There is something inherently gratifying about smashing or destroying something, even watching a building be demolished is good fun. So it should be no surprise that we see the concept come up a lot in games. Stephen over at Ninja Kiwi claims that his latest Flash game, "is based on the very simple fact that popping balloons is fun." And you know what? He's right! In Bloons you get to pop a lot of balloons!
For control, you're given a small monkey with a handful of darts. To throw a dart, just aim with the mouse and press and hold the mouse button to power it up. A red arrow displays to help you gauge how hard to throw it; then just release the button when ready.
Clear each level by popping the target number of balloons displayed at the bottom of the screen. Of course, to make things interesting, you are limited to a certain number of darts per level, sometimes even to a single dart!
With 50 unique levels to unlock, Bloons will keep you busy for a very long time, if you let it. Stephen provides much in the way of environmental hazards and power-ups to keep the game interesting. Ice balloons, exploding balloons, tack balloons and boomerangs are only just a few of the wide range of items available. My personal favorite, the Pac-Man balloon, summons the mighty Pac-Man himself and places him under your control for a brief, sweet moment!
Analysis: There is a lot to love about this game, not the least of which is the pure enjoyment you get from popping all the balloons you can. Moreover, if you fail to achieve the target for a level, you can keep trying until you get it right. There's no concept of lives lost or game over; just keep trying! The unlockable levels provide a sweet reward of something new when you finally meet the target goal, and an integrated save system remembers which levels you've unlocked across play sessions so you can pick right up where you left off.
But the game is not without a few minor flaws. The aiming control seemed a bit glitchy in the version play tested for this review, and it needs some sort of feedback displayed for the player to gauge against previous attempts. Also, it seems that the power meter is inaccurate. When throwing darts at the same power, one would travel too far and another not far enough. Perhaps just a little tweaking and refinement is all it needs.
A couple of minor blemishes to an otherwise outstanding and very addictive new game from Stephen Harris and NinjaKiwi.
For even More Bloons, be sure to check out the follow-up with 50 new (and more difficult) levels!
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Complete Bloons Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
Note: This game gets quite difficult towards the end, so you may well need to use the 'reset level' button quite often in later levels.
In brackets next to each level is the number of balloons required.
This guide refers to various objects in the game in a uniform manner. They are:
Ice balloons - light blue balloons with a white frosting on top. These freeze nearby balloons when hit.
Frozen balloons - balloons that have been frozen by ice balloons. These have a faded version of their original colour, and a frosting on top.
Pin balloons - pink balloons containing pins. Upon being hit, these send out pins, exploding many nearby balloons, and often setting up chain reactions.
Dart balloons - purple balloons containing a dart. When hit, you receive an extra dart.
Triple-dart balloons - light blue balloons containing three darts. When hit, you will have a bonus dart that is actually three darts at once in your next shot.
Bomb balloons - red balloons containing a bomb. When hit, these explode and destroy many of the surrounding things.
Mine balloons - yellow/orange balloons containing a mine. When hit, the mine will drop down, destroying anything in its path.
Pac-Man balloons - green balloons containing a Pac-Man. When hit, you control the Pac-Man with the arrow keys, and can eat all types of balloons, as well as brown wall pieces.
Boomerang balloons - green balloons containing a boomerang. When hit, you get a bonus 'dart' that is a boomerang.
Brown - these can be destroyed with a dart, or by being eaten by a Pac-Man.
Metal - these cannot be destroyed.
Rubber (black) - these cannot be destroyed, but darts bounce of them, making them useful in getting to hard-to-reach places.
Level 1 - Pop Me (32)
This is very easy. Just aim at the remaining balloons each time.
Level 2 - Pop Me 2 (70)
Again, quite easy. Do arcs inside the mass of balloons to hit the most each shot. Vary their height so that you get more, and spend less time in the gaps.
Level 3 - Surprise (55)
In the first shot hit one of the Pin balloons to get rid of most of the balloons. In the remaining two, get as many of the remaining ones as you can.
Level 4 - Triangles (35)
Try to do an arc involving the left, top, and right triangles. After that, simply try to get as many more as you can, using the arc for maximum efficiency if required.
Level 5 - Starburst (70)
In your first shot hit any of the Pin balloons to get rid of all but one balloon. In your second shot, try to get the remaining balloon, although it isn't necessary.
Level 6 - The Iron Curtain (29)
Arc over the metal barrier, with slightly varying heights and angles to hit the most. This can be a bit tricky, but you can always retry the level if you don't manage it at first.
Level 7 - Dart from above (85)
With your first shot get the Triple-dart, along with a few other balloons. Then, go through the pack with your three darts, making sure to hit the other triple dart with one of them. With your remaining shots, try and clear up as much as you can.
