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Bloons games are video games where players use monkeys, armed with various weapons, to pop as many "bloons" (balloons) as possible. They include the Bloons series, the Bloons Tower Defense series, and several other spinoffs. Most Bloons games are browser-based games that use Adobe Flash Player, although some are available on other platforms. The mobile games are now distributed through the App Store by Miniclip.
The first Bloons game was developed by Stephen and Chris Harris, two brothers from New Zealand. Prior to working on Bloons, the pair had released Cash Sprint - a successful racing game that incorporated weekly prizes. After the success of Cash Sprint, they developed their own web portal for flash games, but failed to gain the necessary traffic. Instead they decided to focus on their own games, and launched a website – Ninjakiwi.com – with five of their own games. The site was a success, and this led to their work on Bloons.
The basic concept for Bloons came from Stephen's wife. When Stephen asked her what would be fun in a new game, she brought up carnival games with darts and balloons. The first version was developed quickly, and the game was released in April 2007. It proved popular, especially after being picked up by Digg, and soon reaching approximately 100,000 players per day. By 2011 the game had been played over 3 billion times.
The Bloons series is the original grouping of games developed under the "Bloons" name. In all of the main games, the goal is for the player to clear the playing area of all Bloons (which, as implied, have similar traits to balloons) using a limited number of darts. The player is able to choose the power, aim, and other factors involving the launch of darts; and hence the path it will follow and what Bloons it will pop. There are many sequels and spinoffs of this series, with large fan support (indicated by the "player packs" discussed later).
The games consist of various levels, each with a different and unique layout of Bloons. On each, the player is given several darts used to pop the Bloons on the screen. The fewer darts the player uses, the better his or her score for that level. There is much strategy involved, especially since some Bloons have special powers or affect the player's darts in both helpful and hindering ways. For example, when some Bloons are hit, they provide the player with 3 darts to fire at once during his next shot. Others have an area blast effect (again, when hit) like a bomb. As new games in the series developed, more and more aspects of the game were expanded upon with many new Bloons and levels being introduced. There are also several "player packs" - groups of levels developed by players of the Bloons series.
Games in the series
- More Bloons
- Even More Bloons
- Bloons Insanity
- Bloons Junior
- Bloons 2
- Bloons 2 Christmas Pack
- Bloons 2 Spring Fling
- Bloons Player Pack (1–5)
- Bloons Pop 3
Bloons Tower Defense
In the Bloons Tower Defense series (often abbreviated BTD), the main objective of the game is to pop the enemy Bloons before they reach the end of the path on the game screen. The player has various types of towers at his disposal to defend against the Bloons; including Dart Monkeys, Tack Towers, Ice Towers, Cannons, and the powerful Super Monkey. There are also other types of towers, such as Ninja Monkeys, Boomerang Monkeys, Sniper Monkeys, introduced in later editions of the game. All of the aforementioned towers are purchased with in-game money which can be earned through various means. There are many types of Bloons, the Red Bloon being the weakest; the tougher variants each contain one or more weaker ones, released when the containing Bloon is popped. For example, the Yellow Bloon contains a Green Bloon, which contains a Blue Bloon, which contains a Red Bloon. Depending on the difficulty and version of the game, the player has a certain number of "lives" available. Different types of Bloons consume different numbers of lives if they escape, based on the total number of Bloons contained inside. Different bloons, however, have special attributes. A lead bloon is immune to sharp things, and black bloons are immune to bombs as whites are to ice. There are special types of bloons such as the infamous "MOAB-class" where the bloon resembles an airship and takes many hits to defeat, an example being the ZOMG (Zeppelin Of Mighty Gargantuanness). In different variations of the "Bloons" series, there have been unique types of bloon; for example in BSM2 (Bloons Super Monkey 2) there was the "glass bloon" which wasn't in Bloons TD5.
Bloons Super Monkey
Bloons Super Monkey (often abbreviated as BSM) is the second Bloons spin off series to date.
The objective is to achieve at least the bronze trophy in all 20 stages using upgrades and research, as well as beat all four bosses. It is about moving the super monkey and popping Bloons to get power blops. Power blops are used to buy upgrades. If the monkey fails to pop the required amount of bloons for a certain level, the game is over. The super monkey wields weapons, which can be upgraded or replaced with a different weapon.
Bloons Monkey City
Bloons Monkey City is a game where you can build your own city. The more plots you capture, the more buildings you can place. Some buildings require specific tiles. You use in-game money and gems to help your city grow. Windmills and watermills create energy that is used by your other buildings. As you level up in the game, the more buildings and cities you can make. Special plots can contain MOABs, chests, camo bloons, etc.
- In Hot Air Bloon, users must pop as many Bloons as possible without crashing into obstacles. Players have the option to save their scores to the High Score List with an existing MochiGames account.
- In Who Wants To Be A Bloonionaire, users answer ten questions in a similar style to Who Wants to be a Millionare with two hints. If they are all answered correctly, then a trailer of Bloons TD 5 is shown.
- In Bloons Monkey City, users build multiple cities in the world of Bloons, in order to protect their bloon attacks from other players in Monkey V Monkey mode. Its gameplay is similar to the games Clash Of Clans and Game of War.
Tech media website CNET reported favorably on the Bloons Tower Defense games for iPhone, describing it as having "nearly everything from the beloved Web-based classic". The article reflects negatively on the controls, stating that "[they] are a little finicky", but overall their impression is positive, saying that the game is an ideal introduction to the tower defense genre for young children.
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- "Five awesome iPhone tower defense games". Review of 5 iPhone Tower Defense games. CNET: iPhone Atlas.