Bret Airborne shakes up the standard match-3 formula with strategic gameplay and original game mechanics.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (35 reviews) - 71% of the 35 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 9, 2013

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Bret Airborne


Recent updates View all (2)

May 10

New price for 3 years anniversary

For the the 3 years anniversary of Bret Airborne a new price has been set so grab your copy and help Bret Airborne in his adventure!

2 comments Read more


“It's a match-3 RPG with some genuinely original ideas"”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Shakes up the match-3 formula in a really fun and strategical way”
4 / 5 – The Indie Mine

“Bret Airborne is a solid addition to your collection and will keep you entertained for a long time.”
4 / 5 – 10 Dollar Gaming

About This Game

Bret Airborne shakes up the standard match-3 formula with strategic gameplay and original game mechanics.

Play as the intrepid Bret Airborne and help Doctor Altus to fight his evil twin brother in the challenging single-player campaign. Customize your balloon by choosing among fourty unique powers.


- Puzzle-based hot air balloon duels
- Challenging single-player campaign with player-selected levels of difficulty
- 40 powers and augmentations to customize your balloon
- Gauntlet mode to test your skills against increasingly difficult enemies
- Custom duels vs. AI opponents
- Custom two player local duels

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mostly Positive (35 reviews)
Review Type

Purchase Type


Display As:

(what is this?)
18 reviews match the filters above ( Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
Bret Airborne needs to be played strategically and I like it's original game mechanics. It offers a lot of challenging single-player campaigns. You can customize your balloon at your own liking with its own unique powers wth plenty to choose from.
The game is a solid addition to your collection and will keep you entertained for a long time. I only planned to play for a few minutes but i turned into an hour-long quest cause it was so engaging. It's not for everybody but this game is definitely for me.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 10, 2015
I give this game credit for being something a little different, using the match3 genre to engage in turn-based steampunk balloon warfare.

I played it for about an hour and a half, and I think that is about all I can do before it just got too repetitive. Fund it in a bundle, play it for an hour or two, and move on. You'll get some cards, explode some balloons, and try a few powerups.

I guess some people may be able to make it to the end, and maybe the end is amazing, but I am not one of those people.

7/10 in a bundle or under $1
1.5/10 at full price, which is very high at $9.99
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
21.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
I've only played the game for a short time, but here's what I can summarise from the story so far... (NO SPOILERS):

Here I am, the one and only Bing, the king and here we are to sing.

Let me recite the killing of my entire race with brisk pace so please brace and tell, how I proved how I removed Seth’s pursuit of me like a conquering chess move. At first it was Arnold, oh how he marvelled at the sight of Thor’s nipple arsenal; he created blueprints and was convinced it would work. The perk was his Dad invented farms that were tested, and prevented the endless crops from blocking Arnold's white socks.

The mystery is how history lost all evidence of his arrogance, riding on his prevalent excellence, his helplessness was far beyond that of a Bell resident. Arnold knew Bing was a decadent of the great President Jake; he knew he had a chance when Arnold took his tea break.
He packed everything from his food racks, sponge cake, Swiss stake and a sea snake. Got in his car, took off the handbrake and raced to the nearest shuttle to take him to a new place. Seth murdered millions in Bing’s opinion, Seth’s dominion and decisions were a result of his position in religion though Bing was just a civilian.

He was trapped and had lost his map, he couldn't cross the border; he was cornered, Seth moved in like a stalker, ready to slaughter and poured all of his torture in his blade. All Bing had was a pre-made first aid, a handmade used grenade and some water from fair trade.
The clock ticked and the time had come. Seth had to desist from, the fight; all his blight and willingness to strike was over that night. Bing had found the light but his planet was nowhere in sight and he could never reunite.
He travelled to Earth, 'twas the birth of a new beginning, the Sam’s were singing and the Bells were ringing. Arnold you've had your run, but the story of the last Bing has just begun.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 29, 2015
Please pardon my lack of Steam time. After winning a giveaway for a Desura key, I played and ended up buying it myself because I wanted it on Steam too. I've completed the campaign and fought in quite a few of the smaller battle modes. What follows is my Desura review:

The line which divides player access makes Bret Airborne shine. Anything along the outer edge is relatively safe while items neighboring the line are in danger of being stolen. The grace period allows players to shift items around instead of being forced into specific swaps. There is a tug of war as large matches move the line towards the opponent and swapping items with no match moves the line towards oneself. Being aware of items to steal and large matches to perform is encouraged further as skills may count those events as bonus resources.

