A new One Piece mobile puzzle game has been announced by publisher Bandai Namco, titled One Piece Bon! Bon! Journey!!, and the new spin on Monkey D. Luffy’s adventures as a pirate is tagged to release later this year in 2020. One Piece is the wildly successful shonen manga that has spawned an equally impactful anime, detailing the adventures of Luffy as he assembles a crew of charismatic and supernaturally-powered pirates in an attempt to become the Pirate King. One Piece is so popular it will be getting the Netflix live-adaptation treatment.
While the manga and anime have reached historical levels of reach and financial success, One Piece games have typically struggled to follow suit, with many of them landing somewhere in the middle of mediocre and pretty good. Given the property’s penchant for not taking itself too seriously, it has been somewhat difficult to translate into a game that balances comedy, narrative beats, and compelling gameplay that still feels true to its source material, which has now spanned decades of adventure. It’s not a problem unique to One Piece, either – most anime games tend to struggle more than they realistically should on consoles, but a recent migration to mobile platforms has paid off for titles like One Punch Man and Fate: Grand Order.
According to Bandai Namco, One Piece Bon! Bon! Journey!! will be the first-ever mobile puzzle game based on the series, and will offer players the ability to relive the story of One Piece as characters are transformed into bonbons. Characters like Luffy, Zoro, Robin, Law, Nami, and the rest of Luffy’s Straw Hat crew will all be getting the bonbon treatment, which appears to be a cross between chibi-style design and traditional candy pieces. The press release also reveals that legendary villains like Doflamingo and Buggy will also be getting bonbon variants. One Piece Bon! Bon! Journey!! will task players with a basic match-3 puzzle mechanic that makes up the game’s “combat” while players will also need to navigate the seas and explore different areas.
One Piece Bon! Bon! Journey!! will also offer players a slice-of-life component that allows them to decorate their own island with the treasures they find during their journey. Players will be able to integrate their social media accounts with the game in order to send friends gifts and compare scores, adding an element of competition for fans.
Given just how popular mobile titles can be – Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes, for instance, is making an incredible amount of money for the company – it makes sense for One Piece to enter the fray with a fresh take on the series. Mobile puzzle games have a history of doing fairly well, with the best examples, like Candy Crush, catching on and becoming juggernauts. If One Piece Bon! Bon! Journey!! is as charming with its gameplay as it is in its presentation, it has every chance to succeed and become a sleeper hit for Bandai Namco sometime in 2020.
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One Piece Bon! Bon! Journey!! will release on iOS and Android mobile devices at an unspecified time in 2020.