Bloons Tower Defense

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Bloons Tower Defense
Bloons TD iOS Logo.jpg
The logo for Bloons TD
Genre(s)Tower defense
Developer(s)Ninja Kiwi,
Digital Goldfish Ltd. (iOS)
Publisher(s)Ninja Kiwi
Platform(s)Android, browser (Flash), iOS, macOS, Nintendo DSi, PlayStation Portable, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
First releaseBloons TD
Mid 2007
Latest releaseBloons TD 6
  • WW: June 14, 2018

Bloons Tower Defense (also known as Bloons TD) is a series of tower defense games under the Bloons series created and produced by Ninja Kiwi. The game was initially developed as a browser game, built upon the Adobe Flash platform and released in 2007. Later games in the series expanded to support various mobile platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DSi.

In the game, players attempt to prevent balloons (called bloons in-game) from reaching the end of a set course by placing towers or road items along it that can pop the bloons in a variety of ways. Some towers can stall the bloons and give the other towers more time to pop them by freezing and gluing the bloons. Money is gained by popping bloons, completing levels, and collecting bananas from existing farms which can be spent on new towers, upgrades for existing ones, or temporary items such as exploding pineapples and road spikes.


The main objective of Bloons TD is to prevent balloons, known in-game as "Bloons", from reaching the end of a defined track on a map which consists of one or more entrances and exits for the bloons. The game is a tower defense game and thus the player can choose various types of towers and traps at his or her disposal to place around the track in order to defend against the bloons, gaining 1 in-game dollar for every layer of bloon popped.[1][2] If a bloon reaches the end of a path, the player loses lives (or in later games, health); once these are all depleted, the game ends.[3][4] The bloons always follow the map's set path on the track until they either reach the exit(s), are popped, or are moved to an earlier part of the track by a towers’ ability.

There are two classes of bloons the game: regular (unnamed in the game) and MOAB-class. The regular bloons consist of: red, blue, green, yellow, pink, black, white, lead, zebra, rainbow, purple, and ceramic bloons. MOAB-class bloons are in the shape of a blimp and consist of: MOAB (Massive Ornary Air Blimp), BFB (Brutal Flying Behemoth), DDT (Dark Dirigible Titan), the ZOMG (Zeppelin Of Mighty Gargantuaness) and the BAD (Big Airship of Doom). Tougher variants of most bloon types contain a number of specified weaker ones.[5] In later versions of the game, regular bloons possess sometimes special characteristics such as camo (which most towers cannot detect), regrowth (the ability for the bloons to slowly grow back to its original size) and fortified (which doubles the health of toughest bloons), that resist certain tower types.[6] With each level, the intensity of bloon waves proportionately increases.[7]

Towers are the main defensive utility in the Bloons TD series. Each tower has its own unique purpose, power, and use, with some being powerful against specific bloons but unable to target others effectively.[8] Every tower can be upgraded to increase power and other capabilities by spending the in-game currency, known simply as 'money', which is earned by popping bloons and at the end of each round.[8] In Bloons TD 4 onwards, certain towers such as banana farms can be placed to produce additional money during a round (end of the round in Bloons TD 4).[9]

In later games, there are multiple difficulty levels; for instance, in BTD5, there are four difficulty levels and in Bloons Monkey City there are 5. With each harder difficulty the player plays on, the fewer lives they have and the more each tower and upgrade cost. There are also different types of maps rated by difficulty; in general, there are more types of maps in newer games.

Numbered games[edit]

There are currently six released numbered games in the Bloons TD series apart from various add-on packs and spin-offs such as Bloons TD 4 Expansion and Bloons Monkey City.[10] The newest release, Bloons TD 6, was released on June 14, 2018.[11] The series was retitled from Bloons Tower Defense to Bloons TD in 2009 due to infringement on the TowerDefense trademark owned by Com2uS.[12]

Bloons Tower Defense and Bloons Tower Defense 2[edit]

A screenshot of the original Bloons Tower Defense.

