From Nitrome, a new media and mobile games developer, comes this delightful action game with irresistible pixel graphics reminiscent of an old-school Mario game.
The game play in Hot Air involves navigating a hot air balloon from its green starting platform to the red landing platform within each level. To succeed you must maneuver around obstacles and onto platforms, collecting keys to open gates while avoiding just about everything that will make the balloon pop. Much easier said than done.
The mouse controls a little whirling fan that will influence the balloon's movement when the mouse button is pressed and moved near the balloon. If any part of the balloon or dangling basket touches anything except for the brightly colored platforms, you must start the level again.
There are 20 levels to unlock in all. For each level you complete, the next one will unlock. Five (5) bonus levels can be unlocked as well by earning stars. Collect all of the stars within a level and then land successfully on the red platform to earn that level's star.
Analysis: The gorgeous pixelart and level design is where this game really shines and will bring back memories of old-school 2D side-scrollers from the 90's. The gameplay, however, is quite a bit different than any Mario platformer, with an extremely steep difficulty curve that will surely alienate the more casual gamers out there. Unfortunately, the game's difficulty is not its only problem. The background music loop for each level begins to overlap upon itself making the music tracks unbearable to listen to (Update: this issue has been fixed!) Thankfully, an options screen in the game's main menu allows you to turn the music off while leaving the sound effects on. Charming, challenging, and bubble gum delicious. Click.