The Balloon Fight franchise made its debut in 1984 as an arcade game known as Vs. Balloon Fight for the Nintendo Vs. System. This game was later released (with various differences) for the Famicom (known outside of Japan as the Nintendo Entertainment System) as Balloon Fight in 1985.
While with the exception of the Japanese promotional Club Nintendo game Tingle's Balloon Fight there have not been many newer games in the franchise, it is a beloved series and has been referenced many times in other Nintendo games, especially the WarioWare series.
The original game bears many similarities to an earlier arcade game known as Joust, in which an anonymous Balloon Fighter must fly around defeating enemy Balloon Fighters by popping their balloons. It also includes a mode known as Balloon Trip, where the player must fly around as far as possible while avoiding obstacles known as sparks.
The Balloon Fight franchise gained a Game Boy entry known as Balloon Kid, introducing a girl called Alice, (who in the story mode) who must save her younger brother Jim, and (in the multiplayer mode) her rival Samm. This title re-introduced the "Balloon Trip" mode from the original game. This title was remade for the Game Boy Color in Japan as Balloon Fight GB, which was only available for the "Nintendo Power" cartridge-writing service which was available in various stores across Japan, but later released for Nintendo 3DS's Nintendo eShop as a Virtual Console title. This game is also the basis of a 1992 Japanese Famicom game known as Hello Kitty World; credited to both Character Soft (a subsidiary of Sanrio) and Mario Co. Ltd (a joint venture between Nintendo and Dentsu).