Bloons Tower Defense is the first game in the BTD series, released for free as a flash browser game in mid 2007.[13] In the game players had to defend against coloured bloons with monkeys, dart throwers, and other towers positioned around the map.[14] When strong bloons are popped they release weaker ones until eventually completely popping. If all lives are lost, the game is over. If all waves are passed, the player will win the game.[5]

Bloons Tower Defense 2 was released soon after in late 2007,[13] adding new towers, multiple map options, new bloons, and an option for game difficulty.[15]

Bloons TD 3[edit]

A screenshot of the Bloons TD 3 browser version from 2012 onwards

Bloons TD 3 was released around September 5, 2008, months after the release of Bloons Tower Defense 2, named differently due to a trademark dispute with Com2uS.[12][13] As with the second game, new towers, bloons, and maps were added.[16]

A version based on this game was released for iOS titled Bloons TD; made available on October 3, 2009 from the iOS App Store.[7] This version had extra maps styled in snow and beach themes,[17] and included OpenFeint achievements.[18]

The game included 5 map packs, containing a total of 15 different levels to play, with packs unlocked by completing the previous levels.[4] This version of the game was also released for the PlayStation Portable in 2010.[2]

Another version of the game, simply titled Bloons TD, was released for DSiWare in 2011, containing 50 rounds to complete.[19][20]

Bloons TD 4[edit]

Bloons TD 4 was released on October 26, 2009 as an online freemium game with a proprietary iOS version released on December 7, 2010, developed in conjunction with Digital Goldfish.[21][22][23] The gameplay underwent changes including a graphical update, the ability to save the current game, and the introduction of an unlock-based leveling system.[3] The tower upgrading system received various changes including increasing the number of upgrades per tower,[13] and new maps and game modes were added.[24]

iPhone and iPad versions of this title have been purchased over one million times.[25] A version of the game was also released as a DSiWare game in 2012.[26]

Bloons TD 5[edit]

A screenshot of the Bloons TD 5 iOS version.

The original (Flash and freemium) Bloons TD 5 was released on December 13, 2011. On November 15, 2012, the proprietary version of BTD5 was released on iOS worldwide for iPhones and iPods with improved graphics and additional upgrades, tracks, towers, and bloon types.[8] On November 19, 2014 it was released on Steam.[27]

The game introduced a daily challenge feature on January 27, 2012; which sets a certain goal for the player to achieve, rewarding him or her with more in-game currency.[28] Also with a new update for the mobile version of BTD5, a new tower was added called the "Monkey Sub". The submarine was later added to the online version on July 23, 2015.

This game also an has unlimited round free play mode, which can have from MOABs to ZOMGs. The Steam/Mobile version has two special mode bosses, the Dreadbloon and Blastapopoulos. The iOS, Android and Steam versions have 15 languages: English, Arabic, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish.[29] On March 3, 2017 it was released for Microsoft's Xbox One, later releasing for PlayStation 4 on May 9, 2017 and Nintendo Switch on June 13th, 2018, all of which cost $14.99 USD.[30]

Bloons TD 6[edit]

Bloons TD 6 is the newest game in the Bloons series. After being announced on March 28, 2017 on PRLog, it was released for the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store on June 14, 2018. A Steam version was released on December 17, 2018.[31] Unlike earlier games, Bloons TD 6 does not have a counterpart on the Ninja Kiwi website.

New features in Bloons TD 6 include new 3D graphics, obstacles that block a monkey's sight, a revamped monkey knowledge system, two new regular towers (the Druid and Alchemist), a new type of tower called heroes, a fortified bloon property, purple bloons, a new MOAB-Class bloon called the B.A.D., a new difficulty called C.H.I.M.P.S., and 5th tier and 3rd path upgrades for every tower.[32] In addition, the Dartling Gunner and Bloonchipper have been removed, and it is not known if Ninja Kiwi will add them. The Mortar Monkey and Engineer Monkey were re-added later in later updates.