The campaign is short, upgrades are offered in small quantities and player's can't grind endlessly for funds. The result is analysis paralysis is reduced and players are encouraged to try again with different options. There are also other modes for session-based play.

The story is just an excuse for puzzle battles, but that's fine. [When I played on Desura,] I would have appreciated the ability to play in a window, grouped skill messages to avoid (rare) spam from opponents and the ability to immediately jump around a map when enemies are gone. These were all minor annoyances though. [Since then at least some of these, like playing in a window, have been fixed.] =)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 11, 2015
This is a unique take on Match-Three Competitive games. It adds an area limitation - you can only make matches on your side, but matching 4 or more moves the divider over a column for the rest of your turn. This adds an additional level of complexity (on top of the traditional match-3 combat options like collecting resources and using abilities) which works surprisingly well. The story is laughably unimportant and the graphics are workable but not impressive. But honestly, none of that matters - the gameplay is sound and a lot of fun. If you're a fan of Puzzle Quest or Gems of War, this is a good, distinctive take on the style. It's relatively short, but there are lots of replay opportunities.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 12, 2015
A surprisingly fun little game. Along the same lines as Puzzle Quest, but not as complex, which makes it more suited to quick play sessions. Definitely worth checking out for fans of match 3 games, especially as there is a demo you can try before buying.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 29, 2015
Good for picking up and playing for a little while; it's a match 3 game with a forgettable story and an interesting twist. You can only move pieces on your half of the board, but matching 4+ makes your side bigger. It's cool when it's going your way, but it feels a little too luck-based to be as awesome as it could.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 7, 2015
Candy Crush Air Combat Simulator.

9/10 would buy in a bundle again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 18, 2015
Price tag a bit high for the production values, graphics are too simplistic and smell old (sorry didn't like it at all),
BUT the game is REALLY REALLY Good!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 10
Game seems more about luck rather then skill, i get games that if you run out of lives you go back to beggining of entire game but they only work when its your own skill level letting you down, this game is more about the luck of what drops down on your side and what you start with, not sure if i can really recommend this game, it is a little more original with this style of game but just doesnt pull it off well enough. Also do the difficulty settings even work? I found it easier playing on hard rather then easy.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Recently Posted
4.5 hrs
Posted: June 7
Its a good game. Its basically BeJewled but without gems. The story is very vague. All I know is that I am versing NPCs that are absolute garbage at basically BeJewled. Its basic and good. I liked it quite a lot even without trading card and achivements. It makes you appreciate the game for what it was for. It seems like a good basic game. I don't think it exactly worth $4.99. I got mine with a discount from trading cards.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.3 hrs
Posted: May 14
Poorly balanced abilities - my ability makes me take same of amount of amount damage, but enemy has one that only damages me? Burglary is too strong, I pay 3 to take 3 or even 5 with the bonus. It's heavily random and getting 4+ is massive advantage. 1-10 or 1-15 random damage is poor design with how random the game already is.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.1 hrs
Posted: March 12
Well, I like match 3 games so that's a plus. The story is there, but weak. The AI makes a lot of mistakes making the game on the easy side to win (the Campaign at's all I really tried). On the plus side, it plays pretty quickly and I do like the added augmentations and such; kept things interesting and allows for some strategic play. The moving center line was also a nice touch as well. For me, middle of the road game but I was entertained for about 4 hours (not likely to play more though) Thumbs up if you are a fan of this kind of game and aren't expecting an epic "Puzzle Quest" killer.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.5 hrs
Posted: December 11, 2015
A neat litttle twist on match 3 games where you are given a mildly engaging excuse of a story and purchasable boosts along the way. Be careful, though, enemies also have a coupla tricks up their sleeve.

