Helious is a two-part game in the shareware style, where the first half of the game is a giveaway, and the user must pay the registration fee to get the second half (Helious II). Helious was quite successful!
In the game, you're the blue balloon. You move by releasing little puffs of air left, right, up or down, which sets you floating off in that direction, coasting until you release another puff to change directions. You can slow down and stop with a sort of brake.
The strategy comes in by each little puff of air you release costs you a certain amount of your balloon air. Your balloon starts big, and gets smaller as you maneuver. You need to conserve air by not being too aggressive. If you run out of air, POP, you have to start the level over.
Helious tries to be a pretty game to look at, and what better way of doing so than by featuring a Van Gogh on the title screen?
It also tries to be a wierd game to look at. This is the level selector. Each of the two games has nine levels. In order to win the game, you must match up the icons by each colored ball with the icons found by completing each level.
There's the blue ball near the center. That's you. The machine at top center is an air pump. If you hover over it, you'll regain lost air. If you hover too long, the balloon will BURST! And you have to start the level over.
The blue gems you see all have to be collected in order to reveal the level's icon, which appears where the pennant is. And working against you are various nasties. In the above screen, the Green Eyed Polyps will aim and shoot at you, and the Red Turrets will just fire constantly. There are other kinds of monsters, too.
You can also see some locked doorways at the upper right, the blue and green ones. You need to find the keys to unlock those so you can access those parts of the level.
You also need to be aware of other hazards, like pins, sharp obstacles, narrow doorways you'll have to deflate to get through, raindrops, and so on.
In this shot from Helious II, the gems are a different style, but they work the same way. In later levels, you'll be able to find bubble gum (Green Gems), and superballs (Red Gems) to throw at your enemies. In early levels you must simply dodge them. The Yellow Gems give you a full load of air.
Helious is a fun game that requires patience and strategy to play. You can't rush around, you have to let the ball's inertia work for you, or you'll run out of air very quickly. It requires some careful timing, and sharp shooting skills.
About the Programs
Both Helious games are MSDOS games, use the PC speaker for sound, and run fine under Windows.
DO NOT ATTEMPT to register these games by following the directions inside. The addresses are out of date. If you really love Helious, get in touch with me and we'll work something out.
This is the first time that Helious II has been available for download.