Bloons Tower Defense 5 Mobile Review - A flash-based tower-defense classic, only portable

If you have ever made an attempt to get involved in the tower defense genre, there are a few series that you are pretty much guaranteed to at least have heard of, if not had direct encounters with. Perhaps the most widely-known is Kingdom Rush, a wildly popular and stunningly-designed tower defense masterpiece. Cursed Treasure is another title that's wildly popular. There's also not a person alive and knowledgeable that isn't aware of Plants Vs. Zombies. But now it's time for the monkeys to take over the tower defense genre on the mobile market, and if there was ever a title that could do so with style and precision, it is Bloons Tower Defense 5 Mobile. Having made waves for many years on the browser-based flash-game scene, Ninjakiwi's series has finally been made portable, and popping balloons on the go has never been more entertaining.

Bloons Tower Defense 5

Familiar Mechanics

It will be no surprise to long-time fans of the Bloons Tower Defense series that this mobile version doesn't attempt to tinker with gameplay that has been tried and tested as one of the greatest tower defense games of all time. The goal remains simple, which is to pop as many of the bloons that appear on the pre-determined course, and if possible, letting none of them get through to the other end of the track should be the strived-for outcome. The method you'll use to stop the bloons is of course the placing of towers - there are many wonderful variations available - in strategic locations around the map. You can select the difficulty; this has effect on the lives that you have, the number of towers available to you, and the pace/ferociousness at which the bloons advance across the screen.

It's is typical of developers NinjaKiwi to not allow the action to stop at simply placing various towers and waiting for victory however. Active towers that have been deployed will gain experience points, taking a leaf out of the RPG genre's playbook and allowing players to upgrade their towers as they make progress. The progression of upgrades isn't boring or linear either; the system is a lot like Kingdom Rush in that there are different upgrade paths you can take when it comes time to add some firepower to your towers.

Bloons Tower Defense 5

A Tower For All Occasions

A significant quantity of the appeal that Bloons Tower Defense 5 holds comes in the form of the selection of towers that it has available for players to utilise against the ever-advancing army of bloons determined to make it to the other end of the path. The range consists of variations that start with the humble dart monkey that shoots single darts at oncoming balloons that are in range right through to multi-directional tack shooters, monkey snipers, ninja monkeys, bomb towers, super monkeys, mortar towers and beyond. Upgrading these towers results in more specialised or simply increasingly powerful units, such as the dartling gun possessing the ability to enable the rocket storm ability that shoots a missile to 100 of the on-screen bloons that are in closest proximity.

As well as familiar towers and features, there are also inclusions that are exclusive to the mobile version of the original flash-based Bloons Tower Defense 5. One of the most widely-advertised towers exclusive to the mobile version is the Heli-Pilot, a tower that is mobile and possesses a twin-dart shooter, various movement formations, and also the ability to drop off medical/cash-containing crates as well as allowing you to reposition some of the towers you've already laid out. The Monkey Sub also makes an appearance in, emerging from the water and shooting guided/homing darts and can receive upgrades that allow it to target bloons that are in firing range of any tower; it can also act as a support tower if you choose to upgrade it this way. You'll also be able to use an exclusive special agent called Radadactyl that maintains its position around its nest and pops any bloons in range.

Like Bloons, Only More Convenient

There isn't anything not to like about Bloons Tower Defense 5 Mobile. It retains the fantastic gameplay of the flash-based version whilst introducing some new towers, agents, and upgrades. The graphics looks substantially pleasing on iOS devices with retina display, and the colourful-and-quirky art style also allows the game to retain its unique and aesthetically-pleasing appearance. The only way to not enjoy Bloons Tower Defense 5 Mobile is if you don't actually own a device capable of playing it.