From the Manufacturer
In Balloon Cup, the players compete in several short balloon flights (hops) to collect the colored cubes associated with each hop. When a player has collected enough cubes of a given color, he earns the trophy card for that color. Players may even trade 3 otherwise useless cubes for 1 they can use. The first player to earn 3 trophy cards is the winner. Each player has a hand of eight balloon cards. The players play their balloons on mountain or plain hops. Players play their high-valued balloons on the mountains and their low-valued balloons on the plains. Players usually play their balloons on their side of the hops, but winds (and cunning) can cause them to play on their opponent’s side, a move that can ruin their opponent’s plans.
Before the opening of the Panama Canal, ships sailed from the east coast to the west coast of North or South America via Cape Horn. They held races from New York to San Francisco for those daring enough to test their skills against the elements. Now players can relive those races in this game. Movement is governed by placing wind tiles along the route. Players can place tiles to either help themselves or hinder their opponents. The first player who passes three different nautical stations or pass es two stations and the finish line wins the race and the game. May the winds always be at your back!