Level 8 - Holy Moley! (14)
Hit any of the brown pieces to destroy it, and then hit the visible Pin balloon to burst all of them.
Level 9 - Boing (29)
Fire through the top pack to hit the rubber wall, bouncing off it to hit some of the bottom pack. If you got enough from the bottom, you can now use your remaining darts to get as many of the top darts as you can. If you didn't get enough from the bottom, you can go for a few more by bouncing of the wall, and then get as many as you can from the top.
Level 10 - Parallel (18)
Fire straight up through the line nearest to you with a fair amount of power, such that the dart will bounce off the wall and hit as many of the other ones as possible. If there are some left, go for them either in a direct hit, or, for more of them, by bouncing off the rubber again.
Level 11 - Tack-tile (32)
The aim here is to bounce off the horizontal piece of rubber near you, into the wall of rubber furthest from you, and then to hit a pin in the pack. Try various shots until you find what works for you, and then try and clear up with your remaining darts.
Level 12 - Arc (32)
Do large arcs in the path of the balloons to hit as many as you can, whilst avoiding the Ice balloons.
Level 13 - Reservoir (25)
Arc into either the furthest hole, or the 2nd part of the middle hole, to hit one of the Pin balloons. Replay until you can do this within your first 2 shots. With your remaining shots, try and get as many balloons as you can through the nearest, largest hole, although this isn't necessary.
Level 14 - Maze (60)
Fire into the pack, trying to bounce off the far wall to go down a level. Make sure that you get the Dart balloon for a bonus dart before finishing, and repeat until you have used all off your darts.
Level 15 - One in a hundred (70)
With your first dart, get the Boomerang balloon, trying to get as many other balloons as you can, using an arc through the main pack if you wish. With your boomerang shot, send it flying to the top-center of the pack, very hard.
Level 16 - Boomer (28)
Get the Boomerang balloon, whilst also popping as many balloons from the same pack as you can. With the boomerang, aim hard at a little beyond the middle pack.
Level 17 - Shapes (98)
All you have to do in this is hit at least one Pin balloon from each pack, exploding them all. As you have one fewer darts than packs, you will have to get at least two in one of the shots.
Level 18 - Chain Reaction (105)
The idea here is to first of all get rid of one of the brown wall pieces, and then get the Pin balloon above it. This will set of a chain reaction exploding all of the balloons. It is much easier if you try to go for the one a little to the left of directly above your head.
Level 19 - Light the Fuse (65)
Here, you just need to hit one of the pins, and everything will go!
Level 20 - Loopy (22)
Do an arc between all three packs, trying to hit the Pin balloon in each.
Level 21 - Throwback (13)
Hit the Pac-Man, and then move him around the metal wall and then through the gap to eat all of the balloons.
Level 22 - Round-a-bout (68)
Get the Boomerang balloon with your first shot. Swing the boomerang around the Ice balloons, avoiding them, starting on the left with a fairly powerful shot, and then get as many more as you can with your final dart.
Level 23 - Ouchie (35)
This one's fairly tough. The easiest way to do it is to try and arc through the layer of balloons between the Mine balloons and the Ice balloons and then bouncing off the rubber wall into the Pin balloons. If you don't hit the Mine or Ice balloons at all, but you do get the Pins, you'll get a good enough score, and even if you hit a few of the Mine balloons it's not too hard to bounce into the Pin balloons and still pass. If you hit one of the Ice balloons, however, it is unlikely that you will get very many balloons.
Level 24 - Monsta (32)
With your first shot, try to get the Pin balloon and Triple-dart balloon above you, along with a few other balloons. Next, try and bounce off the top left platform into the area on the left with the Pin balloon, getting the triple-dart if you are lucky. If you didn't get the triple-dart on the left, go for it now. With the triple-dart shot, replicate what you did on the left on the right, bouncing off the platform, hopefully getting the Triple-dart balloon. If you have any shots left, use them to get any more balloons you can.
Level 25 - Demolition (65)
In your first few shots, do long arcs through the top row of Mine balloons. After getting all of the mine balloons, try and get a few of the available balloons near the bottom if you have any darts left.
Level 26 - 2 Paths (63)
With your one shot, aim almost straight at one of the side walls in order to bounce back and get most of the balloons at the top. Hopefully, your dart will fall down one of the sides and set of a chain reaction, getting as many balloons as possible. This comes down to a little bit of luck, but if you don't succeed, you should be able to after a few replays.
Level 27 - Bouncy (15)
In your first shot, get all of the Ice balloons in one long shot. In your second shot, bounce off the frozen balloons to get the big block of balloons, where, hopefully, your dart will find enough balloons.
