Bloons TD 5 is a classic wave based tower defense game that has been around on the web for a long time. However recently it has made its way to Xbox One for the first time, complete with everything from the web version plus some new and improved features, all presented in a colorful package for your popping pleasure.
For those of you who have not played the original game, the concept is simple; pop the balloons before they can reach the exit. They make their way around a track and to stop them, the player has to strategically place towers designed to attack and destroy the balloons. However those towers take the form of various powerful monkeys. I am aware of how odd it sounds. The player spends the bananas they earn to buy towers that range from offensive dart throwing monkeys to glue gun wielding monkeys designed to slow balloons down. On top of this some towers are designed to aid progression or other monkeys. There is an impressive long list of towers available to the player, each feel unique and different. They all have their purpose and the player really needs to consider which tower will benefit them the most in the long run. Picking the wrong combination can lead to too many balloons making it through the exit. The exit has a numbered health meter, so you really need to be careful.
Each track has a difficulty level associated with it, with each of them having an interesting visual look and design. The beginner tracks are simple in design, with the balloons flowing in one controlled direction. The tracks on the higher difficulty levels are much more chaotic and harder to defend. The game does a good job of making clear and distinct difficulty levels. For example everything costs more on the higher difficulty levels. Alongside the previous mentioned towers, there are also one time use items that only stay on the screen for a limited amount of time. They become vital when a balloon leaves the range of your towers and is scarily close to the exit. These items can really help make a difference. For those who are inpatient, or confident they can nail the round, there is a fast forward option that makes the round play out quickly. Be careful of this though, it leaves you little time to make changes if something goes wrong!
If you want something a little more difficult, then challenges might be the mode for you. Challenges offer different game modes with different rules and objectives. However you need to be rank 20. Ranking up is easily done, just playing the main game mode will have you reaching Rank 20 in no time. If you would rather just play for fun, or to train then there is a free play mode available to you. Alternatively you can play the main game mode with a friend or a random stranger online. Other features include the ability use the monkey lab to gain added boosts to the battlefield, specialty buildings to help boost your towers and unique agents that can only be brought with the games in game currency. They are very powerful but they have a onetime only use.
The game overall has been ported to consoles very well. The only slight issue I had was getting used to using a cursor on an Xbox game. It certainly does not hinder the experience, but it takes some time to get used to it. Thankfully the game does not feel like the free web version, and there is clearly enough extra content here to warrant paying for. However it does feel odd that a good chunk of the game is available for free already, as a side thought it will be interesting to see if customers are willing to pay to have the extra content.
Bloons TD5 is a fun and enjoyable game, one best played when you just want to switch off. It’s simple to understand and play, making it a great game to unwind with. It may not be the game everyone talks about, but it is worth the player’s attention. The developers did a good job of making the console version feel different to its free counterpart, making it worth the games relatively cheap price tag.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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