The Return of the Balloons Popping Chimp

The monkey monarch of balloon mayhem is back. Picking where the first game left off, our hero now faces his old nemesis but this time thing are getting personal. Not only have these air-filled fiends invaded the jungle, now they have take over the entire monkey continent and it's up to us to stop them. Now armed with more darts and skills to take on an entire platoon of helium inflated bad guys, our hero is now ready to kick things into overdrive in Bloons 2.

The more things change, the more they look the same

Bloons 2 might look the same but on closer inspection, a lot of things have changed and mostly for the better. Still maintaining its colorful appearance, Bloons 2 now has more tricks up its sleeve when it comes to its visuals. Graphically the game has improved by a decent amount, with animations now filling the screen and textures more noticeable in things like wood, concrete and rubber surfaces. Seems like the developer Ninja Kiwi really heard our gripes from the first game and took the extra mile in making sure the sequel provides enough eye candy to make the game look great. Balloons now looks like balloons, unlike the ones in the first game that resembles floating colored candies. Different balloon designs are given to balloons with different properties and effects. Multiple locations are also presented in the game as stages you must unlock as you clear each area. From lush fields to the hot sandy beaches, each stage in Bloons 2 has its own theme.

Animations have always been our main complaint in the first game, which was apparently taken into account by the developers in making this sequel. Our main chimp now flings his arm when he throws darts, rotates to face the other way to locate targets and even shifts arm in throwing darts - just like an ambidextrous boxer. Other things like clouds lazily passing by in the horizon to cold air drizzling from ice balloons are noticeable while playing and shows just how abundant animations are in Bloons 2. If you happen to get stuck in level and come across an object with certain animations or design, try hitting it with your dart. It just might the things your need to clear the stage.

Bursts and Wheezes

Since the improvements in the games visuals were a huge step forward, we were left wondering whether the same can be said when comes to Bloons 2's sound effects and music. The answer is a mix of both Yes and No. While there were noticeable improvements in regards to the soundtrack of the game, the sound effects however seem pretty much unchanged. If you have played the first Bloon game, then you are already familiar with the sound effects used in Bloons 2. Sure, there are some new audio effects included, but these are mainly due to the addition of certain gameplay elements. Most the sound effects where carried over from the first game and sounds exactly the same. Which we guess was to be expected since this is a sequel.

The game's sound track took a turn for the better in Bloons 2. Thanks to the different stages and themes presented while playing, players can now listen to different tunes while popping those balloons. Each track seems to be inspired by the location itself. Like the Jungle beat that plays in the jungle area fits its theme, as well as the carefree music you hear in the field level. The composers of the game's music obviously took their time to make sure each track compliments each stage properly.

Hitting the Bulls eye

When we first started playing Bloons 2, we pretty much expected the same point and shoot gameplay we have experienced in the first game. But upon reaching the later levels, the game showed to us that it is indeed a sequel not just in name and presentation but in gameplay as well. While the tried and tested formula of the first game was still there, new gameplay mechanics were introduced. Things like the ability to summon a chimp piloted airplane to ram the balloons in its path or the mouse controlled bees that can be guide through tight spaces. These are but a few of the new things added that fans of the first game will notice.

With all the new tricks and gadgets our monkey friend now has in his pockets, people would wonder if the game is now too easy thanks to these added features. We are happy to say that despite these additional abilities, the game is still challenging - we would even go on the record to say that some levels are even harder than those found in the later stages of the first game. This is mainly due the requirements in clearing the game's stages being much harder to accomplish. Back in the first game, an allowance was normally given to the number of balloons the players need to pop; in Bloons 2 the allowed remaining balloons are smaller. On later stages, all balloons are required to be destroyed with the most minimum number of darts. It is a good thing though that the developers were kind enough to put bonus items and abilities in the game that players can use just incase they gut stuck on a level. Our favorite bonus feature is the option to enable a trajectory path. This was actually one of our complaints in the first game. Other bonuses include a viewable solution to the level, which shows the player what to do to clear the stage and also the skip level feature - which turns your monkey in to a super hero with unlimited lasers shooting from his eyes, that he uses to blast everything in sight. Some of these bonuses have limited uses though, so use them only when necessary.

Bloons 2 - The Results

Bloons 2 is a sequel not just in name but in visual, audio and gameplay as well. Pretty much all the things in the first game have been improved - while some are minor like the sound effects, the amount of improvements made on all of the game's other aspects was truly impressive. Players who enjoyed the first game will surely love this game and new players will easily get addicted to Bloons 2's fun and challenging gameplay. We seldom see a sequel surpass the original in such a huge scale, but the developers of Bloons 2 did it, thus making this game highly recommended to all. We award this monkey game a well deserved gold banana - 90/100.