Level 28 - Big Ball (89)
This is another tricky one. The easiest way to do this is to do an arc each shot, always missing the Ice balloons, each one either slightly higher or lower than the previous, wherever the balloons still lie. Don't forget to get the balloons under the Ice ones!
Level 29 - Air Raid (40)
This is much easier! With each shot, hit one of the bombs. Make sure you don't forget to aim slightly higher for the further away ones, as the dart will fall.
Level 30 - Ice Bounce (28)
In your first shot, hit the top Ice balloon, whilst also getting a few balloons below it. The easiest way to do this without bouncing back off the rubber is to aim about half-way down on the right of the Ice balloon, with quite high power. Make sure that after the shot there is at least one frozen balloon to bounce off next. If not, reset the level. To bounce off the frozen balloon you will have to try various shots, most of which work best with a medium-low power, but once you do it right, you'll bounce into the bombs, exploding the pack of balloons. If you end up with not enough balloons, it is because you did not explode enough whilst going for the tope Ice balloon.
Level 31 - The Cell (100)
Try and get to the bomb second from the right. You will need to break five brown wall pieces to do this, in an S shape. Once you have hit the bomb, on your sixth shot, hit one of the pins to explode many balloons. Finally, do an arc to get the extra few balloons you need.
Level 32 - Backwards Glance (43)
Get as many of the balloons as you can without hitting any of the ice balloons. Make sure you get the 2 extra darts! On your last shot, fire straight left at the ice balloons. You may need to angle your dart the tiniest bit up. The dart will go straight through 7 balloons (6 of them ice) here, so you need to have at least 36 before this, which is very possible.
Level 33 - Danger! (30)
This level looks simple, but due to the Ice balloons it isn't. In the first of your three shots, go for the block on the right. Arc over the Ice balloon, getting a few balloons and hitting the Pin balloon on the right. You should aim to have about 10 balloons by now. For the top-right block, try to hit the Pin balloon on the right, getting other balloons on your way to it. You should aim to have more than 20 balloons by now. For the top-left block, hit the Pin balloon on the right. Get other balloons on your way to it, as you should be able to get about 10 balloons from this block.
Level 34 - Igloos (58)
This one is a nice and simple break from the others. First of all, get rid of the bottom block by exploding the Bomb balloon (you can aim straight at it). If you received a boomerang from the bottom block, waste it by throwing it away somewhere. In this shot, hit the bomb in the top block, just like you did before. It is important that you go for the bottom block first, because the top block would freeze some of its balloons otherwise, which would obstruct you from the bomb.
Level 35 - Fuggetaboudit (11)
With your first shot, get the Boomerang balloon and the Bomb balloon in the same arc. The bomb will get rid of the Ice balloons. With your boomerang shot, try and get as many of the balloons as you can, and then use your last shot to get more if you need to.
Level 36 - Chalice (37)
With your first shot, hit both of the Mine balloons, getting 14 more balloons, including 2 extra Dart balloons. With your next two shots, break one of the brown wall pieces and hit the Pin balloon beneath it to set off another chain reaction. The easiest ones to try are the second and third blocks from the right.
Level 37 - Pacatak (53)
With your first shot, do a low arc to get the available Pac-Man balloon. Get to the top-left Pac-Man balloon with him, and then eat that. Continue right, eating all of the balloons, turning down when you have finished the row. Get the next Pac-Man, above the pack of balloons, and eat as many of them as you can before getting the next Pac-Man. Move up, get the remaining balloons from where the pack of 4 was, and move on to the next Pac-Man on the right. With him, eat both columns of balloons at the same time, by positioning yourself in the middle. You will have to be quick to get enough balloons with each Pac-Man. If there are any balloons left over that you can try and reach with your remaining darts, do so.
Level 38 - Bouncebomb (16)
The aim here is to explode the Pin balloon. you can do this by making a long arc over the rubber, or by bouncing on the rubber, which you may find easier. After that, use your remaining darts to try and get any left-over balloons, including unexploded Ice balloons, if they are not near normal ones.
Level 39 - Lockdown (20)
This level comes down to luck more often than not. The best way to get as many balloons as possible is to aim your darts up at the vertical rubber wall, so that you will lightly touch the right side of it. If you set your power high enough, the small change in movement will have a big effect by the time it comes back down, and the dart will bounce all over the place. One shot where you can nearly always get 5 or 6 darts is shooting right and a very, very small bit down, at the block of six balloons near the bottom.
