The Balloon Fight series made its debut in 1984 with the release of Vs. Balloon Fight for the Nintendo Vs. System. The franchise has been featured through cameos and references within other Nintendo games, the earliest of which being in the Game Boy Camera.
Games in this series give the player control over a character who is able to fly by using Balloons. Typically, the player can ascend by either rapidly pressing a button or holding down a button to make the character flap their arms like wings. The goal of the game often involves collecting or popping other Balloons, either free-floating or being used by enemies.
The series has typically has two distinct forms of gameplay: Balloon Fighting and Balloon Trip. Balloon Fighting-type gameplay was originally the series standard with Vs. Balloon Fight, though Balloon Trip style gameplay was first introduced in the NES version of Balloon Fight and has been the primary game mode in most games since then.
- Vs. Balloon Fight (1984, Arcade)
- The first game to be released in the series, introducing the traditional phase-clearing style of gameplay as well as most of the more iconic characters from the series, such as the Balloon Fighter and the Balloon Fish.
- The only official port of this version is the Arcade Archives version on the Nintendo Switch.
- Balloon Fight (1985, Famicom/NES)
- The first home console release in the series, and the most widely-known game in the franchise. This game also introduced the Balloon Trip style of gameplay through its third game mode.
- This game was also ported to the PC-8801, Sharp X1, and the Playchoice-10 within the same year, with many more ports and remakes being made much later, such as for the Wii, 3DS, and Wii U.
- Balloon Fight (1986, Game & Watch)
- The first handheld game in the series. This game deviates from the first two games in the series and instead introduces its own story and characters, namely the Balloon Man and Oiram Repus. It also completely removes the aspect of fighting enemies like the first two games and instead plays much more like the Balloon Trip mode of the NES version.
- Balloon Kid (1990, Game Boy)
- Much like the Game & Watch version, this game introduces its own story and characters and plays similarly to the Balloon Trip mode of the NES release, although now with far more complex stages which are more like a traditional platformer, even giving the player the ability to drop their Balloons to walk and jump instead of flying.
- This game was ported to the Famicom and rebranded as Hello Kitty World in 1992. Eight years later in the year 2000, the game also received a Japan-exclusive Game Boy Color enhanced version named Balloon Fight GB through the Nintendo Power flash cartridge service. Japan never received the original monochrome Game Boy version.
- Tingle's Balloon Fight DS (2007, DS)
- This game, much like how Hello Kitty World is a rebranded port of Balloon Kid, is a rebranded port of the original NES Balloon Fight, themed around the Legend of Zelda character Tingle. It included some extra features that weren't in the original game, such as four-player wireless multiplayer and an art gallery full of pictures of Tingle.
- Nintendo Land: Balloon Trip Breeze (2012, Wii U)
- While not a standalone game, this sub-game of Nintendo Land expanded upon the Balloon Trip formula and introduced a unique control scheme, utilizing the touch screen to make gusts of wind that blow the player's character across the screen.