Bloons (PlayStation Minis) Review — Flash Rehash?

This review written by Chris originally appeared on back on October 5, 2009.

Anyone 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.

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