I expected this to be a novelty, a few extra Bloons missions I'd play through, be done, and set aside.
And ehre I am, months later, still doing daily map runs, still upgrading my hero characters, still unlocking loot. Bloons AT is the best in the series, hands down, and I don't even know what the hell Adventure Time is.
What makes the game great is the primary "towers" in this game are hero-type characters. There are about, mmm, maybe twenty of these, but you can only use a set number at a time in your party, meaning you have to swap in characters depending on their strengths and your needs for that particular map. Each character has skills that can be upgraded with (admittedly grindy) currency dropped randomly from chests you win after each battle and for completing quests. Each hero can also equip weapons, minion-type towers with lesser powers, artifacts, items that add buffs or special abilities.
If that sounds complex for a Bloons game, it is, and it's shameless about trying to woo your extra bucks out of your wallet to buy the currencies necessary to upgrade your character or get new items. But once you get into the meat of the game, the hero/artifact/minion system becomes something great. Scrabbling for every bit of stat boosting equipment you can get at first, it's difficult to unlock any new characters at all. Every win feels like a tactical victory at those early stages, but once you start unlocking new characters, you'll quickly begin racking up wins easier and easier, until the game becomes breezy and you're devising ways to make it more difficult for yourself. That's aided greatly by the quest system, which rewards you for doing specific tasks like leaving out certain towers for a certain number of wins. It's a fun way to add longevity to a game that might otherwise get a little stale once you're powerful enough to beat every map.
It doesn't hurt that there are lots of maps here, and with updates, an easy way to access them. The UI is smart and gets smarter, the maps are original and feel up there with the series' best, and with a rewarding unlock system that doesn't require you to spend real money (and in fact, feels much more rewarding when you don't), this is an easy recommendation and the best mobile game I played all year, unquestionably.