Overall, recommended to fans of the genre.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.4 hrs
Posted: December 8, 2015
This game reminds me a bit of bejeweled in that matching is a crucial component of gameplay. There is a story line that goes along with the game and it incorporates turnbased movement on several maps. Its not a revolutionary game by any means, but it warrants a better overall sentiment than the mixed it receives on the store page.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.2 hrs
Posted: September 28, 2015
Check out my first impressions video!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nao 尚
7.1 hrs
Posted: September 25, 2015
Giving a 7/10 for originality (for a match-3 game I mean), 5/10 for presentation, and 4/10 for effort.

I liked the steampunk setting but it's seldom used. I appreciate the thoughts put into the match-3 system, it manages to be fresh.
I disliked a lot of things, though...
- Looks like it's all randomized. I started a hard game and found it a bit hard. After a couple of zones, I started an easy game and it was even harder. Wut?! So much for the difficulty curve.
- It's not that it's particularly hard, but it's tedious. You have to constantly keep an eye on your stats and just make sure they're better than the enemy's. Who's usually very dumb (they don't match obvious matches), their AI never changes, only the techniques they use. A single fight can last for 3 minutes, or 10 to 20 minutes if you're unlucky (no good matches to make, enemy constantly getting repair tools). Things get a bit faster when you get most of the 'good' skills (Firestorm and Timebomb, for instance).
- The UI is acceptable, but matching animations are very stiff and slow. It's lacking in life. It feels very amateurish. What was acceptable 10 years ago for an indie is no longer the norm. I would recommend using CheatEngine and their SpeedHack to set the speed to 2.0, it makes the animations much less annoying.
- Also, the matchable items, while they're relatively different from one another (which is important in that kind of game), are still hard to spot because so little thought was put into the gameplay. Just having background colors for items would have made it much better than what we got (full transparency). Just look at the screenshots... Reminds me of Candy Crush Saga. Which isn't exactly a 'great' match-3 game.
- Something I've seen in many indie games: there's only one battle song, and it's a freaking short song on a loop. It's a nice song (from a royalty-free library I believe, so it wasn't made for the game), but you'll end up turning off the music after a while.
- Again a staple for indie games: the ending only lasts for a few seconds and is very underwhelming. But I guess it's okay, since there wasn't much story to begin with. Also, final boss? What a poser. He was one of my shortest fights... Maybe I was lucky, I don't know.
- There are many things that don't serve any purpose. Building towers? Seriously, I never saw any difference with enemies. After the first few zones, I just skipped the towers.
- You can't go back to a previous area for grinding. You're stuck with the one shop in your current area, and too bad if you missed a good skill in a previous shop because you didn't have the gold for it.
- The save system is just as bad. Once you win the game, you can't replay the final levels. You have to start again. I'd recommend backing up your save file, if you find it.
- Many little bugs, especially on the map: navigation spots sometimes have their hit area off by several pixels, requiring some pixel hunting; jumping on a spot with a tower AND an enemy will make you fight the enemy, but you'll have to move back and again if you want to go to the tower; moving to another spot during the enemy animation will not allow you to avoid an enemy, but it will deactivate whatever element you move to (shop, tower).
- Have only played the single-player campaign. Not interested in multiplayer as of now.

Overall, even though I have more complaints than congratulations to give, I didn't hate the game as much as I thought I would, and that's why I finished it. It takes about 3 hours to see its 'end'. Gets my recommendation solely on the condition that you love match-3 games and don't mind getting into the occasionally excessively long single battle. (You can always hit Esc to quit the game and restart that fight later, perhaps with better luck.)
Helpful? Yes No Funny