October 12, 2012A methodical and meditative puzzle game, Zen Bound 2 presents a new direction for the genre. The object of each ‘level’ is simple – cover each figure in paint. Paint is applied by rotating and binding the figure in rope. There are nails in the figures to wrap the rope around and some levels have paint bombs on the nail heads that explode around that area when you overlap them.
Confused? It’s quite difficult to explain through screenshots and words.
This game is less about completing objectives, focusing instead on creating ambiance and state of mind. The serene background music, barely discernable sound effects, and glowing background abstractions amplify your senses. You are graded on a completion percentage as well as how little rope you are able to use. By attaining 100% completion, you gain three flowers which are used to unlock other levels.
This game does what it sets out to do quite well. You are forced to take your time and think logically to minimize the amount of rope you use. The system of collecting flowers to advance based on completion ensures that you go the extra mile to get to 100%.
The controls, as alluded to above, can require a bit of patience at times. It would be nice if you had more control on the camera as well as better fidelity of rotating the figures. Most devices these days have gyroscopes and accelerometers – it would be nice if rotating your device had more effect.
I’m not sure how valuable the measurements of the rope are down in the bottom right. As a competitive metric, you don’t really gain or lose much by using tons of rope. A more challenging system would be to limit the number of flowers earned based on using less rope.
This is a nice puzzler, but the gameplay is repetitive and non-rewarding. It’s a great looking game and the novelty is a refreshing change, but I’d wait for a sale before picking up.
Reviewed on an Asus Transformer Infinity