player successfully connects the source to the outlet.

As the clock ticks, players must use their wits to find the best solutions with a given set of tubes.

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Surprisingly, the folks at JVL didn’t add Game Center support. Instead, Balloonia includes JVL's own Global Leader Board, which enables players to see how they measure up against the world's best players.

All in all, Balloonia is quite the addictive puzzle game, and while the huge amount of pop can be tiring for the eyes, I’ve found myself playing for over two hours straight at times.

For a mere 99 cents, Balloonia is not just a great time killer, but a welcomed break from that wretched Angry Birds that had taken over my life.

In short, the game is a buy!

Review Information:

- Application: Balloonia;

- Developer: JVL Corporation;

- Version reviewed: 1.2.3;

- Requirements: iOS 3.0 or later, iPhone / Pod touch / iPad;

- Review device: iPhone 4 (16GB) running iPhone iOS 4.2.1.

Download Balloonia ($0.99)

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