The fortified property acts as a shield that makes the bloons stronger; it doubles the amount of damage needed to take down that bloon. Fortified bloons also carry on the property to a bloon's "children". The bloons able to have the property are lead, ceramic, and any MOAB-class bloon. Certain upgrades can remove the fortified property off of bloons, turning them back into normal bloons and decreasing their health.

In Bloons TD 6, heroes were introduced, a special type of tower that levels itself up (though the player can spend in-game money to level the hero up instantly) and can upgrade without player input; only one hero can be used per game, and it is preselected beforehand by the player. Each tower has unique abilities and moves. There were four heroes released when the game was first launched: Quincy, Gwendolin, Striker Jones, and Obyn Greenfoot. Captain Churchill, Benjamin, Ezili, and Pat Fusty were added as new heroes in later updates.[33]

Cosmetic “skins” have also been added to Quincy, Gwendolin, Captain Churchill, Striker Jones, Obyn Greenfoot, Benjamin, and Ezili, in order of release date. Quincy's skin is Robo-Quincy, a cyborg version of himself. Gwendolin was turned into Scientist Gwendolin, a scientist-themed version of herself with blue fire. Captain Churchill becomes Sentai Churchill, a Super Sentai or Power Rangers themed skin with an arcade-like feel. Striker Jones’ skin is Biker Bones, a biker skeleton with flames (This is a reference to the B Emoji meme started in the subreddit, when Jones was the worst hero of the four). Obyn Greenfoot's skin is Ocean Guardian, a Poseidon version of himself. Benjamin's skin is DJ Benjammin', a disc jockey version of himself. Ezili's skin is Smudge Catt skin, which has an orange cat on top herself, and has a blue skin and teal-ragged clothes.


Apart from the main series, Ninja Kiwi has made several BTD games that include the core gameplay of BTD but are not numbered sequels.

Bloons TD Battles[edit]

Bloons TD Battles was released on December 12, 2012,[34] and later to Android and iOS platforms in Between November 5 & 6, 2013.[35] On April 20, 2016, it came to Steam as a ported version of mobile.[36]

The gameplay is similar to that in Bloons TD 5 but two players compete against one another in one of three game modes. In "assault" mode, each player normally progresses through the levels that are made harder. However, the players are also given the ability to purchase additional bloons, sending them to the opponent, overwhelming them.[37] In "defense" mode, the players play a natural game, the screen split vertically. Players can spend money to increase their income. In "Card Battles" mode, the players choose from a selection of cards to use in their games. The cards have two functions: Sending bloons to the enemy player, which, like in Assault Mode, will give the player who sends the bloons income, and placing down a tower. All three game objectives are to outlast the opponent in surviving the bloon attacks. The mobile version of Bloons TD Battles is exclusive as it has 5 non-PC towers, the Monkey Sub, the Monkey Engineer, the Bloonchipper, the Heli Pilot, and an exclusive tower called the "COBRA" (Covert Ops Battles Response Agent).[38] Using the system's skill-based matching system, players can be automatically matched with one another.[39]

Bloons Monkey City[edit]

Bloons Monkey City was released on November 25, 2013. Like Bloons TD Battles, the core gameplay is similar to that of BTD5, however, the player has to maintain a city, expanding the city by capturing bloon-infested areas called tiles.[40] One important goal of the game is levelling up the city. Players earn XP for the city by capturing tiles, completing missions or building towers. Earning higher levels with XP grants access to certain unique game features, like Monkey vs. Monkey, monkey knowledge, etc.

There is also an in-game feature known as Monkey vs. Monkey, allowing players to fight each other; raids can be launched using the resource "Bloontonium". This can be acquired by capturing certain tiles or with Bloontonium generators. If the opponent fails to defend against the raid in the set time period, the attacker gains city cash, another resource in the game used to build towers, bloonstones, the 'premium currency' of the game, and city honor, which has no primary purpose in the game other than achievements.

