Sir Benfro's Brilliant Balloon

App of the Day: Sir Benfro's Brilliant Balloon

Balloons are not the most obviously exciting means of video game conveyance - they're not exactly up there with the mine cart or the Warthog for thrill-a-minute returns - and for a while Sir Benfro's Brilliant Balloon seems to fall foul of this, as you stutter gormlessly along beneath a sack of fireflies, snagging on scenery to halt your already ponderous progress. For a generation of smartphone gamers in thrall to running and swooping, floating feels like a backwards step.

Indeed, I more or less gave up on Sir Benfro after 10 minutes of pecking away at my iPhone screen for this very reason, but over the next few days something brought me back. Perhaps it was recollections of the beautiful, pencil-shaded environments that Sir Benfro navigates, which are so warm and teeming with obscure flowers and animals. Or perhaps it was the strings and woodwind that accompany your flight, or the choir of screeching children that cheer as you gather momentum.

Given a second chance at a gentler pace, Benfro made a lot more sense. He floats up when you hold your finger on the screen and descends when you don't, and sustained touches build speed while little pecks arrest it. Once you get used to the behaviour of the controls and the creatures that try to interfere with Benfro's adventuring, you start chaining together majestic arcs that carry you steadily through caves and forests, and you feel a lot more at home with the flow of the game.

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