Bloons Review: Get Poppin’

The idea is simple in Bloons, although it may be a little wacky.  As a monkey, it’s your goal in life to shoot as many balloons as possible.  But being an arrow shooting monkey would be too easy, right?  This monkey can also throw a mean boomerang and fire a trick shot with three arrows at once.  Thankfully, all this comes together in a good, challenging puzzler.

There are 50 levels to progress through.  Moving forwards requires you to shoot a certain amount of balloons.  This may sound easy, but often you’ll have to think about how you are going to manage your limited arrows to make that goal.  To fire, you drag an arrow away from the monkey to give the shot an angle and power level.  The levels are mixed up with different powerups and environment pieces, to keep things fresh.  Let’s take a closer look now at Bloons.

Likes

Not too easy, not too hard, but just right: As you progress through the levels, they definitely start to get harder.  The important part is that the difficulty gives you a good sense of accomplishment when you complete them, and are not too hard to make you want to quit.  Just as you think you want to give up, you’ll pass a level and move on to the next.  The “aha!” moments that came after a puzzle was solved were frequent.  If you are really feeling stuck, there are a lot of tutorials online that can help you get through the tougher levels.

Addictive: Levels are deceivingly short; as soon as you finish one, it’s easy to get sucked right into the next one.  Immediate transitions between levels and restarting levels help the addictive nature as well.

Dislikes

No circus music for me, please: There’s no option to play your own music in the game.  Even muting all in-game sound effects and music and then starting yours won’t work; as soon as you fire an arrow, your music is muted.  I think all iPhone developers need to respect certain guidelines of iPhone gaming, and the ability to play your own music is certainly one of them.

Overall, Bloons is a great pick up and play game to challenge your mind in short bursts.  For $2.99, join the fun and put your arrow shooting monkey skills to the test.  I had a lot of fun with it and found myself addicted to the challenge.

buy

Bloons was developed by Digital Goldfish and licensed by Ninja Kiwi, and is available on iPhones and iPod Touches for $2.99.  At the time of this writing, Bloons is on sale for $0.99.  I played through version 1.0 on an iPod Touch 2G and got up to level 32.  Please note that Bloons may have originated as a Flash game, but this review is treated independently of that fact.

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