One primary difference between this game and the others in the Bloons series is the addition of buildings.[40] Buildings in Bloons Monkey City are required in order to use and to upgrade towers. Some buildings serve as prerequisites to other buildings, while others are prerequisites to using certain bloons in raids, and the number of towers you can use in a game depends on how many of that specific type of building you possess. Some buildings unlock new monkeys, while others unlock upgrades for these monkeys. Other buildings are required to unlock the tier four upgrades, Camo Bloon defense, and MOAB class Bloon popping power (the Sun God and Robo-Monkey also require buildings). This game contains 3000 Tiles, and a new MOAB Class Bloon, which is DDT (or Dark Dirigible Titan).

In mid-2014, Ninja Kiwi released a new mode known as Contested Territory, a mini-game which offers bonus rewards, and pits players against each other, all of whom compete to survive the most rounds for the longest time on a trickier-than-normal track.[40][41] This game was released on browser, but a port to iOS and Android was released on December 3, 2014 and February 18, 2015 respectively.[42][43]

Bloons Adventure Time TD[edit]

Bloons Adventure Time TD is a crossover game between Ninja Kiwi's Bloons TD series and Cartoon Network's Adventure Time series that was announced via the Cartoon Network International News Site and the Ninja Kiwi blog on March 8 and March 9, 2018 respectively.

The game soft launched on July 14 in Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and Singapore on Android and iOS and later launched internationally. The game features characters from Cartoon Network's Adventure Time such as Finn, Jake and Princess Bubblegum as well as new monkey heroes like Max, Cassie and C4 Charlie.[44]

The gameplay is similar to other games in the series, with a new weapons and item mechanic as well. There are at least 15 adventures and 50 maps to play in that act as the playing stage of the game.[45]


Aggregate review scores
Game Year Metacritic
Bloons TD 4 2009 iOS: 69/100[46]
Bloons TD 5 2012 iOS: 79/100[47]
Bloons TD Battles 2012 iOS: 78/100[48]

Shortly after the release of Bloons Tower Defense, Lore Sjöberg of Wired described the game as cheerful and addictive, calling it "pop culture at its best".[14] In 2012, Justin Davis of IGN described Bloons Tower Defense as one of the best free tower defense games, despite its "amateurish" artwork.[5] He later noted the first entry's lack of depth, and that the sequel improved this.[15]

IGN editor Daemon Hatfield said that he thought Bloons TD 3 succeeded in standing out in the crowded genre by having sufficient core game mechanics and adding an individual twist.[49] The game's iOS version received mixed reviews with some authors praising the unique towers and good gameplay, though the user interface, controls, and lack of leaderboards were criticised.[4][7][50] The DS version received similar reception, with Lucas Thomas of IGN describing it as "a pretty good take on good old Bloons TD."[19] Eurogamer's Kristan Reed gave the PSP version 8/10, describing it as "transfixing", though he said that the music appeared to be designed to "drive you insane".[16]

GameZebo editor Jim Squires gave Bloons TD 4 a 3.5/5 rating, praising it on its well designed maps and towers and for having a large amount of content, but he criticized the game for not "bringing anything new to the genre."[21] GamePro editor Ryan Rigney gave Bloons TD 4 a 2/5 rating, stating that it had the same Bloons Tower Defense gameplay as the previous titles, and "the screen eventually gets so hectic that it's no longer fun to play"; an issue which many other reviews also responded negatively to.[3][21][51]

Bloons TD 5 was received similarly to its previous version, with reviewers commenting positively on the number of maps, towers, and levels, but criticising the lack of innovation to the tower-defense genre and performance issues at higher levels.[8][9] Both Bloons TD 4 and Bloons TD 5 featured among the top 10 paid iPhone apps in the iOS App Store,[52][53] with Bloons TD 4 selling over 1 million copies.[25] Bloons TD remained in the top 100 apps for at least 3 months,[17] and Bloons TD 5 was the 8th most purchased iPhone app in 2013.[54] Overall, the game series has been played over 1 billion times across web and mobile devices.[55]


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External links[edit]