iZen Garden

iZen Garden was recently updated and loaded with new features.

iZen Garden is exactly what it sounds like. You are supplied with an area of sand, plenty of material and hopefully as much time as you need to create a relaxing Zen Garden.

The new version adds new types of sand, new rocks and other material, the ability to adjust the depth and width of the rake, three different background soundtracks, the ability to double-tap a rock to delete it, and many more. Out of all the Zen Garden applications, this is clearly the most thorough and precise, and the system is clear-cut.

The interface is very nice as well. Raking involves simply dragging a finger across the sand, and placing items is a breeze. It’s possible to ‘stack’ rocks, and every item is very well-rendered. Rotating rocks involves using two fingers and twisting. Rocks and other items sometimes don’t fit with the new sands, however. Having such realistic images of one view of an item forces the sand to look poorly-rendered at best. Something that I would like to see, and that would truly make this application worth paying something for, would be for there to be a light source that directly affects the view of each area of raked sand. I’d like to see some sort of light software running besides ‘the dark parts are lower and the light parts are higher’.

Taking pictures of the Zen Garden isn’t necessarily an option so much as a possibility. In order to save it, you have to press Home + Lock, which is essentially taking a screenshot. It would be nice to have an actual option, but there are no unnecessary buttons while raking. There really is no issue with taking a screen shot, but I would much prefer an option.

As many features as this application has, I simply can’t see it being worth $4.99. It’s very well-designed and has a simple and concise interface, but for people that might just want to attempt learning the art of Zen Garden sand-raking, it would probably be a better idea to thrash a few twigs together and head to the nearest beach. You get exactly what it advertises, and you should probably keep that in mind.

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