Catherine Woolley


Bonsai Barber on WiiWare

Bonsai Barber

So my first official WiiWare title that I decided to purchase was Bonsai Barber (I just wanted to write about NyxQuest first).

It came out back in August (March in NA), and was developed by Zoonami, who are based in Cambridge and headed by Martin Hollis. The first I'd heard of it was from Develop this year, as there was a talk relating to it, sadly I missed it. But I never forgot the name of it.

So I made it my first purchase on the Wii Shopping Channel.

It has a nice simplistic style to it, and easy replay-ability, you start off by opening a new barber shop and mysteriously you have a load of customers already as they heard you were coming!

You then have a set style to give your tree and they grade you on how well you do during the cut. Sometimes it can be a little tricky on getting five stars as it can be really finicky at times.

Bonsai Barber screenshot

The tool you use when cutting/clipping/painting the hair rotates as you rotate the Wii remote, making it easy to be very specific when cutting. Although you have to remember when playing that you're cutting a tree's hair, so branches higher up may be attached to a far down root. You can always grow it back with the water spray though, although your customers may not like it.

As well as everything I've mentioned so far it also integrates with the Wii message board, if for example you make an appointment with a customer in your book, they'll send you a message telling you how long they were waiting for (if you didn't show up of course). Or if one of them goes somewhere nice they'll send you a postcard. You can also get presents from your patrons as well.

There's loads of fun little extras in there too, so you get little interactive things while you're cutting their hair, be it clouds, birds or even rain clouds.

You only get to cut on average between 4-5 shrubbery's hair every day, which means a game can last between 10-30 minutes depending on how long you spend with your customer. And you will always get them coming back again, this adds to it's replay-ability. It's a short game that is played in bursts, so if you're waiting for dinner or something to be on TV it's a good thing to pop on and play.

It'll set you back 1000 points, the same as NyxQuest, I feel it's worth the money as the visual style and gameplay compliment each other quite well, and £7 for a nice little game isn't bad.