Charming Arkanoid-style game for young ones
If the kids are a bit too noisy and in need of quieting down, then Balloon-o-Rama might just be the solution to your woes. It's actually the seventh in a long-running series of children's titles that began with Putt-Putt Joins the Parade and continued up to Pep's Birthday Surprise, and with the games all featuring the various adventures of a loveable car and his chums. While the quality wavered a little along the way, the franchise has maintained a pretty decent standard for most of the time and this is perhaps the best in the series, providing simple but enjoyable fun for the young 'uns. The game is basically a twist on the classic Arkanoid-style bat-and-ball genre, with players controlling Putt-Putt through a series of single screen levels, where he must bounce his friend, the dog Pep, into various complex collections of balloons, popping them as he goes. Along the way through the various environments, you'll also encounter some useful power-ups to help rack up your score along with a few other surprises. Balloon-o-Rama might not be sophisticated or complex, but it is certainly fun and provides a highly enjoyable spin on the genre. The graphics are gorgeous, with lovely vibrant backdrops that are brimming with detail and colour and while the sound effects are fairly minimal, the speech for the two main characters goes a long way to adding in even more character. Despite the game's cartoon-like looks, it is actually quite challenging at times, requiring nifty reflexes but it never becomes frustrating and is instead highly addictive and is thus perfect for amusing the little ones.