Saturday, 14 June 2014

App Review No. 55 Bloons TD 5

Strong Points:
Great tower defence gameplay
Lots of varied towers
Lots of varied stages
Nice, cartoony graphics
Powers are good
Split path tower upgrades add more depth to the game
Stat upgrades can help you if you're stuck on a level
Daily challenge, random missions and special missions adds more content to the game
Levelling unlock system is good
Kill count is a nice little thing

Weak Points:
The jump between difficulties (both stages and modes) is quite big
Certain levels are a lot harder than others (big difficulty spikes)
You can only have one speciality at a time
The specialities aren't that good
Enemy variation is only as much as this enemy is slightly harder to kill and releases smaller enemies that are slightly easier to kill
It can lag on later levels
No story, why are we popping bloons??

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
World Wide: 16th December, 2012

Tap to place monkey's buy monkey's and upgrade monkey's
Slide to use some powers and towers

To pop or not to pop, that is the question. And in this game, the answer is definitely to pop. And how to pop them, you may ask? With monkey-themed towers of course. Well, what else?

The premise of the game is that the monkeys are popping bloons (or balloons to us non-monkey folk) as they travel down stranger and more elaborate tracks for no reason whatsoever. Have the bloons hurt any monkeys? Stolen something? Done anything bad except for floating around randomly? Or are the monkey's just a sadistic race hell bent on destroying this race of sentient balloons? I'm going to go with that last point. And I might as well as it's never explained in the main game anyway (although there is a special mission where the bloons are trying to destroy the monkey's hometown).

Anyway, the gameplay of the game is simple: place towers and pop bloons in order to get cash so that you can buy more towers or upgrade your existing ones before popping more bloons. The different types of towers range from normal Dart Monkeys to Sniper Monkeys and Magic Monkeys (Monkey Apprentices) all the way to Helicopter Monkeys (Heli Pilot) and Battleship Monkeys (Monkey Buccaneer) as well as the legendary Super Monkey. So, a lot of monkey's. Most towers attack but some (such as the Monkey Village and Banana Farm) increase other towers stats or give you banana's (cash), respectively, while others slow down balloons (such as the glue and arctic monkey's).

And then you've got the upgrades. There are eight upgrades per tower in total but you can only get six per tower. That's because each tower has two upgrade paths, which you can upgrade simultaneously for the first two upgrades on each path, but split at the third upgrade. If you buy the third upgrade on one path, then you can't buy the third upgrade on the second path. This adds even more strategy to the game as, not only do you have to decide on what tower to get, but also what upgrades. Most upgrades improve your towers stats or add an extra form of attack (missiles, fireballs or laser vision to name a few) while some help you improve other towers stats. There are even some upgrades that grant you a Special Ability that can turn the tide of battle. These include abilities such as scattering the whole track with tacks to summoning a phoenix. Combining both the towers and the upgrades into a great strategy that both destroys thousands of balloons and lags out your device is great fun and something to aim for (the thousands of balloons thing that is, not the lag).

The main tracks are ordered in terms of difficulty (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert and Extreme) and range from grass planes and a beach to a dragster race and a clock. Each track changes the gameplay subtly on each level which makes them all worth a play. And then, to add even more replay value, there are the four difficulty modes (Easy, Medium, Hard and Impoppable) as well as three extra modes (Apopalypse, Deflation and Sandbox). In the normal modes, you progress by beating all the bloons per round and once you get to a certain amount of completed rounds (the actual amount changes depending on the difficulty e.g. 65 in medium difficulty) you beat that difficulty for that map. You can then keep playing in freeplay mode and continue getting xp (although not as much as before freeplay) and having fun! (woo!)

Apopalypse mode, on the other hand, tasks you with beating as many rounds as possible without pausing in between rounds. In this mode, you also don't get any money for completing rounds. Deflation mode is the classic survival mode in which you start the game on round 30 with $50,000 which you can spend on towers and upgrades. However, you can't get more money in any way (this includes completing rounds, popping bloons and using the Banana Farm). Finally, there is Sandbox mode. This mode lets you develop new strategies with infinite lives and money. Whereas all other modes are unlocked by gaining xp, Sandbox is unlocked by spending 1500 Monkey Money (out of round money).

This money is also used to buy specialist tower stat upgrades. However, this is at the cost of another tower becoming more expensive to buy and upgrade. For instance, if you upgrade the Monkey Sub then the Ninja Monkey becomes more expensive. Also, as you can only have one speciality at a time, it is not the most helpful of upgrades but does have its tactical advantages. The other way to upgrade your stats is through the Monkey Lab. These upgrades are much more helpful as they affect, either every tower, or the game as a whole. They include things such as increasing your Popping Power to increasing Monkey's Sell Price or shortening the Special Ability Cooldown. 

The final thing that you can buy outside of rounds are Special Agents. These are one use towers that range from support towers (such as the Monkey Farmer and Meerkat Spy) to fighters (such as the Tribal Turtle and Radadactyl) and even extra space to place units (such as the Portable Lake and Pontoon).

There are also four modes that are not part of the main game and these are Random Missions, Daily Challenge and Special Missions as well as a Co-op Mode. The Random Missions are pretty self-explanatory: you play a random map with some special rules (such as only being allowed to use eight towers) and then earn some Monkey Cash for it. Daily Challenge is the same thing but they happen daily and the rewards accumulate over time as you complete more challenges. Special Missions mode contains a selection of specially designed missions ranging from only having $50,000 to defeat 50 MOAB's (blimps to us non-monkey folk) to having to watch as an overpowered Monkey Apprentice (or a Wizard Lord) eats your towers to fuel his power. Co-op Mode involves you and a friend/enemy/complete stranger defeating a map of bloons on two devices with one player controlling one side of the map each. All these modes equate to a lot of replay value and hundreds of hours of gameplay.

Overall, Bloons TD 5 is a brilliant tower defence game with cutesy graphics and hardcore gameplay. A must buy. (As long as you are willing to pay in bananas!)

Rating: 92%

Goodbye for now, Harry

P.S: game cannot be paid for in banana's (sadly)

Update: it's time to call in the long-range towers for this new track (which also happens to be called Long Range)! It's an Advanced with limited placement area for towers which means long-range/seeking towers are a must. Also, be sure to stop the bloons from snaking down claustrophobic canyon!

Update: twist, turn and check in this new beginners map for Bloons TD 5. Hone your skills/fail miserably with every twist and turn. It's called Checkers. There's not much more to say

Update: new, spooky, track: the Crypt Keeper (also available in co-op mode)

Update: two new, festive tracks and two not so festive tracks: Candy Land and Express Shipping and Pyramids and Tar Pit

Update: prepare to face Poseidon's wrath in the new Odyssey Mode! Take on 5 tracks, handpicked by the community, with only a single set of lives

Update: an intermediate track (Wattle Trees) and an advanced track (Battle Knot) were added

Update: a new mode called Mastery Mode was added and includes double rewards, increased Monkey Lab research and five new exclusive medals per map to be won as well as bigger bloons and bigger challenges. Unlocked by getting all medals on all beginner tracks and at least bronze on all other tracks

No comments:

Post a Comment