Bloons TD 4 Review

By , on January 6, 2011

Bloons TD 4
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Easy to learn for new tower-defense players.
  • Bright, colorful theme; minimal slow-downs even during heavy waves.
  • Ranking system and medals provide some replay incentives.


  • New towers and maps only serve to highlight the repetitive feel of the game.
  • Poor tower designs; overlapping visuals quickly get crowded and frustrating to manage.


Although tower-defense titles are no longer swarming on to the App Store, it's strange to see Bloons TD 4 sticking to the old formula instead of trying something more unique; a decent TD, but nothing outstanding.

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Can lightning strike four times in a row? The Flash version of Bloons TD has survived the multiple releases despite minimal changes over time and in deference to the iOS device users the second and third title have been skipped by Digital Goldfish, launching Bloons TD 4 as the follow-up to their popular original tower-defense game.

Much like the original game the goal is to simply destroy the colored balloons before they make their way to an exit, removing points from your health total if they survive. In order to ramp up the difficulty, each new 'bloon' is packed with balloons of different colors, imparting new properties and requiring a range of towers to ensure all of your bases are covered. This can become a confusing mess rather quickly, however the game's level-based progress system unlocks new towers and abilities, providing the tools necessary to survive while allowing you to absorb the information you've already learned.

Unfortunately there isn't anything terribly new about the fourth installment in terms of gameplay and while the visuals have certainly been given a polishing, Bloons TD 4 feels like a relic past its time. Seemingly tiny features that are now considered relatively standard are oddly missing, including the ability to accurately select towers and being able to see the composition of the next wave (for the purposes of strategic planning). Tower placement is relatively painless and players can choose between directly dropping towers or needing to confirm their position first, but given the free-form tower placement style the screen can quickly become challenging to navigate as upgraded towers become larger and frequently overlap adjacent towers.

This makes Bloons TD 4 more disappointing than truly upsetting to play as it remains fun enough to enjoy despite the lack of any real gameplay improvements. While the new ranking system does a great job of smoothing out the learning process, the need for trial-and-error over strategy (especially on later levels) can become tiresome. Fans of tower defense titles that don't mind a bit of old-school charm will enjoy the polished presentation of Bloons TD 4, but it's unlikely to 'wow' those who have passed through the glut of TD titles that have come before it.


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