Developer: DIGITAL GOLDFISH
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.3
Device Reviewed On: iPhone

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I’m going to be extremely unfair from the start of this review – I was predisposed to not like Bloons TD4. After all, how many tower defense games are we going to be swarmed with on the app store before this madness stops?

However, something happened when I started playing Bloons TD4. I kept playing….and playing….and playing. In spite of myself and my own meager preconceptions, I really enjoyed the heck out of this little game. I’ve never played the other Bloons games, but I now see the error of my ways.

Bloons TD4 seems like a pretty standard tower defense game from the outset. You have a simple map (thankfully it’s a long path with a fair number of turns) and almost absurdly simple enemies. I mean, your enemies are balloons! I know, I laughed at that too, but for some reason this very simple concept works very well. Your job is to set up a variety of weapons along the way to take out the diabolical…uh…balloons. Developer Digital Goldfish includes 16 different towers, including some that only exist for a short period of time (time bomb pineapples and tacks, for example). Each tower also has four upgrades available, so there are lots of ways to spend the cash you earn by destroying balloons and clearing levels.

So what makes this any different from other tower defense games? Two things: clean, simple graphics/animation and sheer speed. This is not a game that is going to get bogged down or laggy on your iPhone. It’s got sheer speed on its side, and you may be amazed at the rapid pace some of the enemies challenge you to. Second, the animation is delightful, bright and (most of all) crisp and professional. This is a game that plays smoothly and feels really tight and well-conceived – and Apple Game Center support doesn’t hurt either. Pretty good for a bunch of balloons, huh?

So follow my lead and shelve those preconceptions. For $2.99 this is a very fun, well-developed game worthy of your time. Don’t make me send my army of balloons after you if you don’t give it a shot.

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