For those not in the know, a sub-genre currently dominating the mobile gaming market at the moment is Tower Defense. The gameplay consists of real time strategy, where the goal is to stop enemies reaching a certain point on the map. The essential mechanics of the game are found in the placement and positioning of the player’s personal towers. As a genre, Tower Defense goes way back to 1990 with Atari’s prototypical Rampart, while fans of Final Fantasy VII may remember the Condor Fort minigame, also thought to have inspired today’s iterations. Tower Defense has found a snug home on the smartphone in recent times; short, intense bursts of play seem to fit the genre to a tee, and developers have been busy capitalising. Bloons TD 5 is one of the latest additions to the pack, and it’s out now for iOS.
This is the fifth game in the series, and although I’m not that up on my Tower Defense genre, it’s immediately apparent to me that the developers of Bloons know what they’re doing. As far as first impressions go, the game looks, sounds and plays great. A smooth and sleek interface combined with vivid graphics and an infectious, fun tone provides a great foundation for its addictive gameplay.
You play as a military-minded monkey, who has to face an onslaught of colourful balloons. Each balloon the game throws at you requires a slightly different solution, so as a player you’re challenged to think outside the box. You’re in charge of placing your little monkey towers on the map in the most effective places possible. However, placing those towers around is going to cost you, and you can only refill your wallet by bursting those pesky balloons. Like most great games, this little slice of strategic bliss is simple to grasp but tough to master; which is no bad thing at all, as it provides hours of longevity.
The amount to do in this game is vast. There are twenty-one towers to unlock and add to your arsenal and over fifty maps to play through. There are new special agents who will happily come to your aid for the right price, ten special missions, three separate gameplay modes and four different difficulty settings. Trust me when I tell you, if strategy games are your thing, Bloons TD 5 will keep you entertained for a very long time. If you’ve never played a Tower Defense game before and were looking to give one a try, it seems to me you could do far worse than Bloons; this is the 5th iteration of their wildly popular series, and they know a couple of three things by now. It may be one of the best examples of the genre around. Check this one out.