Blimp: The Flying Adventures is not a terribly deep or substantial game. It’s a twenty level downloadable Steampunk 2D version of Crazy Taxi with bombs available for the PS3, PSP and iOS devices. If that sounds like your cup of tea hit the jump for the full review.
In Blimp, you take control of hardened war veteran, Zed Pelin, who is forced back into service when his small planet is attacked by a big evil empire. The story is told through text and still images before missions. It’s there if you want it, but for the most part it’s neither terribly gripping nor consequential – merely servicing as a backbone for the real meat of the game: the gameplay.
In Blimp, you control…a blimp. While there is a war going on, instead of being out there on the front lines you’ll be more like the resistance’s taxi service. You’ll spend your time be picking things up from one point and dropping them off somewhere else. At first you’ll literally be a taxi service shuttling people around, but before long you’ll be dropping reinforcements off into combat zones, planting explosives and bombing enemy airships.
Everything controls well, as well as you would expect a blimp to anyway. Just don’t expect to have pin-point accuracy. A little bit of realism here is actually nice. I imagine it would be a little disconcerting to be looking at a blimp that controls like the Ikaruga.
It starts off fairly easy and you may even think you’ll be able to beat the game in a half hour. While I imagine that is possible, and the game encourages it since you’re constantly playing against the clock, the difficulty begins to increase steadily and ramps up a lot towards the end of the game. The last level is particularly challenging and definitely involves quite a bit of strategy, finesse and luck to successfully complete.
The visuals are all really nice and I really love the Steampunk vibe. Everything is animated smoothly and is really crisp. The art style is bright, colourful and looks really good. The landscapes are particularly notable, looking like something out of a well-illustrated children’s book.
I played the PSP Minis version of the game, and the entire time I played it Blimp came across like something you could find on the AppStore for a dollar or two. In fact, it is on the AppStore for $0.99. Now compare that with Blimp’s $4.99 price-tag on the PlayStation Network and you run into my only real criticism of the title.
As horrendous as most touch screen controls are, the ability to use real buttons isn’t really worth an extra four dollars. If Sony wants to be competitive in the portable gaming market, they are really going to need to figure out how to be smarter with pricing. For the most part, people just aren’t going to be willing to pay five, ten, fifteen dollars for an experience they can get elsewhere for a buck or two just so they can play it on a Sony.
The sad thing is, there’s nothing wrong with Blimp as an experience. There are just much deeper, more enjoyable downloadable titles out there for the price. While I haven’t played the phone version myself (it’s not available on the Droid Market) if you’re at all interested, for a dollar, I would definitely recommend picking up iOS version.
The colourful, hand drawn visuals are great.
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It's simple but fun "go here, do this" gameplay. Best when played in small doses.
It's fitting, but nothing to write home about.
It's good fun for a couple of hours and while there are several difficulty settings, there isn't much replay value here.
The sad thing is, there’s nothing wrong with Blimp: The Flying Adventures. There are better PSN titles out there for the price. Do yourself a favour and pick it up on the iPhone for a dollar.