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Puzzle Bonsai review (iOS / Universal)

March 2, 2012

“I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese
I really think so”

10 word description: Combine parts of puzzle tree, form correct equation. Multiple modes.

The concept is best demonstrated in numbers mode. By dragging the division sign to the vacant yellow circle you will divide 8 by 4, giving the desired result (at the bottom of the tree)

10 word review: Unique, satisfying, brain-taxing and rather sophisticated. Not like me.

'Words' mode is a bit more complicated, as it can involve order-swapping of letters and combining strings of characters taking one letter at a time from each group. Easier to play than to explain...

You will like this if you enjoy: Puzzle games that are played 90% in your head. Something different from the usual iOS puzzle game.

I'm one sign away from solving this one

The good news: Simple yet attractive graphics (particularly for this kind of puzzle game). Good animations and tree effects. Relaxing oriental soundtrack. Very well designed puzzle system.

I beat easy mode. Imagine how I feel. Incredible

The bad news: The challenge of ‘Shapes’ mode has a lot to do with understanding and interpreting the equation signs, specifically the ‘1’ and the ‘2’.

'Shapes' mode - you won't be effortlessly breezing through these, even the early ones

Arcadelife verdict: Excellent multi-mode puzzle that really demands your full concentration. Once you start to get your brain to work the right way (yeah, it took me a while) the simple genius of Puzzle Bonsai becomes clear. I still don’t really have a clue how to do the shape puzzles ‘properly’ and I’m blundering through on a mixture of luck and guesswork. If you’re after a new type of puzzle game, you won’t go far wrong with this one.

One of the daily puzzles - not as tough as it might appear

I recommend getting the lite version for free if you’re not sure this is your kind of game. For any iPad owner who isn’t into zombie games, shooters, platform games, video games in general, and you think you’re a bit clever, this is probably the perfect game for you, not that I’m generalising or stereotyping at all. Honest.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8/10
Audio – 8/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 8.5/10
Fun – 8/10
Final rating – 83/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1
iTunes link

Puzzle Bonsai website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.0.1)
iPad (OS 5.0.1)
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