Gaming is one of my biggest passions, so it doesn’t really matter on what device or console I play. So, two days ago, I searched for new games that I can play for a while (and make a review of it). Luckily, I took a quick look at Bandai Namco’s games and saw, there is a new one: One Piece Bon Bon Journey.
There are excellent and bad One Piece games out there, and the style of Bon Bon Journey is more childish than in One Piece Treasure Cruise. But as a fan of this franchise, I had to give it a shot.
One Piece Bon Bon Journey is a match 3 puzzle game, in which you follow Luffy’s story to become the king of the pirates, starting in the small town, Windmill Village. Over time, you will meet and recruit more of the famous Strawhat Pirate members, like Zorro, Usopp, and Nami.
Gameplay of OP Bon Bon Journey:
Almost all match-3 games share similar or sometimes identical mechanics as Gardenscapes and Homescapes do. The game also throws you into a tutorial that introduces you to the most essential mechanics in just a few minutes.
However, this game is not entirely identical to all other match-3 games out there, as it offers some features that I didn’t saw many games using. But let’s start from scratch first. As the name (Bon Bon Journey) already says, you don’t match fruits or other things. This time, they are bonbons, represented by many characters from the One Piece universe.
By matching 3 or more bonbons, they fall down into a blow, to attack your opponent. The more bonbons you match (or get matched in the same turn), the more damage you deal to your enemies. In other match-3 games, the only reason to aim for bigger combos was to get power-ups (also a part of this game), this game gives this mechanic another purpose.
If you don’t defeat your enemies quickly, they can throw barrels on the field, which makes it harder to match. Bosses have special effects, which can be pretty painful. Alvida is an excellent example for this as she destroys significant parts of the field. To restore the area, you have to match bonbons next to the cracks that appeared because of her attacks.
This can cost you valuable turns, which are also limited. Of you run out of turns, it is over. Luckily, each pirate in your team has a special ability, that charges up by matching his bonbons. Some specials deal damage to your opponents, remove barrels and cracks, or buffs your team.
Note: Skills can be upgraded too, which makes them more powerful, or even adds new effects to it. To level them up, you have to use skill tickets.
These special abilities are really helpful if you run out of turns, and thus can prevent you from losing a match. At the end of each round, you can get rewards like berries, star coins, decor coins, and anchors (lives). By defeating bosses and special stages, you can also get a lot of rainbow pearls, which are the in-game currency.
The far you get in the story of Luffy, you collect a large amount of these rainbow pearls, which you can use to get a few more turns (if you run out if turns during a stage) or to get new bonbons. Depending on the banner that is currently active, you can get special characters, ranging from two, up to four stars. Four-star characters have much better attack stats than a two-star character that you get in the beginning.
At the beginning of the game, levels are pretty straightforward, and you probably have no problems with them. However, stages get more complicated, the more progress you make. I failed at some stages multiple times already, sometimes because of bad luck, and sometimes because I’m an idiot. 😛
Probably, there will also be a moment where you get stuck at one stage because you can’t clear it. To make it easier for you to clear difficult stages, you can equip power-ups that you collected before, or use your characters special abilities.
If you played a match-3 game before, you probably recognize what they do, if they get activated. There is a bomb that destroys an area of bonbons, a rainbow skull that destroys all bonbons from one character on the field, and an arrow that clears a whole line (in which he gets activated).
Besides the main story, you can also challenge powerful bosses when new events come up. At this time, when I write this review, everyone can challenge Don Krieg, which is not that easy to beat without high leveled units.
Note: By reaching the fourth area, the game unlocks an entirely new area: Bonbon Island. On this island, you can place decorative items, like the Going Merry, Windmills, and some of your collected characters.
The game might seem very easy in the beginning, but I got surprised a few times already, on how hard some levels can be if you have bad luck. However, it is surprisingly entertaining to play this game. Maybe this is because I’m a fan of this franchise, but im sure this game does some things right.
Visuals and details:
As I already mentioned in the beginning, Bon Bon Journey has a more childish and very colorful style. By all means, this is not my favorite style, as I prefer a more cartoonish style; however, this style fits the game pretty well. The bonbons (aka characters) look good, and the menu looks very good as well.
The animation quality is also on a decent level, so I have nothing to complain about here. I really like how they did the animation when you activate a special ability, as it looks really really good.
From time to time, you can also watch a small animation clip that features the story of One Piece, but don’t expect to get all the information’s from the anime or manga. But this is a nice feature to see as a fan.
How is One Piece Bon Bon Journey monetized?
Almost every game that can be played for free, (Pc, console, or on mobile), has its own way to make some money through its player base. In Bon Bon Journey, you can buy rainbow pearls, to recruit new characters, get extra turns, or recover your stamina.
Bandai Namco offers multiple packages, so everyone could find the right amount that he needs. Currently, there are six packages with different amounts of rainbow pearls, reaching from 25, up to 3,020. Sometimes, there are also special packages that you can buy.
Besides the in-game shop, there are no video or in-game regular advertisements. But is it worth spending your money on rainbow pearls? I think that there is no need to spend money on the game, besides supporting the developers.
Pears are not very rare, and you can collect a good amount of them in a short time, for free. Getting good characters is not that difficult eighter. For example, I already have seven 4-star characters in the fifth area (Syrup Village).
Cons of One Piece Bon Bon Journey:
The game got released only a few days ago, so not everything is perfect. At the moment, the game has a few errors, which are not that massive, but they are annoying over the long term. The first issue is that everything outside of a stage takes a long time to load (or connect), so we have to wait a few seconds every time you go to another menu. Sometimes, my game took over ten seconds to connect with the servers (my internet connection was good at this time), which is too long.
The second issue that I encountered is that the game freezes randomly from time to time. Luckily this happened only a few times so far. To be able to play the game again, we have to restart the app.
At last, the game only goes up to Whisky Peak, which is not very far in the story. However, im sure these issues get fixed over the next few updates, so we can experience the games full potential.
One Piece Bon Bon Journey is a good game, but it has some issues at the moment (30th March 2020). However, when the game receives more content due to future updates, I recommend giving this game a shot, especially if you’re a fan of puzzle games and One Piece. Still, it is not the best One Piece mobile game out there, but it is in a good position.
At last, if you played this game already, post your experience down in the comments, so other people can read different opinions (besides my own one) too.
|?? Pros of One Piece Bon Bon Journey:||?? Cons of One Piece Bon Bon Journey:|
|Entertaining||Lacks of content|
|F2P friendly||Connecting to the server takes a long time|
|Nice graphics||Still some minor bugs in the game|