Balloon Fight is a game for the NES featuring Balloon Fighter, a man that hangs by one or two balloons fighting other enemies with balloons. The game is very similar to the arcade game Joust. To defeat an enemy, you must go above him and pop his balloons. Other than the enemies, there are also obstacles that can block and/or hurt you, such as lightning.
A VS. System version titled Vs. Balloon Fight was released to arcades a few months earlier.
The game starts out with the protagonist flying around the stage with two balloons on his back, keeping him afloat. Meanwhile, multiple enemies are also soaring around the stage, though they only happen to have one balloon rather than two. The objective is to ram into the enemies' balloon, thus popping it. Afterwards, the player have to knock them off the stage before they can inflate another balloon. Conversely, if the opposing balloon fighters ram into the player's balloons, one will pop. If both balloons are destroyed, the player loses a life and is forced to replay the stage.
- Propellers - Propellers are a common obstacle that will effect both the player and the enemies. Once you touch one, it will push you in a random direction and start to spin. In later levels, some enemies may start by blowing up their balloons on them.
- Lightning - Lighting will instantly kill you if you get hit by it. It is periodically produced by the background clouds.
Balloon Fight's floating mechanics were actually brought over to Super Mario Bros. In an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, he confirmed to his interviewer that the flying was brought to the NES classic in the form of swimming. Balloon Fight has been represented in many of the WarioWare and Super Smash Bros. games. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, a trophy of the Balloon Fighter appeared. According to series creator Masahiro Sakurai, the Balloon Fighter was actually considered to be a playable character in the game and represent the NES era, but was replaced by the Ice Climbers. The Flipper item in the game and the alternative music on Icicle Mountain both originate from Balloon Fight. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, one of the songs on The Summit is a Balloon Fight song. On that stage, the fish from Balloon Fight will occasionally emerge from the water and attempt to eat the players.
In late 2007, Nintendo remade Balloon Fight in Japan and titled it Tingle's Balloon Fight. The game was only available through the Club Nintendo service. Tingle's Balloon Fight features the Legend of Zelda character Tingle instead of the standard Balloon Fighter.