Launched on January 17, Bondee is the new social networking app that has taken over Asia. We unpack Bondee’s 3D art style and game design to find out what makes the app so adorable.
Social apps are nothing new for the very terminally online community. For the most part, people are quick to throw themselves into an app with a new setup. See BeReal.
Bondee is a bit different. It blends cute cartoon graphics and customized avatars so you can hang out in a virtual space with your friends.
Bondee: A quick glance
The primary allure of the app is its avatar-based game design. Users can customize their avatar’s appearance and clothing. You can choose from various hairstyles, pick your hair color, and even change your facial features.
To amp up your individuality, you’re also given the ability to choose your outfits. The clothing choices are a bit bare bones–but with a few accessories, you can create your own unique look. The app also has limited edition clothes and hair options you can try out.
In this virtual space, you’re free to socialize with your friends as you wish.
The basic game elements–explained
Bondee isn’t exactly something you play. It’s more of a virtual world where you can mimic a more personal connection with your friends. Here’s some photos from Bondee to explain how things work.
- Status update. Want to see an avatar cuddle a cat, get a coffee drip, or simply float in the air? You can update your avatar’s status to reflect what you’re feeling. You can also type in a text bubble or upload a photo of what you’re doing to let your friends know
- Rooms. Players also get to design their own rooms and have friends visit them. You’re given a selection of furniture and other items to design with. You can even add your own photos and elements if you wish.
- Floating. Want some serious me time? Then head out in a rowboat and take a quick trip to nowhere. The farther out you row, the more items you can pick up along the way.
- Viewing experience. Everything in Bondee is viewable from a 360-degree perspective. On your home page, you can view your and your friend’s avatars. You can even switch to a room view and watch them hang out in their rooms.
- Chat feature. Aside from having conversations, the chat feature allows you to control your avatars’ interactions and customize your background, and just chill.
Currently, Bondee only allows you to add 50 friends. And all of the graphics are made to match the Bondee aesthetic. If you don’t get it yet, Bondee’s 3D art style is heavily Y2K inspired.
Why Bondee’s 3D art style is trending
The secret is in its 3D cartoon graphics. It’s reminiscent of other cute cozy games like Animal Crossing. And let’s be real, we all love good bubble-shaped graphics. The avatars’ round shape and bounciness are a serious serotonin boost.
Moreover, the pastel color story of the game also lends another cutesy factor. The logo and loading elements come in colorful little blobs with minimal facial features. Suffice it to say, the in-game graphics are something that industry watchdogs aren’t surprised to see. After all, 3D animations and graphics are set to be one of 2023’s most popular trends.
The Instagram invite template also has a retro style, calling back the Y2K aesthetic. All of these work together to create a cohesive visual identity that’s perfect for the new generation.
More than the graphics though, it’s the game design that makes it so friendly. When you acquire a number of friends in the app, it’s quite satisfying to see your small community thrive online. Whether it’s just in idle mode or when you see your friends update their statuses, it’s just another layer of connectedness that keeps you happy.
Overall, the only con of this app is that it can take a toll on old smartphones because of its advanced graphics.
How brands are using Bondee
If there’s one thing that people will do in social apps, it’s to make memes out of it. You can see random people turning their rooms into storefronts with government certificates to boot. Other individuals are using Bondee to create different room concepts. In short, it’s endless creativity and meme potential.
Even brands are joining in on the fun. They are customizing their own avatars and rooms to reflect their own branding. Take Meralco, an energy giant in the Philippines. Their marketing team cleverly used the Bondee hype to spread awareness about the current electricity bills in the country.
An intro to the metaverse
Nobody fully understands how the metaverse works yet, but Bondee’s 3D art style may be a sweet introduction to the kind of reality tech giants are trying to create. Bondee was developed by a Singapore-based firm called Metadream.
On its official website, the company describes Bondee as a game meant for you to “live with your friends” in a “brand new digital world”. Sounds familiar right?
The app is also supposed to be able to manage NFTs, though it’s unclear how that element ties into their current game design. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure. The game is simple, approachable, and fun–it’s a type of thing that anyone can try out.
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