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Posted by admin on Feb 20, 2011
Zen Bound Review

Zen Bound Review

Zen Bound approaches iOS gaming with a humble, unobtrusive, and visionary style. With a simple premise, a mellow soundtrack, and compelling gameplay, Zen Bound is not simply a great game, but the best of what iOS has to offer.

The premise, as I said, is simple. A wooden animal figurine is presented to you. You are told to bind in – to cover as much surface area with a rope. You do so by rotating the object to be encircled and bound by the rope – shifting viewpoints and angles to reach all the possible crevices of the statues. Where the string touches, a paint spreads over the figure and your coverage percent increases. A simple premise, yes but a fantastic one. The shapes increase in complexity of form, rope length, and amount of contours to reach – meaning that the game makes subtle increases in difficulty while avoiding being frustrating or grating. In fact, the game is permeated with a sort of calmness and relaxation hitherto unseen in any puzzle game.

Progress in the game is measured by ascending a flowering tree: each time you solve a puzzle, a flower blossoms. A certain number of flowers is necessary to advance – more, in fact, than there are puzzles to bind. That is because there are three objectives – three flowers – for each puzzle: covering a basic 70%, an intermediate 85%, and an ultimate 99%. By completing the more difficult objectives, you unlock more flowers unlocking more of the tree.

However, the game doesn’t end at one tree. You have three trees, Nostalgia, Challenge, and Reflection to work through, all offering different challenges and expanded gameplay. Coupled with the game is unobtrusive, ambient, and, indeed, zen music calmly uplifting the gameplay and washing away stress and boredom.

Zen Bound is a masterpiece – a game of graphical excellent, stellar gameplay, fantastic melodies, and lengthy playtime. Perfect for both minutes of boredom or extended sessions, Zen Bound is a bona fide tour-de-force. I advise anyone looking for both an excellent game and a notable experience to pick this up.

Author: Kit Marlowe

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