|Pop the balloons with your arrows. Quickly tilt your Game Boy Color system down to reload.|
— Description from Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble North American instruction booklet
Kirby's Burst-A-Balloon is one of the five Sub-Games from Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble. It involves the player using the game's tilt mechanics to have Kirby aim and fire arrows at balloons that pass by over a static background.
The game takes place with an empty area of space with a sunny hillside in the background. Kirby is presumed to be off-camera operating the bow and arrow, since the player does not see him during gameplay. In a 50 second window (100 seconds when playing the unlockable main menu version), the objective of the game is to pop as many balloons as possible by shooting them with arrows as they fly upward at varying rates and trajectories. Kirby has access to six arrows at a time, and must reload them if he runs out, achieved when the player quickly flicks the Game Boy Color (an action that would make Kirby jump in the main game). Once time runs out, the game is over.
The game features a quick day-night cycle, which shifts naturally during gameplay. This is a purely aesthetic feature, though it may affect visibility of balloons.
The base score for each balloon is as follows:
|Balloon types and scoring|
|Rises straight up slowly.||10 points (base)|
|Rises straight up more quickly.||20 points (base)|
|Rises until hit, then bounces in reaction to the hit.||100, 200, 400, 800, 100, 2000 points||Appears after every tenth red or blue balloon shot. Score increases for each subsequent hit, but caps at 2000. Does not count toward regular combo.|
|Rare balloon; moves back and forth as it rises.||800 points||Does not count toward combo. Also adds 30 seconds to the clock when hit. Only one of these appears when playing the sub-game from within the main game.|
Additionally, each red or blue balloon hit without missing a shot will add to a combo which increases the score for each balloon hit. The combo score increases as follows (added to the base score):
- 10 points for first hit
- 20 points for second
- 40 points for third
- 80 points for fourth
- 100 points for fifth
- 200 points for sixth and onward
- "Tilt to move the reticle."
- "Press A to fire at the balloons!"
- "If you run out of arrows, pop it up* to reload."
*flick the Game Boy Color upward
- Balloons will pass over the timer counter given the opportunity, which may or may not be intentional on the designers' part.