Level 40 - Ice Cave (26)
This level is a bit of a trick one, as the way to beat this level is to get the Ice balloons. Start with a shot getting lots of Ice balloons at the top. If you don't make it too powerful, it'll drop down the back, bounce up and get a few more balloons. Don't let it be too weak, though, as then it will bounce off the frozen balloons and not get very many. In the next shot, focus on the lower Ice balloons, Trying to get the long top row first, and bounce back to get some of the bottom row.
Level 41 - Myriad (50)
There are various ways to beat this level, so feel free to experiment. If you get stuck, you can read this. First of all, get the Triple-arrow balloon, and also destroy the bottom-left corner brown wall piece. Fire the triple-arrow to the right, going through the large pack and into the Pin balloon, which will trigger the Mine balloon, triggering the Pac-Man balloon. Eat as much of the enclosure's balloons as you can before time runs out. With your next dart, destroy the middle-right piece of the wall, and then explode the bombs. Get the Boomerang balloon with your next shot, and use it to get the triangle of balloons at the top-left of the screen. Use any remaining darts to get stray balloons.
Level 42 - Chilly Chips (42)
With your first shot, try and get balloons in the central segment, without hitting any of the Ice balloons on the left. If you hit ones on the right, it is not so important. Get as many of the Triple-dart balloons as possible, along with the Ice balloon to their right, and as many of the normal balloons to their left as you can. With the triple-dart shot, get as many of the balloons in the leftmost segment as you can without hitting any Ice balloons. Finally, go straight for the line of Ice balloons to get a maximum of 6 more balloons.
Level 43 - D in the D (32)
Try and do a long arc with your dart to hit as many of the top row of Mine balloons as you can. Next, bounce a dart down the rubber-walled enclosure to get as many of the balloons there as you can. Do another small arc to try and get all of the balloons above the Ice balloons, and then go straight through all four Ice balloons in your final go. If you have very many Mine balloons remaining, instead of getting the balloons above the Ice ones first, freeze them with the Ice balloons and bounce off them to get to the Mine balloons more easily.
Level 44 - Showertime (42)
With all your darts here, the aim is to bounce them off of the far rubber wall into the nearer one, and then into the Mine balloons. To bounce them off the far wall, you have to aim straight at the wall and a little bit up, to avoid the near wall. The same tactic can be used for any balloons that aren't covered by brown wall pieces.
Level 45 - Not So Hot (20)
You can achieve the 20 balloons needed to pass this level without breaking any walls by getting all three Dart balloons and the Pac-Man balloon. With the Pac-Man balloon, head straight right through the brown wall pieces and then up as soon as possible. Position yourself quickly between the two columns of balloons nearest to the right, and move up, eating both columns. You can eat 18 balloons here, if you turn left when you have finished the columns, and added to the 4 outside, you have passed. With your remaining darts try to get balloons by breaking through the wall.
Level 46 - Ears (25)
With your first shot, do a very small arc over the leftmost Ice balloon, getting at least 8 or 9 balloons. Do another arc over the center, coming down between the wall pieces and the Ice balloon. Finally, go for the largest block of balloons, which is likely to be at the bottom.
Level 47 - Bloon of Damacles (58)
With your first shot, destroy the single brown piece, along with a few surrounding balloons. With your next, hit the bomb to destroy a few more balloons, and then hit the Ice balloon. Bounce your dart off the frozen balloons into the Mine balloon, which will fall onto a Pin balloon, and destroy the remaining balloons.
It is possible to hit the Bomb balloon in one shot without destroying the block, or to not hit the Bomb balloon at all, but it is easier if you do. Feel free to try out other methods!
Level 48 - The Matrix (105)
This level is quite simple, but very fun. Get the Pac-Man nearest to you with your shot. Proceed to munch up all of the top Mine balloons, until you get transported down as you burst another Pac-Man balloon. With this one, eat the next Pac-Man, along with a few balloons if you wish, and go back to the top to finish eating the top row of Mine balloons. When you eat the last one, you will hit a lower-down Pac-Man, and be able to eat all of the balloons at the bottom.
Level 49 - Wrong Side (70)
With your first shot, hit the top Ice balloon such that you carry on going, and hit into a Pin balloon. This will explode the top section of balloons, and if you are lucky, the bottom will also be hit and explode. If not, bounce a dart off the frozen balloons at the top, and it will, if aimed correctly, hit into the Pin balloons at the bottom. Use any remaining shots to finish off any balloons that you might have let out.
Level 50 - The End (50)
Do you really need a guide for this? No!!!
Congratulations on completing Bloons!
Posted by: fatnickc | April 16, 2007 11:28 AM
Bloons 100% Strategy Guide
I have posted a more thorough walkthrough and strategy guide for those players trying to get 100% on every level. Leave feedback about it here, please.
Posted by: Kevin | April 21, 2007 2:46 PM