Put one or more kids in a room with a partially deflated balloon and one of the first things they’ll do is to try to keep it from touching the ground. I witnessed this first-hand with my (almost) 4-year old daughter just a few days ago, when her helium balloon had lost its float. She ran around the house giggling, laughing and bumping into things while trying to keep the stubborn semi-inflated balloon aloft before finally succumbing to exhaustion.

In their new game Float, Crawl Space Games recreates this same fun right on your iPhone. One or more balloons of varying shapes and colors descend aimlessly down the screen toward the perilous spikes below. Using your finger to tap under the balloon, you must keep them floating and away from the spikes, earning points for each tap in the process. Points are based on how risky you want to get, the closer the balloons are to the spikes, the more points you get.

The game features six distinct game modes: Normal, Time, Zen, Limbo, One & Done and Hot Potato. Each of these modes has its own OpenFeint supported global leaderboard and there are a total of 45 achievements to be earned.

  • Normal Mode – Players have three lives and try to last through progressively more difficult, timed levels.
  • Time Mode – No lives, players just try to earn the highest score possible in 90 seconds, with the bonus line getting progressively lower and lower.
  • Zen – No lives, no timer, players just keep tapping the balloons for as long as they want to.
  • Limbo – Within a 60 second timer, players must tap the falling balloons with the bonus area, eventually driving down the bonus line to the goal line.
  • One & Done – A purely endurance-driven challenge where players just try to keep any balloons from hitting the bottom of the screen. One hit and it’s game over, and there is no bonus line/area.
  • Hot Potato – Players must tap the normal (round) balloons so that they bump into the star balloon and keep it afloat to make it through progressively more difficult levels.

The graphics, while fairly simple, are crisp and charming. The musical soundtrack is whimsical, though a bit repetitive and fits well with the theme of the game. When players tap the balloons a sound effect perfectly mimicking that of a actually tapping a real balloon can be heard, adding nicely to the game’s aesthetics and feel. As with Crawl Space’s earlier title Knife Toss, the controls are dead on accurate and the physical reaction of the balloons looks and feels true to life. At the end of a game you are treated to copious amounts of cheers and applause, softening the blow. My daughter LOVED this, in fact I don’t think she ever even realized that she lost.

In Conclusion

Float is one of those games that is fun in it’s relative simplicity and nostalgia. It’s easy enough for anyone to pick up and play. The perfect little time filler, this game will certainly help you breeze through your next waiting room visit. Go ahead and recapture a bit of your youth…your inner child will thank you for it.