Bloons TD 6 is the latest iteration of the popular Bloons franchise, released by Ninja Kiwi from their Dundee offices. Being a sucker for a solid tower defense game since the start of the App Store, I picked up this game with high hopes – I wasn’t disappointed.

You could call Bloons TD 6 ‘Tower Defense on steroids’. It feels like everything is happening, all at once and you have hundreds of characters to play with. It can feel a bit overwhelming initially, but the game does walk you through the early steps of each character’s special ability and if you’ve played any TD game before, you’ll jump straight in. Don’t do what i did and skip all the help tips – they are genuinely useful.

You start with a limited number of monkeys (read: towers) you can use to pop balloons and the early gameplay is to level up and unlock new monkeys which have special abilities to pop the range of balloon types that are sent down the paths. With 9 maps to choose from (and more to unlock at later stages), there’s enough variety to keep interest. Personal favourite, the cubism map!

Starting out, I was a bit unsure what each monkey does and lost a few times through balloons getting through my towers without getting shot. Once I’d paid more attention to the tutorials, I realised I had to use certain monkeys for particular balloons and it clicked into place but the early stages were quite frustrating.

Difficulty wise, I’ve played the game for 2-3 hours and not been able to get past the 45th round yet (out of 80), although easy (40 rounds) and medium (60 rounds) were dispatched relatively quickly. One thing to remember is that if you’ve placed monkeys that’s you’re no longer using, make sure to sell them. You lose money from what you paid, but it’ll free up a space for another tower and make some $$$ into the bargain. I found the Heli Pilot monkey extremely useful, especially when upgraded to ‘Pursuit’ – following any stray balloons around the map and eliminating them with quad barrels of lead.

Graphically, the game oozes quality – you can see the effort that’s been put into designing this. Extremely colourful, and maybe there’s a bit too much going on, I can see this game appealing to young kids for the style as well as adults for the strategy. Personally, I’m a fan of paid games and this is priced at $4.99 (Google Play Store and Apple App Store) which seems fair for the hours of gameplay within. There are options to spend more but I never felt under pressure to do so in order to progress.

Not only would I recommend this game, it’s one that’ll be staying on my phone for future playing. Mastering the game is not simple, and I need to crack the ‘Hard’ level before I can feel like I’ve achieved something!