UP UP & AWAY
It's dangerous and very warm! Not a description of the mother-in-law's cooking, but part of the packaging blurb for the hot air balloon game Up Up and Away.
In this high flying 'avoid-em-up', you have to pilot your balloon over the landscape, circumventing a variety of obstacles including birds and their poop, storm clouds, lightning, kites and planes. Land based threats include punks who throw stones in an attempt to burst your balloon, factory emissions that send your balloon skyward and also windmills, whose sails will suck you down.
Control of the balloon can be tricky as it only rises in spurts when a jet of heat is released by pressing the joystick forward. Descending the balloon is quicker and smoother, which is a useful tip to remember when attempting to navigate the upcoming obstacles. Also, although the balloon can be moved to the right of the screen, pulling left on the joystick will merely steady the balloon in mid-air while the landscape passes underneath.
You begin the game with a set amount of fuel (50 units on the easiest level), which slowly decreases over time, but is depleted quicker when it is used to elevate the balloon. Fuelling platforms can be found amongst the landscape and should be landed on to prolong the game. As a last resort you have 20 sandbags, which can be expelled by use of the joystick's fire button to gain a little extra height. This is especially useful when your fuel tank is empty.
From the title screen there are 5 skills levels to choose from - Practice, Student, Graduate, Pilot and Expert. The easiest level starts you with 5 lives, 50 fuel units and 20 sandbags. If you choose the hardest level, you'll only have with 3 lives, 40 fuel units and 10 sandbags, plus the game speed is rapidly increased and there are many more obstacles to avoid.
As you progress on your travels, the score (displayed in the top left-hand corner) will slowly rise. But extra points can be gained for hitting the yellow 'P' markers with your sandbags and also landing on the refuelling platforms, where any of your remaining fuel and sandbags are added to the total score.
Up Up and Away is a difficult game to play from the off, with a violent punk waiting just off-screen to burst your balloon with a well-aimed rock! Not long after this you'll find that constant joystick movement is required to steer your balloon to safety with only brief rests found between the clouds and landing platforms. Some areas are a little too difficult, requiring foresight for upcoming obstacles, including a windmill, which will suck you down to the ground before you can even see it! Graphically the game is adequate, but with minimal sound and no music in the 1986 re-release! The original 1983 game version included a rendition of Jimmy Webb's 1967 hit "Up, Up and Away", which is where this game derives it's title. I can only assume this was left out of the re-release due to copyright reasons?
"My beautiful, my beautiful baallloooooooonnn!"
Raise the balloon
a few times as soon as you begin the game otherwise a punk's stone will hit
Hover to the left-hand side of dark clouds until the storm clears. Light blue clouds can be entered without hinderance.
Windmills will suck your balloon down, so stay high when approaching them and keep the joystick pressed forward. Release some sandbags for extra height if necessary.
The opposite is true of factories, fly low over them and keep the joystick pulled back.
|Punkoid - Rock throwing hooligans intent on putting a downer on your balloon fun - literally!
|Bird - Although they hang stationary in midair, excrement expelled will tear a hole in your balloon!
|Biplane - These pilots enjoy looping through the air, but will occasionally collide with your balloon - BANG!
|Windmill - The spiraling sails create currents in the air, which draw your balloon towards the ground.
|Factory - Warm, polluting emissions from factories raise your balloon into the clouds.
|Clouds and Lightning - Light blue clouds can be entered without hazard. Dark stormy clouds and lightning discharges should be avoided at all cost.
|Kite - A child makes the most of the windy day, but steer clear of his erratic kite.
CLICK HERE to Download an Unlimited Lives file for the Original 1983 Release to use in the Atari 800Win Emulator.
HERE to Download an Unlimited Lives file for
the 1986 Re-release to use in the Atari
The Original Fifth
(A tribute page to the 60's/70's pop group Fifth Dimension, including discography and concert news)
Song Lyrics & Chords - Up Up and Away
(Lyrics and Chords to Jimmy Webb's 1967 hit song 'Up Up and Away')
Answers.com - Jimmy Webb
(Biography and Discography on Jimmy Webb)
The Jimmy Webb Music Company
(The Official Jimmy Webb website)