Reimagining Crosswords: Words and Games

A review of Bonza, where crosswords meet jumble

By Author  |  Published: 4th Jul 2020  5:00 pmUpdated: 4th Jul 2020  7:37 pm

There isn’t much to tell about Bonza, it is a simple game with simple rules. It requires you to rearrange letters to form words that all fit a single clue and just like that a challenge is underway.

To understand Bonza it is necessary to compare it with other popular word games and on the surface, it is a crossword puzzle that meets jumble or unscramble as you try to form words that fit the clue. However, further in to the game you realize that Bonza is less of a traditional crossword and more of scrabble as you are constantly rearranging letter tiles to form words and then see if they fit the clue.

This is the perfect blend of three classic word games and can be a lot of fun for bibliophiles and word-lovers. In terms of design, the game has an aesthetic and minimalist feel; the controls are intuitive and the ability to zoom in and out to see the ‘big picture’ literally is very well done.

However, things are smooth and steady as long as the tiles are few and the board less crowded; a busy screen is Bonza’s downfall and this game’s design interface just can’t handle clutter. There have been numerous times where I have backed out of levels without making a single move because I found the screen just too overwhelming; an experience that puts you and your vocabulary in the proverbial block.

The limited design interface makes building complexity in levels challenging. Despite its shortcomings, Bonza has an interesting daily puzzle feature and the option to build your own puzzle if you are inclined to (a very pleasing process). Bonza is also a lot of fun as long as you are rummaging letters and rearranging patterns but when you do get stuck then additional clues are laced with annoying ads and in app purchases

The overall experience is ruined a smidge because of limitations of design and execution of the clues system. It could have been a lot better, however still a welcome experience for people willing to realize that both Sushi and eyes can roll at times. Worth a shot!

Sneak Peek

Title: Bonza

Developer: Minimega

Game Type: Single player

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: Free to Play with in-app purchases.


  • Innovative Gameplay: 3.5 
  • Game Handling & Quality 4
  • Value for Time 3
  • Potential Progression without in-game purchases 3 Overall 3.34

What Stands Out 

  • The unique style and the wonderful reinterpretation of standard crossword rules 
  • The daily puzzle feature and the make your own puzzle feature are fantastic!

Fails to impress

  • The hint system could be a little better. It can be irksome to watch an ad for every additional clue.
  • The pleasant design is at time unappealing.
  • Too many letters in a puzzle can intimidate you.

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