Up, Up And Away


Issue 4

Jul/Aug 83

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This is another of those deceptive games like Sea Dragon that you think are going to be easy but end up being just as frustrating as some of the games you knew from the beginning were going to be hard. What could be more serene than floating along in a hot-air balloon above the tranquil English countryside? Everything would be fine except for those nasty little kids throwing stones and flying kites and of course the vagaries of an English summer with a few storms and lightning once in a while. Then there is some idiot in a light aircraft thinking he is Waldo Pepper and trying to do aerobatics and I bet you didn't realise how dangerous bird droppings can be! The aim is to avoid all of these and land your balloon at various landing stages where you can take on extra fuel to continue your journey. It is not easy, particularly with those kids throwing stones just as you lift off.

Graphically this is superb, using redefined characters to excellent effect to create the green English countryside with trees and churches, pubs, factories and windmills. There are some nice touches such as being able to watch your deflated balloon through the foliage of the trees as it sinks behind them and seeing the kids get annoyed as you get past them! There is plenty of music as well as you pass the windmills and pubs.

The practice level is fairly hard but if you get good at it there are five levels in all. Only a one player game but you are sure to get family and friends around watching if only for the beautiful graphics. Perhaps not as complex as many of the American games but the colour and design more than makes up, and this game shows that there are in Britain at last programmers capable of producing the goods for the Atari. Up, Up & Away was originally priced at 21.95 but, as a home-grown product, has now been reduced to 14.95. At this price it represents good value for money.