...a more apt title for the game would be Blimp: Floating Taxi Time.
You’re Captain Zed Pelin, and there’s some sort of alien invasion story that leads to your planet being rocked. You escape and somehow become the planet’s premier rogue blimp delivery flyer for hire. Yeah… As is the case for most games nowadays, the first stage is a tutorial level that teaches you the ins and outs of blimp taxiing. (The ins being ‘pick up person’, the outs being ‘drop off person’, and the in betweens being ‘grab some powerups to stay alive’.)
One of my first reviews for this site was for a PSN title by the name of Landit Bandit. Blimp: The Flying Adventures is very similar to Landit Bandit, except it’s stripped of one-third of the dimensions, and, thus, one-third of the fun. The 20 levels each have a difficulty setting, so you can switch between Easy, Medium, and Hard according to how tough the mission is. There really isn’t much to strive for while playing each level. There are no medals awarded according to how quickly you complete a level, there’s no penalty for dying, and if you’re careful, you probably won’t die at all. Your ship has a health bar that decreases according to how hard you bump into things, which is a bit of leeway compared with the instant-death that comes with most Lunar Lander-type games. Blimp does have some redeeming qualities, but not quite enough to save it from being a lukewarm experience as a whole. The hand-drawn characters that populate the otherwise bland, wordy level briefings are good looking. The 20 levels, too, are hand-drawn, and the whole aesthetic of the game is rather cha… enchanting. The music is barely present, though, and the game doesn’t require you to be conscious until about halfway through.
I played through this game in 46 minutes. That includes the time it took for me to go back and replay the first few missions on Hard mode. It’s a good thing Blimp was recently discounted to $2, because anything more doesn’t seem to be worth the price of admission. After the first few levels, you receive a “bomb thrower,” which is a fairly misleading weapon title. There’s no throwing going on here; this is a strictly dropping vessel. You hover over enemy blimps, cannons, etc, and drop bombs onto them until they die. It’s mildly satisfying. Given that the first half of the game is mind-numbingly easy (even on Hard), I was happy to find some challenging and fun missions later on. Mission 9 tasks you to deploy TNT at certain spots. You have 15 seconds in between each deployment, and unless you choose the right order in which to drop the bombs, you probably won’t make it. I died a few times during this mission, which was a breath of fresh air in its own twisted way.
After completing all 20 levels, you’re awarded a cliffhanger ending that alludes to a sequel. To be fair, the final few levels were legitimately challenging. The bulk of my 46-minute playthrough was probably spent trying to bob and weave through the firing barrage that is the last mission. The MadWorld-esque character drawings are pretty cool, and the entire hand-drawn artstyle of the game looks neat. You can input a 15 character alphanumeric code on Grip Games’s website and see how you stack up against the world’s most elite Blimp flyers. I’m currently on top of the universe, but I invite you to come get some. Blimp: The Flying Adventures isn’t an awful game. It’s a small game from a small development team, and the fact that it’s a minis title means it’s portable. However, a more apt title for the game would be Blimp: Floating Taxi Time.
For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Portable version of the game.
What I Like:
What I Dislike:
Developer:Craneball Studios, Grip Games
Release Date:December 2010