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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen

Friday Free Game: Bloons Tower Defense 3

It's been about two years since I recommended a tower defense game, and in that time, it has surprisingly become a genre in its own right. There are a hoarde of these games, now, primarily since they're very simple to build, and relatively easy to balance. If you've never played one of these games, it's really just a twist on the RPG grind: kill stuff, get stuff, kill bigger stuff, get better stuff, ad infinitum. As a matter of fact, the main difference between a tower defense game and a dungeon crawl is that in a dungeon crawl, you find the monsters and in tower defense, the monsters come to you.

But don't listen to me, because I'm sitting here telling you how banal these games are and yet I can't stop playing them. Much like the old RPG grind, there is something very satisfying about the power-up cycle. My latest tower defense obsession is called Bloons Tower Defense 3, and is the inheritor of the name of a clever little game about a monkey popping b(a)lloons by throwing darts. So, not surprisingly, this game is about positioning various types of monkeys around the board so that they can pop balloons.

But it's not just darts. It's spiked balls thrown by catapults, spinning blades, ice balls, cannons, and superhero monkeys with plasma beams that shoot out of their eyes. Okay, so it may not be particularly coherent, but the game is a lot of fun, mainly because the difficulty curve is really well-designed. Several times, I was humming along, kicking butt, and then all of the sudden, the stupid metal balloons would show up and ruin my game. I'd try it again, this time with a rocket launcher in place, only to have the MOAB – a nigh-indestructible blimp carrying tons of other balloons – show up and ruin it all again. My best advice is to ramp up gradually, starting with a monkey, then adding tack-throwers, then saving up for cannons. The super monkey is definitely worth it!

Sur this isn't the prettiest game around, and there are more original tower defense titles, but the playability and variety kept me coming back, and I'm sure it will do the same for you. Go on. Touch the monkey. You know you wanna.

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Comments on Friday Free Game: Bloons Tower Defense 3
  Comment from Anonymous Anonymous at Friday, March 08, 2013 3:45:00 AM
Hi! Thiѕ post couldn't be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.