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Bonsai Barber Review

Roots manouvres in the bonkers barbershop for broccoli

Have you ever found a mouldy old potato in a dark corner of the kitchen? Often is the time we come across one, and with our cupboards usually as vacant as the Hubbard household's, it's often a choice between carefully cutting off the sprouts that have appeared, or heading out to shop. It's an easy choice - waste not, want not and all that.

Cutting off those weird tentacles is always strangely satisfying, so those of you who agree will find this Zoonami offering an interesting prospect. You're the barber in a town populated entirely by plants, fruit and vegetables, and you earn your crust by keeping them trim.

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Your Wii Remote acts as all your basic hairdressing tools - clippers, scissors and comb - and you twist and turn it this way and that in an attempt to follow the outline drawn in each customer's hair. A and B lets you snip, cut, brush and clip wild barnets into sharper shapes, and the dense foliage atop many clients' heads require careful untangling so as not to lop off too much and ruin the job.

The steadiest of hands is needed to keep to the requested style, though accidents are inevitable. Luckily, a spray can of water can take the sting out of some mistakes and your customer need never know you almost sent him out to face the world with a wonky mullet. You'll also be colouring as well as pruning using a paintbrush.

As you cut each coif you'll see a star-rating appear as you go, so there's a sense of continuous feedback, and your subject's witty banter also lets you know how you're getting on. In fact the customers are really the stars of the show: bright warm characters, always lively and good-natured ("You're a five-star barber, toffee face!"), you'll look forward to each new appointment in your book.

Bonsai Barber is a strange little game - indeed we can't think of anything quite like it. It's appeal lies not in challenging, addictive gameplay but in the same sort of obsessive compulsive qualities of, say, Animal Crossing. There's something strangely compelling about booting the game up every day and tending to your flock of loyal customers and listening to their bizarre chatter. It's original, heart warming stuff. It's not one for those in search of a white knuckle ride (ironic, seeing as it was made by the same guy behind GoldenEye on the N64) but Bonsai Barber provides a refreshingly odd change of pace.


8 comments so far...
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  1. Buffoonary Thursday 6th Aug 2009 at 14:18

    This looks very very wierd...

    But awesome too!

  2. Gavin Rozee Thursday 6th Aug 2009 at 20:29

    Can't wait to download this in an hour and a half.

    Got my free Bonsai Barber Charlotte the Starlet onion seeds yesterday!

  3. Gavin Rozee Saturday 8th Aug 2009 at 02:22

    The game is awesome. I highly recommend it. One of the best WiiWare games available.

    Buy it people!

  4. dap594 Saturday 8th Aug 2009 at 15:59

    I have never brought a wii ware title before but this might be the first. How long is it and does it have a free play section which lets you design the hair without being graded?

  5. Gavin Rozee Sunday 9th Aug 2009 at 09:23

    I have never brought a wii ware title before but this might be the first. How long is it and does it have a free play section which lets you design the hair without being graded?

    There are a lot of in game achievements/awards to collect. Collecting them all will take a while. You're only allowed to do five cuts a day - this makes the game more realistic and avoids you getting bored fast. There's a practice mode where you can obviously practice different haircuts as much as you like. This mode will also save your top 5 fastest times for each haircut. There's not really a free play mode, but you can mess about on Practice I guess.

    It's a great game. It's actually published by Nintendo, too.

  6. lattywatty Monday 10th Aug 2009 at 10:10

    This is a surprisingly brilliant game. Although the five customers always seem to go too quickly, it's a clever way of making you carry on playing. The heart one took my ages today!! Such a picky customer that blueberry.

  7. Joey788 Wednesday 19th Aug 2009 at 10:06

    This Game Is Great with lots of hair styles but you do not get enough work in one day it is silly!

  8. Rabbid_girl Tuesday 10th Nov 2009 at 08:05

    to buy or not to buy.....zat is ze question! Ze answer is yes....once I get some new wii shopping points that is! :wink:

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