Saturday, 17 October 2009

Bonsai Barber

If you are not familiar with the characters Mr Stickle, Charlotte the Starlet and Reg Wedge then you won't be aware of the fun to be had in 'Bonsai Barber.' This week we were lucky enough to have been able to reiterate the theme of the importance of '5-a-day' when we were asked to review the Wii game 'Bonsai Barber.'

Bonsai Barber is a fun-filled game which you download off the Wii shop channel for 1000 points. 1000 points equates to £7.00.

The village barber has retired and the village residents have been patiently (or impatiently as the case may be) awaiting the arrival of a new barber. Sometimes life can be a little bit bleak; sometimes it's the little things that please you most. So imagine my glee when I learnt that I would get to transform these little creature's hair. This motley lot (deemed as the village residents) want their hair cutting and they want it cutting now. The aim of the game is to keep your daily clients happy, you get 5 fruity or veggie clients a day. Perform 5 haircuts a day and try and aim for 5 stars and you will receive letters of thanks and gifts. Keep them waiting, miss a day or make a mess of their hair and you will receive angry letters posted to your Wii message board.

This game is for anyone who had childhood dreams of hacking away at peoples hair for a living. As I think about my childhood and remember my sisters wonky fringe after I gave her a 'trim', I realise this game must be made for people like me. After downloading the game, I was somewhat doubtful whether a Wii game that revolved pointing and clicking to remove hair would hold any appeal for me. I should not have worried, as the only sounds of boredom coming from the room were from Master Craftiness waiting for me to get off the Wii to let him have a go.

There is something very calming and gratifying about this game. Removing the hair needs a steady hand and the ability to choose the right tools - all very important I can tell you. So far this review has been based all on my opinion rather than my son's, and that is because it is a tad addictive and doesn't just appeal to children.

The characters of the game require precision handling. Much the same as in real life, some customers are harder to please than others. With some customers you will have to grit your teeth whilst they moan and groan because you are too slow or not doing it to their liking.
Here is a pic of Master Craftiness engrossed in the game. You only have 5 clients a day and so this usually takes around half-an-hour. Master Craftiness took his role as barber so seriously however, that we found him arising at 6am to make sure his clients were tended to. This was something that we had to put a stop to though as he was getting too tired. So he now tends to his clients after school. They seem to be very happy with this arrangement. Although some clients seem grouchy no matter what you do for them - tut tut!

Above is a completed hairstyle. This client was a very happy customer. I believe this is the pyramid hairstyle and if you would like Master Craftiness to give you a similar styling it will only cost you £150! We also had a very unusual customer in named Strawbinski. Aside from the fact that he is a very awkward customer because he insists on having his hair cut whilst being upside down. He is rather odd in the way that he likes to have his hair cut in the shape of underpants. I know there is such a thing as client confidentiality, but I must tell you, if he ever comes in to your shop then you must try and give him a wide berth. He's rather odd. None the less, it is quite gratifying when you achieve the more complex styles. Our tips for this design would be:
  1. Water the hair to make it grow more evenly.
  2. Use the clippers around the edges.
  3. Use the scissors to chop away at remaining twigs.
  4. Smash at the gong when you have finished with the hammer.
  5. Have some fruit to give you the energy to deal with any further awkward customers.

Sometimes you get additional obstacles to work with. Sometimes it rains which makes clients hair grow very fast, that's very bad if you have just finished cutting it. If you see a cloud, you have to chop through it with the scissors to disperse it. You also have to be careful not to hurt any flying birds that lurk about.

Quite unlike a normal barber shop, when these quirky characters want their hair dyed, you have to paint them with a paintbrush from various colours of pots of paint. If you are an arty kind of person this is quite enjoyable.
Lastly, there is nothing more satisfying in a job than when you get contented customers. Our most happiest include the Cherry Twins (pictured above). It's always a pleasure tending to them.

To further the realism in the game, keep your appointments in order with your 'appointment book' and view the latest styles in the 'styling book.'
As I type, Master Craftiness is busy building up his client base by making sure each and every client is happy and that he achieves a 5 star rating for each and every hair cut. The good thing about this game too, is because you only have 5 customers a day it means that your children wont be glued to a computer all day long. They have just the right amount of time to build up some good hand-eye co-ordination, which is certainly a factor in this game where you need to direct the Wii-mote in the right position in order to correctly cut the hair.

Phew, just realised how much I have written; so as you can see we are quite passionate about this game. It has given us so much fun. We can step in to our own little parallel universe in this game.

Our rating - 9/10 A very unique game which allows your creative abilities to flow. Very addictive for adults and children alike. A novel way to obtain your 5-a-day.

No comments:

Post a Comment