I always worry when a game starts to get too much hype. It doesn’t matter what it is (movies, bands, food, etc.) it’s very rare that something lives up to the hype. We have seen this time after time when it comes to games in the app store. I’m afraid to find out how much money I’ve spent on “hype”.
That dread slipped into a smile after the first few moments of game play. I realized that I was playing something that actually seemed like it was worthy of the hype. Graphics, Controls, Sound, you name it and Zen Bound nails everything it set out to do. And in the end you’ve got an app that’s going to blow you away.
But one quick caveat about this app, it’s not fully a “game”. In fact, even in the App Store description focuses more on words like “calm” and “meditative”. I only mention this so you know that you’re in for something very different…- and very wonderful.
With Zen Bound you are presented with wooden blocks and animals that you need to “paint”. To do this you wrap them with a piece of rope that’s anchored to a nail. The wrapping is done by twisting and rotating the block. When you’ve done enough you get your rope to the second (tie off) nail. A very simple idea, and surprisingly fun.
Zen Bound would be nothing if the controls weren’t good. Thankfully this is one of the areas where the game not only lived up to the hype, but shot way past it. The way Zen Bound uses the touch screen make you feel like you’re actually working with the wooden piece. I was amazed at how well I was able to manipulate things to get the rope where I needed it to go. Quite possibly the best controls I’ve seen in an App.
And one minute into the game you’ll see that they’ve also nailed the graphics with this game. From the trees where you pick your next object to the pieces of wood themselves, everything looks really good. This is especially true on the animal figures. Even the textures of the paint look great.
The designers are really pumped about the sound for the game. It’s good, but I’m not sure that it’s as ground breaking as the hype that they’ve created for themselves. “Ghost Monkey” does the sound track and it does a nice job with the “calming” element but after a while I really didn’t notice it. The game was designed for use with headphones and the sound is rich, but really isn’t as “stand out” as I think the designers were going for.
I’m also a little worried about the longevity of the game. The designers have looked to fix this with by giving showing you how well you did, but I’m not sure that it’s enough to make you want to keep going back to an object to improve your score.
But these issues are very minor. This is not an app you’re going to buy for the music, and there is more than enough puzzles to keep you busy for a long time. And I’m always hoping for updates to give me more.
Zen Bound is one of the few apps that make you feel like you’ve got something far better than any handheld system. It’s a game that stands head and shoulders over most of the store and if you’ll find it more than worth the money you’ll spend on it. Even after you’ve wrapped up everything the game offers, I predict that it will stay on your device so you can always “one up” your friends.
In the case of Zen Bound…- the hype didn’t even come close to giving you the whole story.
More challenging than I thought it would be
Another great reason to own your device
Will it have longevity? Only time will tell.