Zen Bound is a rope and wood game by Chillingo Ltd. $4.99
I never thought I would say this (At least before the release of Need For Speed) but wow. No words can describe how perfect this game is, but I will give it my best crack. This game has no flaws in it what so ever for a game with such simplicity. I was hoping this game wouldn't turn into an overrated game due to so much hype like I believe Rolando became, but this lived up to its expectation and easily surpassed it. Especially on the hand held devices there are really no games which would make you buy the console, like Halo does for the Xbox 360, but Zen Bound comes as close as possible to that mark. This game brings a calm and easy feel back to gaming, while still providing a challenge to complete all the 51 levels that are in the game. Each of the levels requires you to paint 70% of the item to go onto the next level, but this won't get you far as you earn more flowers when you pass 85% and 99%.
This game has super amazing graphics. This game has been made with a heap of dedication putting a huge amount of detail into every little thing. The wood pieces are very polished and look superb with the original backgrounds for each level. Even the menu looks amazing with its excellent design of a tree with the levels hanging off it. Just a super game all round. The controls in this game are pushing what can be done to new boundaries. While they are simple, they show how effective a game can be when utilized correctly. The touchscreen is used to choose what path the rope will take around the objects, with a swiping motion used to rotate the object and the rope automatically sticks to it. The accelerometer is used effectively to choose how the rope is positioned both when starting your wrapping or in between. This doesn't sound like it needs to be used that often or to even make an effect in the game, but for those tight places in harder levels it is a vital skill to master.
Most games I have played have had a nice soundtrack, but not a great soundtrack. This game has just that, the best soundtrack out of any of the three zen games we have reviewed and uses the headphones to perfection. Like as in Soul Trapper, Zen Bound uses the single headphones approach (Basically where the sound is only coming out of one headphone at certain times). This is used very well and the peaceful soundtrack suits it perfectly, again some of the best music we have heard in any game.
If you had never heard or seen of this game before, its description would sound like it is some absolutely boring game. A game where you have to wrap a piece of rope around a wooden object doesn't sound very exciting, but once you experience it you are automatically converted. There are no time limits in this game but there are requirements to advance in the game. So many flowers have to earned by completing the levels by 70%, 85% or 99% before advancing and having more levels to play. For those who are just improving Secret Exit has split the levels into two sections so if you get really stuck you can just swap sections between the Tree of Reflection and the Tree of Challenge. How the game actually works is that the rope that you must wrap around the objects put paint on the object where the rope is stuck and slightly around it. You have so many meters of rope to use on each level and is determined by the size of the object. At 70% the end nail on the object starts glowing and if the rope hits that the level ends, so it is vital to avoid it but leave it available to hit. It sounds very simple but with all the cracks and shapes on the objects it is actually very difficult. If you forget about the inside or have large chunks of rope in the air hanging from two pieces of the object then it is impossible to paint a large part of the object. A strategy of how to attempt each level is needed before starting to plan where the rope will go.
This game is so amazing. With such an original idea that is perfectly suited to this device, it has been pulled off so well. I never heard of Secret Exit before this game but after playing Zen Bound I will be looking out for any of their future games. This game has perfection written all over it, with not a single flaw in the game. For such a peaceful game it will also provide a challenge for those who want to complete the game 100%. This is easily the best game on the iDevice up to the date of this review, I can't recommend it enough. If you don't have this on your iDevice right now do not hesitate to buy it straight away. I have seen countless reviews of the game and not one has been a negative review. Just perfect.
Overall- 10/10 PERFECT SCORE!
I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- TanZen & Zentomino
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