Bloons 2 Christmas Game

Shooting Through the Holidays with Bloons 2: Christmas Expansion

After the successful release of Bloons 2, Ninja Kiwi now presents Bloons 2: Christmas Expansion. This new version has an all new format that will definitely bring a lot of smiles to the fans’ faces. Join in on the merry festivities as you pop balloons and celebrate the yuletide season with the game’s new stages, new power ups, and new puzzles to challenge your mind. And there are plenty of these new stages to enjoy, so prepare to immerse yourself in the game’s snowy ambiance for hours of balloon popping madness.

White Christmas, White Balloons

Since this game is an expansion pack, Bloons 2: Christmas uses the same visuals engine found in the original Bloons 2 game. From the start menu with the interactive balloons in the background that you can pop with your mouse pointer, to the stage selection screen display, everything has been carried over from the original. The only difference here is that Bloons 2 had a world map system that you can unlock one part at a time as you progress through the game, whereas the expansion set only has forty-eight new stages that you unlock as you clear one stage after the other.

The background picture is the same one all throughout the 48 stages of this expansion set and the start menu remains the same image as well; you get three penguins near the Christmas tree with presents underneath it and above, clouds will slowly roll by providing you with  constant scenery as you play through the game.

The layouts of the stages are quite interesting to look at with its Christmas themed designs. From stage one’s initials of N and K (Ninja  Kiwi), snowmen, Christmas trees, giant presents, wreaths of Christmas stockings and even trees with snow falling on them, everything that has something to do with Christmas has been incorporated into the layout of all the stages. This expansion pack has greatly increased the bright, colorful, and cheerful theme of the Bloons series. Speaking of looking good, Stage 48 is a real treat for the eyes. It uses milk and cookies as its theme– and we just know that Santa is going to be drooling over this one.

Other than wearing a Santa hat on its head, the monkey remains pretty much the same as the one in Bloons 2. The movement of the monkey’s arms as you move the mouse around to aim at the balloons is the same animation used in past Bloons games.

One slight change however, is the addition of a new animation frame used on signal flags for the Santa Special attack. All in all there are only minor adjustments in terms of graphics quality in this expansion of Bloons 2.

Singing those Christmas Tunes

The musical arrangement of the game is pleasing to the ears and it will really put you in a joyful mood. The medley of Christmas songs and a few original ones will cycle through the game as you work your way through the stages.

The sound effects of the game are also the same as the ones used on Bloons 2, from the rubbery sound of the black rubber blocks, to the swish of the boomerang; it is basically the same set of sound effects they have used in Bloons 2. The good thing is, though none of the effects seem to have been changed, it still delivers the same quality you would expect from the Bloons franchise.

Santa Monkey and his Sleigh

The basic controls of Bloons 2 are still used here, you move the mouse around to change the direction of the arrow, and holding down the left mouse button increases the strength of the throw. You still have a set number of targets to pop to clear each round and you still have the option to use Super Monkey to skip stages if it gets too hard or too annoying.

The addition of a Santa Monkey sleigh attack is really cool. Your avatar uses signal flags to call him and a green arrow will move up and down the side of the screen opposite the one your avatar is facing, once you click the mouse, Santa Monkey will fly across the screen in a straight path in his sleigh - there are no reindeer pulling it though and the sound it makes seems to show that it is Rocket powered. It is also funny to see him crash into an obstacle and resort to bailing out in a parachute.

Even though minor changes were made in the game, this does not mean it has lost its trademark difficulty. This game will still challenge your wits in its traditional Bloons way, so you better be prepared. Some, if not most of the stages here pit you against annoying snow balloons that freeze other balloons near them and make them invulnerable to any type of attack unless there is an explosive balloon near them which can be used to blow up the frozen balloons - but if the explosive balloon gets frozen too then you will probably end up resetting the stage. The snow balloons also serve another function other than freezing surrounding balloons; the frozen balloons become walls upon which you can bounce off your darts to hit other balloons that are otherwise impossible to hit in normal circumstances, but most of the time they are there as added obstacles for you to avoid or overcome.

If things get too hard you can always use your Super Monkey to skip the stage, or use the option “View Solution” which is on the right side of the Super Monkey icon - you can only use it three times so think carefully if you really want to use it. There is also another option that can be used to clear difficult stages, and that is the Unlimited Darts mode where you can fire darts to your heart’s content. It is a good way to practice and experiment on the angling of your shots to know how to go about each level.

One of the hardest stages here would probably be stage 47: Blow the Box, where you are only given six darts to work with. The only balloons that can help you clear this stage are the four explosive ones provided, because if you hit the Snow balloons inside the formation you will not be able to get the required score to proceed to the next stage. The best strategy here is to blow up the closest explosive balloon near you, the one on the upper right corner of the balloon formation. This will open up a hole big enough to expose the next explosive.

Here comes the tricky part, you have to get the angle and power right to send in a dart straight into the gap and hit the explosive at the middle of the formation so that it will expose the one at the bottom most part of the pattern. Tweak your angle and power a little to hit this third explosive, which leaves you with the last one at the far left of the balloons, you should use the Max Power icon to hit that Explosive and once you have done that, you will be left with two darts and a few regular balloons with some annoying ice balloons that can still mess up your game. Depending on how well you did the first four steps you should be able to decide on which group of balloons to shoot at with your last remaining darts and hopefully it will net you the required number of targets to pass the stage.

Happy Holiday and a Bloontastic New Year!

Clearing all 48 stages in Bloons 2 Christmas Expansion pack is not an easy feat, but if you do manage it, you will be treated to a cute picture of our favorite primate, standing in the snow in a Santa outfit complete with a giant red sack filled with Bloons and a nice message from the Ninja Kiwi Team.  For an Expansion game, Bloons 2: Christmas offers as much as its predecessor in terms of fun and challenges. Though some improvements in the game’s overall graphics would have been nice, it is understandable that the main focus of this game was to celebrate the coming Christmas season – not to mention that the game is merely an expansion, not a full blown sequel. Cheers to Ninja Kiwi for a job well done with this great yuletide offering.