iBonsai is an algorithm-based ‘bonsai-growing’ application that is capable of generating a bonsai tree. Relaxing and peaceful, this application takes a blank page of graphical rice paper and grows a painted picture of anything ranging from a Flowering Dogwood to a Japanese Maple. The algorithm running this application makes sure to randomly select leaf type, growth pattern, tree type and fruit possibilities.

The possibilities are really endless. While the idea is simple, the execution is quite complex and admirable. The application opens and you press Start for it to to begin. Upon . You can shake your iPhone to break loose some leaves and fruit, and there is the rare possibility of getting a money tree.

The settings allow you to choose Ambient Music, which is obviously ambient sounds and noise to calm you down. You can now set the application to ‘Auto-Regrow’, which makes the application refresh soon after finishing a bonsai tree. You can also now adjust the speed of growth which is handy if you combine it with the auto-regrow function.

You can also adjust a setting called ‘Gravity View’. This simply means that the application uses the accelerometer to always make the bonsai tree seem as though it’s aimed at the floor. It’s interesting for what it’s worth, but it won’t affect how the tree grows. That is solely dependent on the algorithm.

You can now shape the tree as it grows, which is by far the most beneficial addition to this update. By tapping and holding on the screen, you can actually push the tree’s growth wherever you’d like. Change the growth setting to slow to really gain control!

The Good: Fun graphics, clever algorithm, calm and smooth

The Bad: Aesthetically, the intro screen could use some work

The Bottom Line: Well-executed algorithm-based bonsai application with good-enough graphics and a go-to nature. My money isn’t really burning a hole in my pocket, so I wouldn’t go spending it all on this application. It’s worth checking out if you already have a vicious ardor for Bonsai Trees.

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