#978 Zen Bound

Posted: 2nd October 2015 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

460th played so far


Genre: Puzzle
Platform: iPhone
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Secret Exit
Publisher:Chillingo Ltd

IOS games can have their own feel. They’re as varied as any other platform, but being handheld and having touchscreen controls means that they can be quite different.

Zen Bound is a good example of that, as a game where you tie a rope around an object doesn’t seem like it could work anywhere else. It’s one of those games that experiments with a medium.

Our Thoughts

The game really is that simple, and its effectiveness and addictiveness comes from that. You tie a rope around one of many oddly shaped objects, which radiates colour a bit. The goal is to splatter it with enough paint to reach a certain percentage – higher is better.

It’s a pretty simple idea and the different ‘statues’  make it look lovely – partially they serve to create a puzzle, but the wooden finish add to the atmosphere as well. The game really becomes zen-like – staring at the screen to find a solution, gently turning the object to get the angle just right. Tricky at times, but not too much (I did well rather easily) and pretty engaging.

The book puts it quite well – hand a person a wooden toy with a nail and a piece of rope and they’d be hard pressed to call it a game (although when watching  TV, I can see myself doing this sort of thing to keep my hands busy). The addition of score keeping, however, adds a goal that elevates it to an interesting new experience.

Final Thoughts

Zen Bound is a simple, straight forward game, following what we often see as the right rules for mobile – quick play, simple and quickly enjoyable. They’re addictive puzzles that feel like they always have a better solution while being tricky enough in some places that there’s plenty of these quick wins even before finishing a level.