Developer: Über Kaizen
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Children of the 1990s and their long suffering parents will remember Tamagotchis with a mixture of trepidation and happiness. The electronic pets controlled people’s lives and, in some cases, their sleep pattern, thanks to their demanding nature. Yet, somehow, we still all look back on them fondly which is precisely why games such as Bonzii are so appealing to many.

Bonzii is a virtual pet game. Players start out with one pet with the ability to unlock further creatures as the game progresses. The main objective behind Bonzii is to care for the pet sufficiently, so that they evolve into a more impressive creature. Ultimately though, it’s all about the journey of getting there.

Much like a tamagotchi, most of the time spent caring for the pet involves feeding it, cleaning it and playing with it. The first two are quite straight forward with a matter of choosing the relevant food or rubbing the pet with a bar of soap. The latter is when more conventional gaming elements emerge. A Match Three puzzle game opens up, setting players with certain objectives to gain more currency which can be used to buy food and new creatures.

The Match Three game is reasonably distracting. It’s quite simplistic but passes the time in an enjoyable manner. More importantly, it adds a way of progressing within Bonzii. Much like a Tamagotchi, Bonzii is very demanding. Push notifications are quite common here as well as the guilt that will come when you don’t check in on your offspring for a while. Yes, they do look a right mess and are very, very unhappy. And, yes, you’ll feel quite bad about it.

More games would have been great to see here as, after a while, Bonzii gets a little uninteresting. It’s all too easy to find yourself just checking in as if it were a job, rather than for fun. There’s the potential for something special here but regular updates are going to be needed to keep things interesting.

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