Bloons TD5 for iOS
(Tower Defence game and Ninja Kiwi, $4.19)
Reviewed by Zara Baxter
Tower defence games are hugely popular. Enemies traverse your land, and you try to stop them getting all the way through. Winning relies on placing defences in strategic locations, and using the right kinds of towers against the right kinds of foe.
Most versions use waves of goblins, orcs and dragons, with your defence consisting of soldiers, archers and mages. In Bloons TD5, your enemy is . . . balloons. You attack them, perhaps not entirely surprisingly, with darts.
The developer, Ninja Kiwi, is based in Auckland.
Your starter monkey throws darts, but before too long you earn more tools to, er, monkey around with. A glue gun comes in handy to slather incoming balloons with glue and slow them down. Freezing balloons slows them, while a tack factory can throw red-hot pins in their path, and a dartling gatling gun's rapid-fire shots pop more balloons, more effectively. I grew to love the monkey apprentice's full-on flamethrower, but you may find that you prefer freezing balloons, or taking them down with the laser-enhanced SuperMonkey.
Bloons starts off easy, but it gets tough quite quickly and you need a keen eye for positioning. While you start with slow, easy-to-pop red balloons, before too long you are facing stealthy balloons that only Ninja Monkeys can see without upgrades - fast, ceramic balloons with a tough outer coating able to resist even the dreaded MOABs (mother-of-all-bombs) which take more than 100 darts/hits to knock down.
To defeat all the well-designed and attractive maps at every difficulty setting requires a fair amount of patience and a solid investment of
time. But that also means that this is a game to keep you going for months.
Bloons TD5 is available for iPhone or iPad (Bloons TD5 HD) for $4.19. If you are not sure about spending the money, we would suggest you try the web version first, at ninjakiwi.com. You can also find videos of people defeating the tougher maps on YouTube, which is great for strategy tips.