Bloons Tower Defense

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Bloons Tower Defense
Bloons TD iOS Logo.jpg
The logo for Bloons TD
Genres Tower defense
Developers Ninja Kiwi,
Digital Goldfish Ltd. (iOS)
Publishers Ninja Kiwi
Platforms Android, browser, iOS, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DSi
Platform of origin Adobe Flash
First release Bloons TD
2007
Latest release Bloons Monkey City
  • WW: November 25, 2013

Bloons Tower Defense (also known as Bloons TD) is a series of tower defense games under the Bloons series produced and created 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 along it; units which can pop the bloons in a variety of ways. It is also possible to freeze and, in later levels, glue the bloons, giving other towers more time to pop them. Money is gained by popping bloons and completing levels, and can be spent on extra towers or upgrades for existing ones or even special items such as exploding pineapples and monkey tacks.

Gameplay[edit]

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 points for every 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 depleted, the game ends.[3][4]

Bloons follow the map's set path on the track (unless they are hit by a weapon that causes them to move back to the start) until they either reach the exit(s) or are popped. There are multiple types of bloons, red bloons, blue bloons, green bloons, yellow bloons, pink bloons, black bloons, white bloons, lead bloons, zebra bloons, rainbow bloons, ceramic bloons, and blimps, referred to as MOAB (massive ornery air blimp)-class bloons, with tougher variants containing a number of weaker ones.[5] In some versions of the game bloons possess special abilities, or strengths, such as camo (which most towers cannot detect) and regrowth (the ability for the bloons to slowly grow back to its original size), 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 and Bloons TD 5, certain towers can be placed to produce additional money.[9]

In later games, there are 4 difficulty levels to play each level on, and there are 5 different types of maps rated by difficulty; beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert, and extreme With each harder difficulty the player plays on, the less lives they have and the more each tower and upgrade cost.

Series[edit]

There are currently six main games in the Bloons Tower Defense series, in addition to various add-on packs and spin-offs such as Bloons Tower Defense 4 Expansion and Bloons Monkey City.[10] The series was retitled from Bloons Tower Defense to Bloons TD in 2009 due to infringement on the TowerDefense trademark owned by Com2uS.[11]

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 late 2007.[12] In the game players had to defend against coloured bloons with monkeys, dart throwers, and other towers positioned around the map.[13] When strong bloons are popped they release weaker ones until eventually completely popping.[5] Bloons Tower Defense 2 was released soon after in early 2008,[12] adding new towers, multiple map options, new bloons, and an option for game difficulty.[14]

Bloons TD 3[edit]

A screenshot of the Bloons TD 3 browser version.

Bloons TD 3 was released around October 2008, months after the release of Bloons Tower Defense 2, named differently due to a trademark dispute with Com2uS.[11][12] As with the second game, new towers, bloons, and maps were added.[15]

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,[16] and included OpenFeint achievements.[17] 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.[18][19]

Bloons TD 4[edit]

Bloons TD 4 was released in October 2009 online with an iOS version released on 7 December 2010, developed in conjunction with Digital Goldfish.[20][21][22] 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,[12] and new maps and game modes were added.[23]

iPhone and iPad versions of this title have been purchased over one million times.[24] A version of the game was also released as a DSiWare game in 2012.[25]

Bloons TD 5[edit]

A screenshot of the Bloons TD 5 iOS version.

Bloons TD 5 was released in December 2011 with improved graphics and additional upgrades, tracks, towers, and bloon types.[8] The game also introduced a daily challenge feature which sets a certain goal for the player to achieve, rewarding him or her with more in-game currency.[26] On November 15, 2012, BTD 5 was released on iOS worldwide for iPhones and iPods.[8] 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 in July 2015. A PC version of the game was also made available for purchase in November 2014, on the popular gaming platform Steam.

Bloons TD Battles[edit]

Bloons TD Battles was released in 2012,[27] and later to Android and iOS platforms in 2013.[28] In 2016, it came to Steam.[citation needed] 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. However, the players are also given the ability to purchase additional bloons, sending them to the opponent, overwhelming their competitor.[29] In "defense" mode, the players play a natural game, the screen split vertically. Players can use 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 two non-PC towers, the Submarine and an exclusive tower called the "Cobra".[30] Using the system's skill-based matching system, players can be automatically matched with one another.[31]

Bloons Monkey City[edit]

Bloons Monkey City is the latest game in the series released in December 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. One important goal of the game is to level your city up. You can gain XP to level your city up by capturing tiles or building towers. You can also fight other players though an in-game feature called Monkey v. Monkey. You can also launch raids of your own using "bloontonium". This can be acquired by capturing certain tiles or with bloontonium generators. If your opponent can not defend against your raid, you gain city cash. City cash is used to build towers. One item of this game sets it apart from all other Bloons TD games. You have to build towers that let you upgrade your monkeys and even gain monkeys in the first place. You also have to build towers to allow you to use certain bloons in raids. Some special upgrades and towers require you to build certain special towers, such as the rubber repair. Another interesting part of this game is a thing called contested territory. This is a minigame where you compete against other players to survive the most levels on a trickier-than-normal track. In this special mini game, you can gain city cash, special rewards such as monkey knowledge packs, and more. Monkey knowledge packs gain XP for your monkeys, leveling them up. When you level your monkeys up, they can either become more powerful, cheaper, or more. This game was released on browser, but a port to iOS and Android was released in December 2014 and February 2015 respectively.[32][33]

Reception[edit]

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".[13] 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.[14]

IGN editor Daemon Hatfield said that he thought Bloons Tower Defense 3 succeeded in standing out in the crowded genre by having sufficient core game mechanics and adding an individual twist.[34] 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][35] The DS version received similar reception, with Lucas Thomas of IGN describing it as "a pretty good take on good old Bloons TD."[18] 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".[15]

GameZebo editor Jim Squires gave Bloons Tower Defense 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."[20] GamePro editor Ryan Rigney gave Bloons Tower Defense 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][20][36]

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,[37][38] with Bloons TD 4 selling over 1 million copies.[24] Bloons TD remained in the top 100 apps for at least 3 months,[16] and Bloons TD 5 was the 8th most purchased iPhone app in 2013.[39] Overall, the game series has been played over 1 billion times across web and mobile devices.[40]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]