Review: Bloons – Flash Rehash?

bloons-1Anyone who’s ever dipped their hand into the large amount of online flash game sites will have likely found one variant of this very popular web-series. For those new to the whole ‘Bloons’ thing let me explain what the deal is.

In Bloons you play as a monkey who throws various darts at balloons to pop them. You are in a fixed position on the level and only have a set amount of darts. If you pop the target number of balloons in a level you move on to the next one. As with most flash games the gameplay is addictive and at times very difficult.

While the starting levels are simple the different kinds of balloons and blocks that get introduced lead to increasingly difficult challenges. Soon you will be dealing with, explosive balloons, ice balloons that freeze their neighbors when popped, and pin balloons that shoot out, you guessed it, pins in every direction. The levels contain blocks that range from unbreakable, breakable and bouncy. Put triple shot darts and boomerangs into the mix and you end up with some pretty devious levels.

From the opening screen one of the games little let downs becomes obvious. The graphics. Keeping close to the flash-original graphics may keep some of the games originality but I feel they should have gone for a complete makeover. The graphics have been upgraded but they don’t do the PSP justice.

Gameplay-wise not much has changed apart from the control scheme. In the original the mouse determined the angle and power of the throw. The longer you held the mouse button down the more power you put behind the throw. Precise, button release, timing was essential to hit your target. On the PSP you set the power level before hitting the throw button. This makes things a little bit easier as you can make small and accurate adjustments to the power between throws.

The level-editor is a nice touch despite being almost useless thanks to the no-multiplayer limitation of the minis. Unless you want to challenge your friends and family locally then I imagine most people won’t be making levels for themselves.

One last gripe I have about the game is that there is a big overlap between the levels in this version and the original. Since a lot of fans of the original will be buying this, they might be a bit disappointed. There was potential to include a lot more levels from any of the sequels or extra level packs.

Overall it’s a pretty addictive and fun puzzler. Playing if for free online you can’t help but think its great value. Having to fork out more than a few dollars for it and well you just might be questioning if it was worth it. With more polish the game had the potential to be a lot more. It shows its flash origins a little too much. If you urgently feel the need to play Bloons on a portable then buy it, otherwise you may just want to play the series online for free instead.

Score: 6

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Comments

11 Responses to “Review: Bloons – Flash Rehash?”
  1. Count says:

    Lol what!? They have Bloons on Mini too?
    Bloons was very addicting though, but based on your review, I think it would be better if you would stick with Pogo’s Bloons.

  2. Gareth says:

    Don’t think I’ll be buying this. I don’t want to be responsible for encouraging companies to rehash and charge me for games that are available online for free.

    Instead of buying this on Minis, you could open up the PSP’s web browser and go play the free version of this game which probably even has online leaderboards.

  3. Count says:

    @Gareth, really? how do you do that?

  4. Gareth says:

    How do you do what? Open the PSP’s web browser?

  5. Count says:

    I mean what website? You mentioned you can play this on the PSP browser?

  6. Gareth says:

    Oh what website? Well I just did a quick Google search and one of the sites it’s on is Miniclip: http://www.miniclip-games.net/games/3346.html.

    You should be able to play it on the PSP assuming they didn’t export it for one of the later Flash players – can’t see any real reason for them to do so as the game doesn’t offer anything particularly spectacular that couldn’t be done in AS2.

  7. Gareth says:

    Of course, if it doesn’t work then don’t cry at me. ;) You could always buy the PSP version if you really do have more money than sense.

  8. barkiemailman says:

    WTF?
    The comments for this game are pretty frustrating..

    ” I don’t want to be responsible for encouraging companies to rehash and charge me for games that are available online for free.”

    Why not? Those companies get paid through advertisements on the net. If they want to WORK on a PSP version and PAY to have it rated by the ESRB, they should get paid for that!

    “Instead of buying this on Minis, you could open up the PSP’s web browser and go play the free version of this game which probably even has online leaderboards.”

    Well thats just plain wrong. It doesn’t work. Just tried it. Great advice.

    “Of course, if it doesn’t work then don’t cry at me. You could always buy the PSP version if you really do have more money than sense.”

    Basically saying “buy it if you’re stupid enough to pay money for a game you can play for free”. Well, you can’t play this for free on a psp. Even if the game worked on the web browser, you still need to be somewhere offering Wi-Fi that you can log into and play with. Two days out of each week, my girlfriend has only 1 class at university. Rather than drop her off and drive all the way home, I just play PSP in my car for an hour while I wait. What the hell good is it if these flash games are free to play at my house a half hour away?

    Remember – Its called a playstation PORTABLE. We don’t need to be tethered to a PC or a Hotspot environment to play our games. If a company releases a game thats also free online, I don’t need “More money than sense” to buy it if I want a portable version….I just need $4 which shouldn’t break the bank for the majority of us.

  9. confuletlyf says:

    … weird… necrospam? It’s a duplicate post of gareth’s last comment

  10. onmode-ky says:

    I’ve exorcised it.

  11. taoofgreentea says:

    Dang it, I bought this game instead of Bloons TD. I didn’t realize that there were 2 Bloons titles. It’s not bad.

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