Bonito Days (Switch)

In the Super Monkey Ball games, there are usually a large selection of multiplayer mini-games that are just as fun as the main game themselves.  One favorite is Monkey Target.  Who doesn’t like Monkey Target?  In that one, you roll your monkey in a ball down a ramp, launch it in the air, and make it glide to a target below for points.  Bonito Days takes that premise and expands upon it with a bit of Katamari Damacy weirdness thrown in.

In this game, you can view a text tutorial and then try two main modes.  Cup lets you compete with up to four players in a preselected set of stages, and whoever can get the most points at the end, wins.  You can also do Free Play where you do the same thing, but pick your stages and how many to play.  You can also toggle options and view credits.

Start out by selecting the color and pattern of your fish character and they’ll give you a random name.  To play, you’ll first roll your ball off a ramp.  Sometimes you may have to navigate a short maze in a city before finding the ramp.  After launching off the slope, press the button and a fish with arms and legs will pop out of the ball.  Now you can use the control stick to glide around somehow.  While gliding, try to collect hearts in the air (they call them ‘sweets’) to earn points.  Rings can give you bonus multipliers if you fly through them, and hitting a striped ball will give you a power-up, which usually lets you land on the targets easier.  Once a target is in sight, press the button to pop in a ball again and try to land on the target for points, but don’t fall in the water or you’ll lose them!  Whoever can get the most points, wins.  In some levels in the Cups, all you have to do is collect the most sweets in the air and not have to worry about landing.

This game has a few problems unfortunately.  While you can view a text tutorial, they don’t explain everything very well, like what power-ups do, how to know when you can’t glide anymore, etc.  An overhead map showing where the targets are would’ve been nice, and having to roll around city streets before finding the ramp seems unnecessary.  The game isn’t as much fun in single player either.  You can still compete in cups, but you’ll be by yourself and can only pass if you earn points (harder than it seems in later levels).  One nice thing about the game is that the music is really good and reminds me of tunes found in Katamari Damacy games.  I wish this game had a sound test!  If you always have friends and family who are willing to play games with you, you might have fun with this title, though.

Kid Factor:

You can get bumped around and fall into water, but that’s about as violent as it gets.  And since you play as fish, falling into water probably isn’t a bad thing.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Bonito Days is rated E for Everyone.

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