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Zeppelin Games Ltd
Brian Cross
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Alan Dykes
Chris Bourne

I have it on good authority that Phileas Fogg never actually used a balloon in the book but he has been immortalised on film in "Around the World in Eighty Days" in one and it is roughly around this plot that Phileas Fogg's Balloon Battles is based.

Basically the idea is to travel around in said balloon, destroying enemy cities, soldiers, gun emplacements and buildings. Control isn't complicated, because you are flying a lighter than air craft with no power of it's own and basically it gets blown all over the shop. The only way you can change direction is to deflate the balloon and fall, or lose weight by dropping sand bags and rise, this enables you to catch different air currents which will shoot you in another direction.

Foggy world rotates between day and night, and this time cycle effects the hydrogen in your balloon. During the day it expands, making your craft more buoyant, conversely during the night it contracts and you need to use much more of the gas to stay in the air.

The graphics are all black and yellow whilst icons around the screen show your current score, the proximity of friendly troops, the coming of night and day and the direction the wind is blowing. Gameplay is easy and once you get used to the unusual movements of wind and balloon the game is quite playable and becomes reasonably interesting.

Phileas Fogg's Balloon Battles is just about a fun game, it's such a good idea that it will fascinate you for awhile but ultimately, even though it is a budget title, it lacks the class needed to be really good.

Label: Zeppelin
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: 3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Alan Dykes

GARTH: This is certainly a novel idea for a game - but certainly better executed than Virgin's Atlantic Challenge of Sam Fox Strip Poker, but just about similar in the complete tit stakes.

Adventurous idea for a game and really not a bad budget title, amusing, silly gameplay makes up for poor graphics.


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Make sure you stay above the flak because venturing too low over the battlefield will bring a hail of cannon shells and musket fire, threatening to prematurely end your aeronautical endeavours in a cloud of smoke.

To destroy your targets you use bomblets, with the shadow of the balloon acting as an aiming device. You can replenish stores of bombs, sandbags and hydrogen at friendly cottages dotted, not so frequently around the landscape.

Bombing a musketeer gives you 20 points, if you hit a cannon emplacement you get 100 points, a shack 150 points and a twon 200-300 points.

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Phileas is in a bit of a mess.

Get off the ground very fast!

Balloon battle alert, but that's not all!!

Wind coming from all directions!