I didn't play Balloon Fight back in the day. Actually, I'm not sure I even really discovered it until I played NES Remix. But it did click with me, which sort of surprised me. A lot of these super old NES arcade style games tend to feel too simplistic to me. And given that Balloon Fight is without a doubt a rip-off of Joust, I wouldn't have guessed I'd enjoy it. Honestly, Joust never did anything for me. Yet somehow Balloon Fight just feels like a way better version of Joust. The controls are SO good. The rounds are quick. There's such a solid quick arcade play experience to be found here.
What's really cool however is the "Balloon Trip" mode included in the NES game. This version deviates from the single screen boards of the main game and offers up a sort of endless runner mode. It's actually incredibly forward thinking for a game released on console in 1985. I found myself getting pretty into that mode, and once I got going there was a very zen-like zone-out kind of thing going on.
Anyway, Balloon Fight is not the kind of game that I'd play for too long at a time. It's the sort of thing I'll have the urge to play like once a year, for maybe 30 or 60 minutes. But it's still a great experience. Up there with Donkey Kong for me as far as early arcade NES games go. Good stuff.