Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Manual Stimulation: Balloon Kid (GameBoy)

You know how a lot of folks--including myself, from time to time--whine about how game manuals used to be so much better than they are today?

Although that's true for the most part, it's obviously not true for all old game manuals--with the one made for the North American release of Nintendo's Balloon Kid being a notable case in point.

In fact, Balloon Kid's 14-pager includes a grand total of two things that make it at all interesting as far as game manuals go, and only one of those things could be considered a positive addition to the proceedings.

What do I mean? Click on the scan below, read through Balloon Kid's story and then you should be well aware of this manual's lone interesting-yet-negative (as opposed to interesting-yet-positive) feature.

Now, I don't want to be too harsh toward the people who were responsible for writing and editing this manual, but there are a surprising number of grammar errors in the "game story" above.

As for the other interesting element included in Balloon Kid's rather flimsy instruction manual, that would be the following pair of illustration-filled pages.

Granted, there are a few awkward spellings to be found here, too--Buzzy Bee's?--but at least the drawings are cute (if kind of small).

And there you have it--another thrilling edition of "Manual Stimulation." OK, so maybe that's not entirely true in the case of Balloon Kid's manual, but at least it showcases some giggle-worthy writing and a couple of nice illustrations, right?

See also: previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts


kidicarus222 said...

Oh wow. The construction manual version of Alice is so much more appealing than the box art version.

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, yes, you're right, Drew! I actually like the NA box art overall, but there's no question the design of Alice included on it is a bit ... suspect. It's really too bad NOA didn't use the art that's included on the label/sticker that was given to folks who bought the Japanese version.

Kaze said...

I love Balloon Kid!! I was so excited for this game after first seeing it in Nintendo Power! Although I don't know what really drew me to it exactly. ^^ I agree with the poster below even as a kid I thought the box art was kind of hideous compared to what was in the manual. lol

I think this was the first GameBoy game I beat as a kid and I remember feeling so proud of myself! lol

thegaygamer.com said...

Ha ha! Always glad to hear that someone else likes this game, Kaze :) I know exactly it drew me to it, by the way -- it was the graphics! There was something so ... inviting about them at the time, and that's still true today, or at least it is for me.

I also thought it seemed pretty innovative as far as platformers are concerned. I mean, the gameplay is centered around the use and abuse of balloons, and the action goes from right to left instead of left to right.

I actually kind of like the box art, by the way, although I too prefer the art in the manual to the art on the cover, I have to admit.

Amy said...

This is so cute. I'm so sad :-( we will miss you so much

thegaygamer.com said...

Yes, Amy, it is very sad. I wish he could have found someone who could have helped him with his demons. Thank you for your comment.